I am pleasantly surprised by the number of calls I have started getting from people who want to know about how I managed to become a successful entrepreneur, its besides the point that the successful part is questionable to a great extent, but nevertheless, its a good kick that people think you are worth calling for advice :-).
Its good to know that there are a lot of people who are allowing themselves to think outside of the comfort zone of monthly pay checks and fairly limiting work environments. Its also good to know that people have such brilliant ideas about new business ventures and I hope they manage to convert them to reality.
One thing that concerns me though is that most people who are looking at a potential entrepreneurial journey come with an exception clause, if this does not work out in 3/6/9 months then I will go back to a job. This is the single most reason a lot of these entrepreneurial journeys fail to proceed as planned.
My advice to anyone who is looking to start their own venture is to not have that exception clause, not at least something which is below 2-3 years. I remember someone mentioning to me a comment by one of the entrepreneurs about how he had become an instant/overnight success after 20 or so years of struggle. Business is like that, it takes a lot of time to establish and create a business venture. Very rarely does it happen overnight and a minimum timeframe that one should look at is 2-3 years. The problem is we only hear of the success stories packaged such that they feel like overnight successes.
Most of the times it takes a minimum of 6-9 months to just research, hone and put your idea to a shape where it can then be taken to some plan of execution into reality. The business comes much later, so many of these friends who call, end up quitting too early and are back in their cushy comfort zones before the action actually is set to begin.
When one decides to go out on ones own, you have to take that as a long term career goal, unless ofcourse if you realise that you are really bad at it. Even then I would advice looking at role models in Tushar Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, Bobby Deol etc, who have never allowed the handicap of not being good at their craft stopping them from doing what they really want to do.
My simple thought for all people wanting to take the plunge would be to jump in and jump in deep and then stay in, don't think of being too close to the sides so that you can pull yourselves out, an important lesson I learned during swimming classes which comes in handy in real life as well :-).
Go ahead follow your dreams, all the best.