If there is one thing that we as a society have learned over the last two years, it’s that life is too short to waste doing things that are unfulfilling, including choosing a career path. The number of new business owners in the United States in 2021 was 360 out of every 100,000 adults. Economists believe that a mix of available technology, home confinement, and idle time may have sparked the biggest spawn of entrepreneurs in history. 

First-timers may only see one side to a major life change, such as business ownership, however. Entrepreneurs live a different lifestyle than manual laborers or knowledge workers. Being an entrepreneur is both mentally complex and physically demanding. Before diving into a risky venture like business ownership, it’s important to understand these risks and the guidelines that might help you survive the first two years, which are notoriously the roughest period for any startup. 

The first rule is don’t delay. Just do it. If you feel ready, it’s crucial to not leave it too long. Don’t put off making this choice. Time is your most valuable possession so use it wisely. This is especially true if you’re dissatisfied with your current job. It’s vital to take action now instead of talking your way out of it. No matter what excuses you give, chances are that you are more gifted, talented, and competent than you give yourself credit for. Taking the plunge will prove to you that you are more capable, resourceful, and creative than you thought. 

That doesn’t mean you should dive into this new world empty-handed. Learning from other successful business owners about what they did correctly and what lessons they learned will arm you with the power of knowledge and keep you encouraged to follow your dream.

The first rule to remember is that time is more valuable than money. Don’t squander your time. It’s important to value and nurture it. Making an investment in yourself sometimes means hiring a coach or taking classes in place of studying something on your own. That being said, we all have strengths and imperfections. Know when it’s time to outsource your flaws. 

Failure is part of life. Expect to make mistakes, even massive ones. The true enemy is the fear of failure. Mistakes are how you learn and grow. It’s important to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and into the realm of uncertainty. This is also true of criticisms. Keep an open, welcoming mind to critiques, and be proud of your bravery in being vulnerable.