Chris Gomersall loved working at Facebook. However, he was also certain that he wanted to leave it behind to found his own startup.
So when he left the tech giant to run cloud-based marketing software company Atomized in 2015, he had no regrets.
“It was really more of a calling,” Facebook and Instagram’s first creative strategist told Business Insider. “I was running to something rather than away from something.”
Many people love the idea of building something or becoming their own boss. But that doesn’t mean everyone’s cut out to be an entrepreneur.
Gomersall provided Business Insider with four signs you might be ready to take the plunge and work for yourself:
1. Your work doesn’t feel like work
Gomersall was still working full-time at Facebook and Instagram when he started his side project Atomized. However, he didn’t let the double workload stress him out.
“I think in general when you find a job you love, it just doesn’t feel like work,” he says. “It never felt like anything more than doing what I love.”
Having a passion for what you’re working on — whether it’s a side hustle or your full-time entrepreneurial gig — is crucial. You’re going to need that love and enthusiasm if you don’t want to burn out
2. You have a support system
Gomersall says it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you, on both a professional and personal level.
“Entrepreneurship is a very lonely environment,” he says. “Going from Facebook, where I was just surrounded by people constantly, to sometimes being on my own for a week at a time while visiting clients, it’s always important to turn back to that support system and those people that care about you.”
3. You’re realistic
Forget all the stories you hear about overnight successes. Entrepreneurship is about putting in a ton of hours of hard, thankless work before you achieve your goals.
So, before you quit your job to pursue the life of an entrepreneur, make sure that you have realistic expectations (and a solid timeline of when you’d like to achieve certain goals).
“At some point, if you’re going to go skydiving, you’ve got to have a backup parachute,” Gomersall says.
4. You don’t mind a little (or a lot of) discomfort
Gomersall says that anytime he starts to “get comfortable” in a job, he immediately wants out. Entrepreneurship is anything but comfortable. The Facebook alum likens the life of an entrepreneur to “getting punched in the face over and over again.”
“Then one day, it’s amazing,” he says. “And then you go right back to getting punched in the face. What kept me going was thinking about the most successful people in history and the discomfort that drove them. Keep in mind that that darkness and struggle is what produces the most powerful companies, idea, and products. I think people forget about that.”
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