I know it goes against what’s popular these days. It’s quite common to ditch your 9-5 career in order to chase your dreams and not somebody else’s dreams. I get it and I understand that you should run your own business.
I want you to think it through so that when you eventually “ditch” your 9-5 and pursue your own dreams and build your own business, you are not quick to jump back into the 9-5 life and then have to claim you were just testing the waters or needed sometime off.
You might feel underpaid and overworked and you are tired of the routine and monotony of your job. How about the struggle of getting your little ones ready for school super early in the morning just so you can drop them off in good time so you can make it to your job “early” - that is right before your boss shows up? Yes, the struggle is real, but it gets “real-er” when you make a premature decision to leave your job before you are truly ready and that’s what I want you to avoid.
Just as making healthy food choices is a lifestyle change and lifetime commitment, so also is entrepreneurship. You’ve got to eat it, breathe it and live it. It’s a mindset, it’s a way of life and the choices and decisions you make will have a huge impact on the success of your business.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll go through the growing pains of launching your business and you’ll have to put in the work. Don’t get too googly-eyed over full time entrepreneurs who are making five or six figures in one month by launching a course or a product. It didn’t happen overnight and they put in the work, a lot of work and no worries, you’ll soon discover that too. It’s not a walk in the park but focus, motivation and a “can do” attitude will take you a long way, especially when you feel like giving up.
I’m not anti-fulltime entrepreneurship, trust me I have big goals of running my own empire, but I want to make sure that you have the right expectations and you set yourself up nicely so that those growing pains I mentioned earlier don’t include ramen noodles and your family will not have to make sacrifices that could have been avoided.
Below are a few considerations before pulling the plug on your 9-5 career:
Preparation is key! Prepare for this new phase like your life depended on it because it would. Get your work space ready and figured out; will you work from your home office, rent a small office space or make use of a co-working space?
Figure out adjustments that would need to be made with your family and have a backup plan. Get prepared mentally, prepare daily affirmations to start your day. Start to make adjustments in your life as if you were already a full time entrepreneur. Research private healthcare insurance and private retirement savings plans.Ramp up your networking both online and offline.
Make sure you are financially stable. Begin to stash up at least 12 months worth of income before you quit your 9-5. You want to ensure that you have a nice cushion that is separate from your family’s savings.
Don’t rely on new sales to boost your profits in the first 90 days of becoming a full time entrepreneur. Be sure that you have enough to cover your expenses for the first six months.
LEVERAGE YOUR CORPORATE KNOWLEDGE & KEEP LEARNING
Use your corporate knowledge to your advantage. Corporations implement tools to grow their business, improve customer experience, effective communication, resource planning. You might think it does not apply to your small business but it does, you can scale it down to the size of your business.
CHECK YOUR COMMITMENT
How committed are you to your business? Is this a hobby or fad? Be sure that you are committed for the long run and not just for a season. Go back to your WHY. Why did you decide to launch your business? You WHY should be for a purpose greater than you. If this is get rich quick plot, then don’t waste your time. Sit tight in you 9-5 job.
START PULLING PROFITS
Have you been able to monetize your business so far? What kind of numbers are you pulling? Do you have steady profits coming in from month to month? Do you understand your customer behaviour?
Start preparing your customers, especially if your business is service based. Gradually start accepting more work and even ask your customers for referrals. Make sure you are seeing REAL profits before you quit your 9-5 career.
FLEXIBLE WORK OPTIONS
Corporations are beginning to offer flexible work options such as work from home options where you work remotely. This saves you time commuting to and from work, which give you more time to work on your business.
Other options are compressed work weeks where you can make arrangements to work all your full time hours in less than 5 days which is a typical work week. For example you could compress your work week into 3 or 4 days whereby you are working longer hours per day but you get 1 to 2 days off your 9-5 to work on your business.
DON’T GIVE IN
Don’t put undue pressure on yourself and don’t let others put pressure on you. Remember that the goal is for you to get out of the 9-5 life and stay out of it for good.It can be enticing when you see what others who left their 9-5 are doing but remember that we each have your own journey and race to run.
Ultimately, leaving your 9-5 career is a BIG decision that you’ll have to make if you truly want to chase your dreams and only your dreams. I’m rooting for you!