Starting My Own Business

When To Become an Entrepreneur?

Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures

Those of us who have the itch to start our own businesses ask themselves, when should I do it? Many feel that working in the workplace for several years to gain experience would benefit them as an entrepreneur later.

One of the most difficult aspects of entrepreneurship is doing it and being it.

When To Become An Entrepreneur

While you may have ideas for your own business, until you actually go out there and try it for yourself, you will not have experienced it nor will you understand what the experience is like. For many, experience is the one thing, aside from money that prevent them from following their passions of starting and running their own companies. Many tell themselves that they should wait a few more years until they've worked their way up the corporate ladder and have established themselves in their careers.

My two cents is that becoming an entrepreneur becomes harder as each day passes. As you get older and work longer in your corporate job, you become accustomed to the lifestyle and the benefits that come with working in corporate position. You have a much more comfortable lifestyle that provides amenities that are absent in entrepreneurship. A stable income, health insurance, matching 401k accounts, and annual performance bonuses are many of the daily perks that are provided by your company, but are harder to come by when you take the leap into entrepreneurship.

From the personal side, many also begin to get married, have kids and become busier with household, marital, and parenting responsibilities, all of which take time away from trying to start your own venture. Furthemore, the risks tend to be much greater for entrepreneurs that are established in their careers. They have much more to lose than a twenty-something year old fresh out of college or grad school. They usually have no family to support, are used to living on ramen noodles, and if they fail, have the time to make their lost income with out a huge impact on their future savings and retirement accounts.

If you've found yourself pushing off your entrepreneurial ideas because of some of the aforementioned points, don't fool yourself. Convincing yourself to take the entrepreneurial plunge only gets more challenging as time passes. We live in a capitalistic society where it is a game of risk and reward. The greater the risk, the greater the potential reward, but the fact is the majority of entrepreneurs never see that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that they envisioned when they started their own companies.

One way to test the waters is to start a side business. One that you can easily manage in your spare time and will not get you fired from your day job. Testing the waters will provide you part of the experience of entrepreneurship with out the vast risk. However, since your risk is lower, the potential payoff is much lower as well so don't expect a huge payout with a part time business. Rather view it as the opportunity to test your skills and abilities as well as the opportunity to provide you the comfort and confidence you need to pursue your entrepreneurial ideas full time.

James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code