4 Signs You’re Ready To Start Your Own Business

So, you have a great idea for a business. You believe in it with all your heart. (On your better days anyway.) Furthermore, you are really tired of the 8-to-6 grind. (Hey, didn’t that used to be 9-5?).


On some days you are absolutely certain it’s time to chase your dream and take the plunge into entrepreneurship, but on other days the doubt and fear of the unknown are enough to make you pack your lunch and trek off to another day on the J-O-B.

The dichotomy between the two extremes (success & happiness or failure & embarrassment) leads many to a purgatory of indecision, making them apprehensive in making the final push to become an entrepreneur.

Fear has kept many would-be entrepreneurs on the sidelines, while good opportunities and ideas paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage.

Unfortunately, there is never a perfect time to start a business. No matter how long you wait, you’ll never be experienced enough, you’ll never have enough capital, and you’ll never have zero risk. There’s always a chance that your business will fail, but there’s also always a chance that it will succeed. Just like Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos said:

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”

My name is Dale Partridge. I’ve started 8 companies in the past 11 years and have produced over $25 million in revenue before my 30th birthday. I’ve been featured on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine and been written about in almost every major business publication on the planet. I’ve even wrote a bestselling book on the philosophy behind my success.


But today, it’s my goal to help you chase your dream. To give you the tools and wisdom but more importantly, ask you the right questions to ensure you’re 100% ready to start your own business. Here are the 4 pillars of a prepared entrepreneur.

1. The Fuel Is Flaming From The Gas Tank

Pain is one of the top motivators for the human mind. While your job can be an incredible funding tool for your dream, it can also be a throbbing irritation of your soul. But when people tell me they want to start their own business because they hate their job, I tell them that’s not a good enough reason.

Starting a business requires fuel. And not just a pinch. The recipe calls for heaps of the stuff. A burning passion that’s not fleeting, but consistent. A desire for freedom, purpose, control, and meaning should be at the core of every aspiring starter.

If you chase the passion, not the money, the money will end up following you.

Here at StartupCamp, our 12 month coaching program for aspiring entrepreneurs presents not only the questions to help you clarify your passion, but the formula to translate that passion into a profession.

Critical Questions:

  1. Is your job unfulfilling even on the good days?
  2. If you worked somewhere else would that change the pain? Authentic entrepreneurs are typically unemployable, no matter what company, salary, or opportunity.
  3. What’s the driver of your passion? Is it mission, purpose, and freedom or just frustration? List off a few specifics.

2. Your Social Evidence Is Piling Up

The idea of a lone-wolf entrepreneur, fighting their way forward through their genius is a lie. Successful entrepreneurship is fully entrenched in community. They are supported by their friends, family, and acquaintances. And those who dare to embark on this journey alone will find themselves at the back of the race.

Because most of the world has been led to support and strive for an employee mentality, your bold expedition will likely cause discomfort in those around you. That’s why starters who have a supportive community, whether it’s your spouse, parents, a mentor, or just your group of positive friends have proven to not only be more successful, but they also more sustainable.

In module #2, I task StartupCamp members to post a bold declaration on social media and/or email. To ask for both support and accountability in pursuing their dream. Are you ready to share your dream? Are you ready to ask for accountability from your community?

Critical Questions:

  1. What 2-3 people would commit to supporting you on your journey of entrepreneurship?
  2. Is there anyone who might hold you back or feel uncomfortable with you doing this?
  3. Do you have any experienced entrepreneurs around you who can help navigate these new waters?

3. You’re Prepared For A Season Of Education

A business mentor once told me,”If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. But if you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you.” In the past 11 years, I have read over 200 books, enrolled in an expensive executive psychotherapist coaching course, engaged with a millionaire mentor (for 3 years), and even joined a few elite mastermind groups.

Because our education system doesn’t support an entrepreneurship mindset, there’s a lot of lost ground to be made up. But in my experience…

Entrepreneurs learn by doing, not learning to do.

The problem is this: Too many starters drop out of college to forge the waters of entrepreneurship on their own. While I fully agree traditional school is a horrible solution for the entrepreneur, education is not. Until recently, there were no succinct and affordable courses designed to support new business owners on their trek.

That’s why last year I created StartupCamp. A 12 month experiential learning course for aspiring entrepreneurs. A place with coaching videos, study guides, PDF packs, checklists, recommended reading, podcasts, training articles, and a private community of like-minded people. You can learn more about it in the video below.

Critical Questions:

  1. Are you ready to begin a 1-2 year season of intentional learning?
  2. How do you learn best? Reading, listening, watching, or doing? Studies show it’s most effective to engage in as many learning forms as possible.
  3. Are you able to adjust your schedule to allow for 2-5 hours of learning time per week?

4. Your Confidence Is More Powerful Than Your Fear

As I said in the opening of this article, “Fear has kept many would-be entrepreneurs on the sidelines, while good opportunities and ideas paraded by. Most of them didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage.”

Many new entrepreneurs lack the courage to forge ahead alone and yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. But it could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for entrepreneurship. After all, if the pathway to self-employment were well lit, it would be crowded.

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

The difference is those who succeed is confidence. While you’ll never find a business venture absent of fear and risk, you’ll also never find a successful story without a confident leader. Someone who has learned to step into the face of adversity, perform under pressure, and cast captivating vision to inspire those around them.

And it all begins with steps 1-3. (1) A confirmed overwhelming passion for changing something, (2) community who will both support and hold you accountable, and (3) an effective education plan to prepare you for the voyage. By committing to these three pillars first, the fourth will naturally follow.

Critical Questions:

  1. What’s limiting your confidence? Is it know-how? Is it experience? Is is understanding? Is it money?
  2. What’s your greatest fear? Failure? Embarrassment? Bankruptcy?
  3. What can you do to help lower those fears and increase your confidence?

If you’ve answered in the affirmative to all four signs, and are now even more convinced to take the next step, consider an educational membership at StartupCamp. We believe dreams are worth chasing. It’s our hope to support anyone looking to start their own business.

Are you ready to be an entrepreneur? What’s your dream? Let me know in the comments below.

Join my free workshop. Discover how to successfully start your own business in less than 30 days.


Dale Partridge
Dale Partridge is the Founder of StartupCamp.com. He's also a keynote speaker and author of the Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling book People Over Profit.


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  1. Stefan says:

    Hello Dale! I’ve following you for a while, my wife and I are about to start our bussiness, I gotta say that you wrotte what I needed to read, we’re starting our bussiness cause we want to take control of our days, spend more time together and being with our daughter from Monday to Sunday and not just the weekends (she will born in August :D) I have to say that fear has come to my mind but I’ve learned that fear doesn’t going to take me anywhere, we are decided to start and we pray that God prosper our bussiness.

    • That’s so encouraging to hear, Stefan! Glad you’re here!

  2. Sharon says:

    I’m a mom who has been out of the workforce for 7 years. I feel God really tugging at me to start up a recovery home for sex workers or trafficking victims who get free. They need a safe place to learn life skills, job skills and heal. It’s part ministry, part business. And I am broke as I’ve ever been. I have supportive people around me, passion, etc. but definitely lack courage. My dad started a business when I was a kid and we lost everything, ended up homeless living in our car. So I fear losing stability for my kids mainly. I’m working on overcoming it. Can’t afford your program at the moment but I’ll stay tuned so maybe I can in the near future.

    • Thanks for opening up, Sharon! I believe that you can find the courage to overcome your fear. I hope you do! 🙂

  3. Great post. I’ve been looking for new entrepreneur forums to check out. I’ve used startupnation for quite a while now and it’s been extremely helpful. Looking forward to checking out some of your recommendations. Thanks!

  4. The maturity and responsibility of a person are not just the factors that will help them start and manage a business. Perseverance, managing stress levels, working with people and a balance of hard work and luck are just some of the other factors that triggers your capacity and readiness in starting a business.

    • Yes, totally agree! I’d also say that the willingness to persevere and the ability to manage stress will is actually evidence of maturity.

  5. Hi Dale!
    I am a 37 year old wife, married for 13 years, a mother of 2 wonderful children, an 18 yr old daughter and a 6 yr old son. I am also a Certified Yoga Teacher, as well as a Certified Personal Trainer. I live in Rancho Cucamonga and am a part of the Rancho Cucamonga Kangaroos. Your story is so inspiring! I love reading your blogs, posts and listening to your YouTube videos. I have always had dreams that are much greater than myself! It is that dreamer in me that keeps me in love with life and people. It is that hope within me that keeps telling me that I have been preserved for a higher purpose! It is the voice of faith of hope of God that is restless within me preventing me from settling and just living a normal life. I choose to believe that all things are possible! But, as you mentioned in your article. I found myself on a journey alone. Walking in a direction that began to bring strife, emotional stress, financial stress and division in my marriage. My prayer and hope is that God will reveal the purpose he has for my husband and I as one team, united, walking together towards our higher purpose in life. I’ve had to take a step back and work on my marriage. At the moment I continue to enjoy life, staying positive, patient, joyful, and hopeful. I am enjoying every moment with my family, friends and my yoga students. I believe in oneness in marriage and will wait on the Lord! Our 14 year wedding anniversary happens to be on June 29th!!! Same day of the StarpupCamp confrence. My husband is at a point in his life where he is tired of the corporate world. Missing out on precious moments with his family. Missing out on making a life. The thing is that he has not found his passion or purpose in life. Please keep us in your prayers. I am praying that he will be open to attending the startupcamp confrence in Bend on June 29th!
    Thank you for living out your purpose and passion!
    Veronica Ramirez

  6. #5 You have burning desire to change the world.

    Let’s face it, many entrepreneurs don’t get into business solely to be able to quit their 9-5 or to go on vacations every month just like you noted in #1

    That will eventually get boring.

    The one thing that will keep you motivated to never give up in your entreprenuer journey is your passion to help other humans.

  7. Hey Dale,
    I’m a 29 year old videographer/filmmaker from Duluth, MN. I’ve been teaching myself videography for the last year and a lot of providential doors have opened up in a short period of time. Some of the people around me think I’m chasing a creative pipe dream when I tell them I want to start my own production company but I actually feel like the video production market is a great one to get into right now if you can put the pieces together. I’ve had some hesitancy with startup camp because I don’t always identify as a traditional entrepreneur but after reading this article I’m thinking it could be a great resource for taking the next step. What do you think Dale?

    Thanks for everything you do!

    • I think it’s a great idea. We’ve had many photographers go through the program and have benefited from it.

  8. Starting up your own business is not easy. You’ve earn a lots of experience of business running through doing jobs in other companies. I like the signs you’ve mentioned and these will help inspire people start their own business.

  9. I completely agree with point no4. If you want to be successful, you have to be confident. Thanks!

  10. Rachel Friedman says:

    Hey. I want to get out of rut of living of the same old salary. But one problem is that I am Deaf and won’t hear what you are saying!! Thanks

    • Hey Rachel. That’s tough. We don’t have transcripts at this point on the modules but keep reading the articles for now. We might have the module’s transcripted by the winter. Dont give up!

  11. Thanks for great article! Your 4 points clearly state that I’m ready to start on my own…

    • Yes! Do it! You’re more ready than you think. The time is now.

  12. Vera says:

    Dear Dale,
    thank you for your inspiring and encouraging articles and videos.
    In your video introducing the Start Up Camp you seem to primarily address people of your own generation — I’m 43 but I can confidently say I probably know less about real life and business than people decades my junior: I have only worked at universities without ever really fitting in, so it’s clearly too late for me to not go to college… but is it too late to become an entrepreneur? (Actually now that I’ve typed this, it seems rhetorical, since my own answer is that it can’t be!!).
    I have checked Yes on the above questions.
    I have a bundle of ideas revolving around my professional and personal skills and a strong desire to make a difference.
    While I thought I mainly knew academics, it turns out (now that I’m looking properly) I know a lot of shadow-artists who are making babysteps into a more creative and fulfilled existence, in some cases to distract themselves from the piling evidence of absurdity of how the educational system (here in Europe, but really all over the western world) is exploiting and deforming talented people. There is a lot of potential here waiting to be unlocked and a readiness for change that needs to be made more concrete. Is this utopianism or can it be the foundation of a business enterprise?
    I’m willing to learn what it takes to become self-employed and contribute to change things I think need changing rather than wasting more energy trying to fit in.
    Any feedback would be much appreciated
    All the best

  13. Hi

    I have read many of your articles and I find myself questioning my future. I am a 27 year old insurance broker, mother and wife and I feel that I need a new direction in life.

    Everywhere I have ever worked I have fully engaged in my work and wanted to learn everything I possibly could.I always find myself so happy in the beginning, I work hard, I was always proactive and very efficient and organised. I always go the extra mile and found myself working towards building a career there, thinking this is great! Then after a few years that desire starts to change and I find myself tired, unfulfilled, bored and I find my work monotonous. I start asking myself, can I honestly see myself doing this for the rest of my life? And always the answer is no.

    So I find a new job and continue the same cycle until about 4 years ago I joined this company and worked closely with my boss who has inspired me and taught me how to become a lichpin, indispensable and how not to be a drone anymore. Recently our company has taken a new direction and I am not sure whether I fit this new direction and now I am asking myself, maybe its time. Time to finally fulfill my real dream.

    I am terrified of the thought. I have always been really good at following instructions, never having to create my own instructions and the thought of having to be responsible for my own success scares me because, well, I am my worst critic.

    I know that I could be great working anywhere, but there is always this niggling feeling that tells me I am supposed to be exceptional somewhere else and that somewhere is just waiting for me to create it.

    Am I just being silly, or is this really the call of entrepreneurship?

    I know that God has called me to make a difference in the world, to help people heal and to teach them how to heal others and become an asset to the world and I kind of know how I want to achieve that, BUT…… Do I really have what it takes to be successful and how do I get started?

    Sorry for the long emotional essay, but this is the first time these feelings have ever been let out.

    Your thoughts and advice would be appreciated.
    Nicole Lowe
    South Africa

    • Nicole, your story is like one of many I hear! I’m so honored you chose to share it with me. It sounds like God is stirring up a big dream in you, which at first probably seems illogical and crazy! That’s how He works. 😉 You absolutely have what it takes, are you kidding? My greatest suggestion would be to join us at http://www.StartupCamp.com so you can explore what your future might look like for you, as well as have access to all my experiences, both successful and ones covered in failure. There are hundreds of people just like you in the StartupCamp community and I am very excited for you to surround yourself with others who are figuring it out, too! Hope to see you there, my friend. You can do this.


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