Joanna Wong had been stuck in the same corporate job for years, becoming more and more disillusioned, when she decided one day that things had to change.
"I was frustrated, I think, working in a large organization," said Wong. "I wanted to be able to make a bigger impact."
So, she quit her 9-to-5 job as a womenswear buyer in Australia, and set out to find what she hoped would be a more fulfilling path as an entrepreneur.
"The fashion industry wasn't being inclusive enough and didn't cater to plus-sized women ... I felt like I could enter entrepreneurship by solving a real problem for real women," continued Wong, founder and CEO of All Woman Co.
Wong is not alone in her vision. Indeed, almost half (49 percent) of U.S. millennials say they'd like to start their own business, according to a study by America's SBDC (small business development center).
Only it's easier said than done: Estimates suggest anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of new start-ups fail within the first few years.
So, just what is it that sets apart the successful few, and how do you know if you've got what it takes to follow their lead? CNBC Make It spoke to three entrepreneurs — each with different stories but all of whom quit employee life to pursue the entrepreneurial dream — and found three key things united them all.