What’s stopping you from just walking out of your job to start your own business today?
It’s likely to be one of two things: common sense or integrity.
Both are very valuable commodities. But both can create extra excuses to keep us entrepreneurial spirits from stepping out of our comfort zones to try what we are really wishing to do.
So, whether it's common sense or a sense of integrity, what can we do to plan the escape from our 9 to 5 and start our entrepreneur journeys?
Common sense reminds us about all of the commitments, obligations, and responsibilities that show up monthly, weekly, and even daily.
How often are we reminded that it would not be smart to risk any of those commitments with any brash, cavalier action? Risky decisions could cost you dearly both in the immediate future and long term.
Also, you would put yourself and your new business under immense pressure if you were immediately in a float-or-sink scenario immediately at launch.
So as much as the entrepreneur might be aching to bust out, many of us fail to make the full time commitment because we recognize it is significantly better to have the support of your family, your bank, and countless other individuals and institutions before making a big move.
Meanwhile, positive reputations and career status can take a long time to earn. Many loyal employees with high integrity recognize the value their job has provided to them and their families for years. After forming relationships with your employers and colleagues, it can be hard to justify to ourselves why it's “okay” to leave them with your extra workload if you left. Plus, you never know when these connections can become useful and influential contacts down the road, so we fear burning any bridges.
It’s unwise and unhelpful to put your integrity in jeopardy when it’s absolutely unnecessary.
So, instead of just pulling the plug, it’s important to plan your escape from your current employment with both common sense and integrity in mind.
Preparing Your Business
Always prepare with plenty of research before taking any big leaps. In this case, learn everything you can about starting a business in general and how businesses succeed (and even fail) in the industry and niche you are planning to launch into. Find resources and mentors to help answer all of your questions before you make any decisions if you can.
Key Considerations For Your New Business Venture:
- Get an insider’s opinion. If you can get an insiders’ view by an owner running a similar business, it will serve you well. Standing on the outside looking in is a lot different from being on the inside looking out. It could save you a lot of time and money.
Find someone who has already walked the path you intend to tread and ask them, “If you were doing this all over again, what would you do differently?” Their answer will probably be the most valuable conversation you could possibly have for your new business.
- How will you scale up? Determine what you need to have in place to scale it to handle ever larger volumes of customers. Customers are the key, because they are the people who will provide your profits.
- How much time do you need to get the business started? Determine how much time you have available to get your business off the ground. Naturally, the more effort and energy you put in the quicker everything will go.
- How long will it take for your business to generate some meaningful profit? Make a reasonable estimate based on the information collected.
Once you’ve determined these aspects, it should be possible to calculate with some reasonable level of certainty what needs to be done in order for you to create a timeline for escaping from your current employment.
So, now you can quit your job, right? Hold on! You’re almost there!
Many smart people start their business as a side-hustle. Form the foundations of your business by working part-time from home while keeping your full-time job. Even if it takes 9 months or a year (or even longer,) to get it working efficiently and effectively, it’s got to be worth it, right?
While it may be a little exhausting at the beginning, it helps minimize the risk of launching a business and continues to keep your family secure with your continued paycheck. Plus, by tipping your toe in only part-time, you have the chance to learn about your target market and whether your product or service will really take off in the marketplace.
One incredibly popular ways to do this includes starting a shop and selling your products on Etsy (like I did!) You can also find freelance work on sites like Fivrr and Upwork if you are in industries like writing or graphic design.
Talk to people who have already made this kind of transition to get a clearer idea on what is reasonable and doable for someone in your situation. And remember, there are tons of communities online and through social media to connect with similar-minded entrepreneurs if you don't know many in your own circles!
Remember, your new business should not require 40, 50, or 60 hours a week. Even if you are hustling hard at the beginning, remember the long term intent is to increase profit and income potential while decreasing your personal time obligations.
It’s not about working hard. Your success will come from having a plan, an effective strategy, and the discipline and enthusiasm to follow through.
Once you’re confident that you have a profitable business plan, and you’re working part-time on your business and showing some profits, that’s the time for you to work out a sensible plan to quit your job.