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A friend of mine started his own law firm with a partner about a year ago, after spending many years working for a large Bay Street firm.

Since breaking out on his own, his business has flourished, and he seems to be enjoying being his own boss, rather than just one of many partners.

I asked if he had any regrets about not doing his own thing earlier.

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It is a question that many entrepreneurs who become successful think about, because it is difficult not to wonder whether it could have or should have happened sooner.

The answer my friend offered is what I expected: In theory, he would have done it earlier, but the timing didn't seem right. He finally made the move when he was ready to make the commitment, which involves a degree of risk.

For many entrepreneurs, timing is everything. It takes a combination of experience, circumstance, connections and luck to make the leap to becoming an entrepreneur.

Sometimes, the leap seems like a natural move because you have the experience and confidence to pull it off. Sometimes, becoming an entrepreneur is forced upon you.

When I made the decision to start my own consulting business, it happened because I was laid off from the startup where I was working.

For all the benefits of being an entrepreneur, becoming one can be a matter of it being part of your personal DNA or something you need to do because it seems like the best option on an employment landscape that is, at best, volatile and uncertain.

Another important consideration in deciding to embrace entrepreneurialism is what you want to get out of it.

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Seth Godin, a leading marketer, author and entrepreneur, wrote a recent blog post about what entrepreneurs want.

He talked about the goals and objectives of being an entrepreneur. Are you looking to build a business? Do you want to have a team working for you? Do you want a lot of, or minimal, risk? Are you looking to build a large business or a one-person show?

Mr. Godin summed up his post with perhaps the biggest question: "And finally, and most important, why? Why are you doing this at all?"

There are many considerations that factor into the decision to become an entrepreneur.

At the end of the day, there is the right time and right place for it to happen. Often, you don't know when that comes until it arrives on the horizon.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, a communications and marketing strategic consultancy that works with startups and fast-growing companies to create compelling and effective messaging to drive their sales and marketing activities. Mark has worked with four startups – Blanketware, b5Media, PlanetEye and Sysomos. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshmarketing and meshwest conferences.

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT







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