Starting a business is the stuff that many people dream of. Of course, it’s not easy work. Are you ready to take your idea to the next level? You may want to consider some of the following points:

1. Are you ready to give up some of the benefits associated with a traditional nine-to-five grind? Owning your own business means flexibility and freedom (to a certain extent); it also means you provide critical services like health insurance (to yourself and eventual employees). If you’re depending on some of the perks of a day job (and don’t have the savings to break free), it may not be time to leave for uncertain territory. Build up that cushion, and then make the jump.

2. Are you prepared to always be available? The advent of laptops and smartphones has changed the way we live. In a world where social media and “being connected” can make or break a business, it’s almost necessary to always be “on call.” As Rebecca Levey and Nancy Friedman (owners of KidzVuz) noted in a recent interview, “[d]ue to the nature of our business, it’s part of our job to be on the internet. We have to be available all of the time to respond to comments or emails. If we aren’t tweeting constantly, we lose some of our influence. The pressure is very hard for family members who aren’t involved to understand. If I were with a Twitter freak like me, we’d have it all worked out. [laughs] But I think for me, owning a business is more taxing than blogging.”

3. Are you ready to wear many (many) hats? In owning your own business (particularly at the beginning), you’re going to have to be responsible for doing almost everything: answering phones and emails, developing a marketing strategy, approaching potential clients, and visiting trade shows. Until you start generating a profit, and are able to hire employees (and delegate tasks), the meat of the responsibility will fall on you.

4. Are you prepared to deal with failure? Things won’t always go exactly as planned. To be truly successful you need to have the resiliency to bounce back from disappointment.

5. Are you passionate about your idea? In order to be a successful as a business owner, you need to believe in what you’re doing. Whether it’s developing a new type of baby shoe or creating an online consulting business, if you don’t know your product is the best, it’s not going to work. Coming up with an idea is one part of business ownership; selling that idea is an even bigger part.

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may be ready for small business ownership. The most important advice for any budding entrepreneur? Once you’re sure that this is the right decision for you (and your family), go for it. With everything you have and everything you’re worth.

You can make it happen.

For more on women and entrepreneurship, read: Does Money Really Motivate Women?

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Article source/inspiration: CNN Money