What If You Still Have A Job?
What do you do if you want to be a full time entrepreneur, but you're working full-time in your day job? Transitioning from a desk job to entrepreneur can be intimidating and overwhelming. If you know you’re destined for more, then you’ve probably asked yourself these big questions:
How will I make this big dream of mine come true? How do I turn my on-the-side gig into a full time job? How do I quit by job and build my business in a way that's sustainable over the longterm?
Before you send your resignation letter or storm out of the office, I’ve come up with the ultimate way to move onto that next chapter in your life with class and grace. Consider the following factors that can help you transition from the corporate world into a full-time business owner.
1. Overcome any fear you have about starting your business
Who wouldn’t be scared to go out alone and start their new business?
It's a leap of faith, which means it isn't guaranteed. On the other hand, it's new and exciting, which you should embrace completely because you can finally start living your dreams and see where this potential can take you. If you never try, you'll never know.
If you're feeling passionate about something other than your current day job, pursue it and see where it takes you. You are the only curator of your life, and only you can decide whether you want to switch it up and try something new. At the end of the day, the only choice that matters is yours.
Fear can be a good thing – it gives an extra drive we all need sometimes to seize the day and try something new. Routine can often bring us comfort – knowing what to expect each day. Why not try something different, at least once?
Don't sit around and wait for an opportunity to present itself to you; make it happen yourself! Reach out to people who've done it before. Do as much research as you can about your chosen field of business, and make sure you're in it for the right reasons.
2. Examine your numbers to make sure your business is profitable
With that added motivation, you need to check your numbers and make sure this next career move is actually possible for you. Before quitting your job and starting your own business, determine whether you can financially support yourself while these big changes are taking place.
This might mean you need to focus on a clear numerical income that you want to make each month (week or year) - insight that can help you decide if you can afford to leave your job now or stay on until you are more financially stable.
One of the best tips I can give you is try to downsize and slowly adjust your workload rather than quit your day job completely. It might be viable to ask your current employer if you can start working remotely, or even transition to a part-time position. There is absolutely no point in rushing this step, and potentially losing your full-time job and source of income in the process.
3. Balance the demands of your career with the demands of your business and home life
Juggling both the demands of your current job and your new business can feel a little overwhelming, especially when you need both to stay financially stable. Dedicate any spare time you have to make your business work - at night, after work, over the weekend, and any time in between.
Tony Khohn, creator of Agile Lifestyle said something which really resonated with me: “At some point, the entrepreneur decides to trust in herself and her ability to respond to changing circumstances.”
Don't forget that you shouldn’t neglect your current job – but be aware of the bigger picture and where you see yourself in the future. Is it with your current corporate job or is it being your own boss, travelling the world and impacting people from all over? Keeping the bigger picture in mind helps keep your priorities where they're meant to be.
For me, it started with little adjustments like blogging to and from the commute to work, finding spare time to connect with other like-minded individuals, attending masterminds both online and in my city, and even answering business emails at every opportunity I had. If you feel passionate about a side project, it won’t feel like a chore to set the right foundation and get the ball rolling.
4. Try to negotiate flexible working conditions and navigate tricky conversations with your current manager
If your workplace is flexible, negotiate a system where you can still get your work done, but start your business on the side. This could involve working remotely from home – and still having enough time to work on your business (without feeling rushed), working on the weekends, and having your workload readjusted to support the growth of your side business. There is absolutely no shame in asking your current employer if this is at all possible, since it can make your life a lot easier!
Plus, there are a few ways around the normal 9-5 working hours that could leave you with some extra time to navigate and set the foundation of your future business. Use your time wisely and make the most of any days off you've accumulated, and maximize on your free time by turning it into a productive working session for your business.
One of the most important ways in which I dealt with this balance was by keeping myself extremely organized. I had a list of tasks or goals that I wanted to complete on daily, weekly and monthly basis for both my business and my corporate job. While at the same time I had the support of my husband who made sure my finances were in-check throughout the entire process.
5. Work on expanding your following and sphere of influence
One of the best ways to get in touch with other like-minded individuals is to join a mastermind. I’ve discussed the power and merit of mastermind groups before, but they are essentially insightful meet-ups that have been specially designed to not only help participant find solutions, but overcome the challenges we all encounter in our everyday life.
The amazing part of joining a mastermind is that, with time, you'll feel comfortable enough to discuss your not only your successes, but your downfalls too.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and how passionate you are about making this side project your main priority and source of income. Now is the best time to get serious about making this dream a reality, and to make sure you have goals to work towards over a monthly or yearly basis.
I completely understand the fear associated with leaving a secure career, but if it's not making you happy then maybe it's time to take charge and try something new. Start to take this new venture seriously, put in the hours on the weekend, start working part-time if your finances allow it. Make it your goal and priority; make it a commitment.
If I can do it, there's absolutely no reason that (with the right support and guidance) you can’t quit your job and create a successful, fulfilling business too. Have your goals in mind, do what you can with the time and tools you have available, and above all - don't give up!