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4 signs you are ready to start your own business

Find out if you should take the leap.

Do you recognize the feeling of wanting something desperately at the same time feeling scared as hell to take the next step? This was me when starting my business. It’s also what most of the business newbies experience coming into my office for further support in building their businesses. In this post, I want to cover 3 signs you are ready to start your own business.

Why write about this topic? I believe it is important to pick up on the signals coming to you, and I noticed most business newbies experience overwhelm when starting.

The Netherlands’ business climate and strategic location make it one of the best countries for business. The Netherlands, also known as the “gateway to Europe,” is the most competitive economy according to the WEF Competitiveness Index in Europe and one of the best countries for business investment in the world. This, together with a highly educated workforce and a stable business climate makes the country attractive for national and international business. (sources: PWC publication doing business in the Netherlands and article Invest in Holland). So, why not enjoy all of this and give it a go yourself?

When business newbies turn to me for further support they usually experience overwhelm.

Especially when you wish to open a business being an Expat, opening a business seems like an impregnable hurdle you can’t take. The problem is there is never a right time to start a business. Life will always get in your way, there will always be obstacles, practical, and logistical, to starting your company.

Why are the signs so important?

Starting a business seems to be on the bucket list of many people, it’s the ultimate goal. Starting a business is easy, but running a business is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I run into many people that never started a business, but DO regret it. I run into people who started a business accidentally and are happy as an entrepreneur.

Not picking up on the signs  that you are ready to start business adventures might have implications on different aspects of your life:

  • Think about personal happiness. Your business is perhaps your way to create meaning in your life to add value to the life of others.
  • Think about financial aspects. Having some extra income could secure the financial freedom you are after
  • Think about family happiness and balance. Starting your business might be the best way to combine family life with practising your profession.

Here are the 4 signs showing you are ready to start your own business.

Let’s jump in!

Sign no 1: You are ready to fail

Fear of failure is what holds back most would-be entrepreneurs. If you feel you can accept the fact that failing is a serious option and want to move forward anyway, it is a clear sign you are ready to start your business.

 The question: “Can I seriously make this work?” is easy to tackle. Starting a business in the Netherlands is simple and easy and doesn’t take a big investment. Especially starting as a freelancer, marketing professional, physiotherapist, psychologist, career coach and so on, you can keep your costs low. The actual reasons for not starting usually go beyond this, they reflect your fears and doubts.

Successful people start before they are ready.

You will never feel 100% ready and prepared. There is always more experience to gain, more knowledge to acquire, a bigger network to build upon and so on. Remember this, when we were young, we didn’t learn how to walk in one day, it needed loads of practice but we just started one day, right?

We build our wings along the way.

Sign no 2: You know it will increase your opportunities to practice your profession

Within my coaching practice, I meet internationals wanting to practice their profession at the same time knowing this cannot be done for several reasons:

  • They lack Dutch language skills – think about the health care professionals I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but also people in the Art industry, among others. I also know some people with an HR or learning and development background that set up their business and were able to secure project-based opportunities within their expertise.
  • There is a skills GAP to fill or educational background doesn’t match the Dutch labour market. Sometimes your skillset is not exactly aligned with what employers are after. Setting up your business sometimes helps to increase opportunities to get hired and it will allow you to skill up and build on experience within a Western European Environment.
  • Dutch employers are not ready for you yet. I served people with excellent skill sets that wanted to land a job in the Netherlands but the experience they had just didn’t match what employers were asking for at that time. 2 years later the experience they have is in high demand.
  • You wish to pivot your career. For some people I meet, it seems not doable to pivot their career towards the desired outcome – an employee contract. For some of them, it turned out to be way easier to start a business and pivot their career toward their dream job.

Sign no 3: You love what you do

If you love what you do and also know it will be a tough cookie to get hired for exactly this, this might be a sign to start your own business. When you love something that much, you’re ready to make a business out of it. I served clients who are and were very happy in their jobs and felt they could do better on their own. This is a clear sign you are ready to start your business.

The business newbies I served during the last group track I hosted all loved what they do and are currently making money doing the things they love. During this 4-months support track, they were able to get roadblocks, practically as well as emotionally out of the way and develop their business activities in a way the business serves them. They could not have done it without their support system, the 4th sign you’re ready to start a business.

 Sign no 4: You have a strong support system

OK, now don’t underestimate this one. You have to know, that my husband is also my biggest fan. I also notice this with fellow entrepreneurs. If their support system is not ready to support them, they will never start or their business stays a side hustle forever. Often, I see the fear of failure jump at them once more to tell them they will never make it.

 Starting your business is something to discuss with your support system upfront, you want to be on the same page before your jump in. Besides your social support system, also consider financial and logistical support systems if you will need them to start your business. Practical things like: “who will take care of the kids when I have an important business meeting?” and “can I sustain myself for x months/years if things don’t go as planned?” I know asking myself these questions helped me to get rid of the hurdles I felt before starting.

Key Takeaway

If all of these signs describe your situation, it seems you are ready to start your business.

May the key takeaway from this article be that you always have an option and hurdles are there to take. You can take these hurdles when they are thrown at you.

Think about starting your own business?

Marielle ObelsMarielle Obels is a Career and business newbie coach and founder of Career Connection. With her business, she supports internationals to create a meaningful life when relocating to the Netherlands. In the last 8 years, she served many internationals within the Netherlands to build on their careers or take the leap to build their own business.

If you would like to pick her brains and find out how she can support you, don’t hesitate to schedule a 30-minute call with her using the scheduler below.

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