There is usually no one “aha moment” that signals it is time to start a business. Ask any woman entrepreneur, especially one who did not go to business school, when that aha moment occurred and she will instead share the winding, unpredictable path that led her to start a business.
t The final aha moment, the one that propels you into action, usually occurs after several smaller realizations and moments that in combination lead to a radical change in your life. For many women business owners they did not have a lifelong dream of starting a business but over time they realized that it was the perfect path for manifesting a better life for themselves and their families.
Realization 1: You don’t like taking orders from others
t You realize that after years of yielding to multiple bosses and their varied personalities and styles that frankly you are tired of being told what to do. The nods of agreement and the inauthentic smiles you have manufactured for years have taken more and more effort to fabricate and you feel like your integrity is slowly dissolving with each passing year.
Realization 2: You think “I really wish there was… “
t There is a moment when you look around for a product and service and you cannot find it anywhere. Google comes up empty and even your most savvy friend is unable to show off her shopping prowess. You wonder what it would take to create it yourself.
Realization 3: You don’t see yourself in this job in 10 years.
t You may have been working in the same job or within the same industry for several years and when a milestone approaches, such as turning 30 or upon having a family, you wonder if you’ll be in the same place, doing the exact same thing, in another 10 years. If you have a sincere passion for your work, this may not even come to mind but for many women this realization makes one pause to imagine the future. And, that picture may not be appealing.
Realization 4: You wonder if your passion can make money
t You may be one of those women who have a million ideas of how to do something better or who can create something out of nothing. You love the time you spend working on your hobby or your friends come to you constantly seeking advice on something they consider you an expert on. You wonder, “Can I make money doing this?”
Realization 5: You discover there is a world that isn’t in an office between 9-5
t You head to your local coffee shop at 10 a.m. and see people tapping away on their computers while sipping their lattes. You notice that one mom who always seems to be able to participate in her kid’s activities and you wonder, “What does she do for work?” You realize you crave more freedom and flexibility with your schedule so that you can do the things that really matter to you.
Realization 6: You simply want more from life
t There is a moment when you look at yourself in the mirror and think, “There must be more than this.” Some people use that moment to explore a hobby, a charitable cause or another passion. Some women decide that they want the opportunity to spend more time with their children. Other women use this to fuel a desire to start a business based on a passion or interest. Most of the women business owners I interviewed for my book made a firm and conscious decision to chase after their passions, create more meaning in their lives and to impact others in a more significant ways. In fact, these can be seen as the main motivating factors for women launching a business.
t Starting a business is difficult, risky and wrought with challenges. Fortunately, it also allows for incredible freedom, flexibility and fulfillment. It is not the answer for every person but for an increasing number of women this is an avenue that they are choosing to explore and with great success. Technology and the ease of entry have made it more appealing, affordable and easier for women to start businesses and reach their target audience. If you have had any or all of these realizations than you may want to explore starting your very own business. You’ll be in great company.