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Tired of being overworked and underpaid? Ready to do your own thing?

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Well, you aren’t alone. I speak to women every week who say they want to take the plunge into converting their dreams, thoughts and ideas into reality. But, not so fast! Before you jump off the diving board to start your own business, here are a few tips you should consider.

1. Start Where You Are.

If you already have a full time job, it’s a little difficult to just dive into a new business venture. You have to create a written plan which includes the exit strategy from your current position, as well as, details your transition into the new opportunity.

While you’re working on that plan, get into the “hustle while you work” mentality. What does that mean? Well, as my friend Hotep, author of the book,Hustle While You Work states, “It’s about getting on your grind even while you have your full-time job.” When I met Hotep a few years ago, he’d written several books, filmed DVDs, traveled across the country speaking and was training other entrepreneurs to do the same, all while being a full-time elementary school teacher.

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No one is trying to kill your dreams here, but is it possible that you can use your 9-to-5 to jumpstart your 5-to-9? Ask yourself a few key questions:

Can my full-time job help me fund the foundation of my business?

Can I gain connections or credibility in this position I wouldn’t otherwise have access to?

Are the hours honestly flexible enough for me to manage my business around my job?

How much would it cost to pay for my own benefits, i.e. health insurance, retirement funding, etc.

Once you get real with yourself, you may find that it makes sense to stay on the job a little longer. Don’t let an overbearing boss or irritating co-workers force you out before you’re ready.

2. Test it out.

You might have the best idea in the world, but if people are not willing to pay for it then you don’t really have anything. You have to understand supply and demand. Before you just leave your job to pursue something you think will be a hit, make sure that you’re producing a steady stream of income from that business. Do the work to create a clientele that is waiting and wishing you had the time to offer them more. If people (NOT your friends and family) love the product or service you’re providing even with your limited amount of time, then you might really be on to something!

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