“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. ” – George Bernard Shaw
Stephen Chen, founder of Petnostics, left the consulting world when he realized he wanted to work for himself and create something of his own.
“I definitely learned a lot in a short amount of time in the consulting world, but I wanted something more tangible,” Chen says. “I think what really got me to jump into starting the company was the challenge of seeing if I could really bring it into the market.”
Dropping presentation slides to help out his family business in medical devices, Chen eventually developed his own DIY pet urinalysis kit, under the brand name Petnostics, which allows owners to check their pet’s health instantly through an app.
Coming from a background in engineering and finance, Chen had to have several things in line before he made his pet project a full-time job.
Here are some signs it’s time to make that big leap yourself:
“You need to be able to survive in order to stay active and passionate about what you’re working on,” Chen says.
“When I talked to enough people about my idea, it got to a certain point where it felt like it could actually be something,” Chen says.
“It was in the back of my mind for a long time and I had done preliminary work and research to know that it was something that had potential,” Chen says.
Ask yourself: Is this passion project something that has been done before? How can I improve it?
“Startups are where you will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” Chen says. “There are days where I’m like oh this is awesome, I’m glad I turned it down. And there are definitely moments, too, where things aren’t going right and I’m like ah, maybe I should’ve taken that offer.”
Even if you end up finding out it’s not your passion after all, you’ll learn more about yourself. This will make you valuable in your next endeavor, whatever it may be.
“It might not be your true passion, but if you can work with people, or find a project that is interesting or kind of fast-paced, try and get involved. I think you’ll learn a great deal no matter what,” Chen says. “Having the regret is one thing that I didn’t want to have.”