nine_to_five1I keep coming back to the idea of “The Great Escape”—making that all-important transition from the 9-to-5 life to full-fledged entrepreneurship. I know there are many employees who sit at their desks with a nagging entrepreneurial call. The idea of going out on their own is appealing, but they’re not sure: Are they ready to become entrepreneurs? Do they have what it takes to support themselves without that steady paycheck?

Many of these aspiring entrepreneurs have great ideas—and maybe you’re one of them. But the point I want to make today is that just having a great idea isn’t necessarily sufficient. The question is, does the idea make sense for you, right now?

Actually, that’s a little esoteric. Let me come at it even more pragmatically: How close are you to the money? Can you support the business on your nest egg? If so, then for how long? And if not, then how soon will you have profits coming in?

My first business, Recycle Frog, ended up being a smart choice for me because I was never more than a month away from the money; simply due to the nature of the business, I never had long waiting periods where there weren’t revenues coming in to help me support the business.

Figuring out how close you are to the money—how long it will take before those resources start coming in—is a fairly easy calculation to make, yet it’s amazing how many would-be entrepreneurs don’t take the time to work it out. So let me be blunt about it: When you’re contemplating The Great Escape, there is really no more important question than this one.

You may have a great idea for a business—but take your planning a step further. Ask yourself if you have the resources to launch the business. Ask yourself if you’re close enough to the money. And if you’re not, then maybe the best thing to do is wait until you are.