Women are increasingly taking life and career into their own hands and starting businesses or going freelance. In the US, women are starting businesses twice as fast as men. But only less than 2% of women owned businesses make it above the crucial $1 million mark. And even more often those dreams of doing more meaningful work, being your own boss and earning for yourself are parked because women arrive to the gates of entrepreneurship totally unprepared.

When you are frustrated with your current job, starting your own business may sound like the only way out, but decisions made in haste rarely end successfully. In my view, women would be much more successful if they’d allow more time for the ‘brewing’ period before starting on their own. And spend it effectively, learning and gathering resources, rather than thinking they can get into it once they resign.

Transition from a ‘career mindset’ into an ‘entrepreneur mindset’ takes time. The reason so many women find it too hard to start is they arrive to the bottom of the entrepreneurial mountain completely unprepared. And I’m not talking about the practicalities about starting a business. Registering a trademark or raising capital are usually the smallest of your worries at that point.

You may think about it this way. Would you climb a mountain if you were not prepared? Would you start a long trek up the hill if you didn’t know why you are climbing, and what you are looking for? Do you even know it’s the right mountain? Do you have all the right tools in your backpack?

One of the DrivenWoman members told me last week how she got frustrated with her job and resigned to stay at home for a little while in order to start her own business. After a year she realised she wasn’t ready. She didn’t know what business she wanted to start and she was not prepared. Instead, she made a very wise decision, she went back to work in a similar field she had resigned from earlier. She’s enjoying the work now because she has given it a different meaning. Her mindset has changed, she knows she will start her own business at some point in the future, when she’s ready. The current job is her core expertise so she can do it with relative ease. That leaves time and energy to explore future opportunities and learn skills she will need when she wants to take off. And most importantly the bills get paid.

There are so many areas women are ignoring when approaching entrepreneurship. What people don’t realise is that it often takes many years to be ‘ready’ to build something successful. It takes couple of iterations, many failures and dead-end streets before you can go full speed.

We should all be constantly thinking what we have in our backpacks. Are we packing something useful and  getting prepared for the climb long before we arrive to the bottom of the mountain. We need to study maps, we have to pack for changing weather, we need tools so we can be prepared for difficult situations. There should be enough water and food so we don’t have to turn back just because we run out of resources. And most importantly we need to build our mindset to be able to conquer the mountain.

Start packing your backpack today for a future adventure. The adventure may be many years into the future, but if you arrive unprepared you are likely to try once, fail miserably and never attempt it again.

It has taken me 5 years to get prepared! Many iterations, lots of mistakes and learning, piles of books and meters of webpages later, I know now I’m ready, ready to climb any mountain.

~ Miisa

DrivenWoman Entrepreneurial Workshop ‘Should I Go Solo‘ on 26th of November 6:30 pm, is not about starting a company. It’s about a ‘what if’ scenario, if one day you want to go on an adventure. Are you prepared?