Ok, you’ve decided that you are not happy at your job and that you no longer want to work there. That’s amazing! But instead of being impulsive, it’s best to take a deep breath and weigh all the pros and cons to be 100% sure you’re ready to take this leap of faith.
Before you quit, you need to figure out ways to make money outside your main job. Impressive businesses don’t just happen overnight. It might take you a couple of months before you land your first client, or create your first piece of digital business. Therefore, it’s best to have at least your basic expenses covered before you choose your last day.
Calculate how much you pay each month for necessities: rent/mortgage + bills + food + insurance.
Then add gas money, entertainment fund (going out, clothing, subscriptions), and don’t forget to add a small batch of emergency cash – you know, emergencies usually happen in the worst possible moment. Plan ahead so you don’t get caught with your pants down.
When you have the number, multiply it by three, or better yet by six or 12. That should be enough to keep you comfortably covered for three, six, or 12 months. The bigger the reserve, the better.
If the number is too big, it’s time to downsize for a while.
Make coffee at home, eat all your meals at home, cancel unnecessary subscriptions, move to a cheaper apartment/smaller home (if possible), relocate to the city/state with lover taxes and living expenses, sell stuff you don’t need on Craigslist or eBay, etc.
When you work at your job, you get used to having a steady stream of cash coming in every month. The more you make, the more you rely on. You need to break that cycle now and start stashing away every last penny, or you’ll never be able to leave.
P.S.: always expect that you’ll need to make some sort of an investment in your little business (software, camera, new computer, office chair, etc.). Account that money on top of your living expenses.
Okay, you’ve done your initial downsizing right? If you didn’t already, return and do it. Once you successfully downsize, apply minimalism to your life.
Cut back on everything before you quit. You’re going to make a lot less than when you were employed, and it’s going to be harder and more stressful, therefore you need to reduce stress to a minimum.
Go car-free, rent a room to strangers, sell almost everything you don’t want, need, or use. Even sell things you do like, like TV, game console, etc. – get rid of all possible procrastinators. Do this until your only expenses are food, rent, and insurance.
Things keep you rooted in a place and away from taking more risks. You can’t pursue your dreams if you’re surrounded by crap.
The more you remove, the more flexible you will be, and you will have the opportunity to focus only on your business when you need to.
Starting your own business and working for yourself seems easier than it is when you’re at your job. But once you quit, you won’t have a coworker to help you, you’re all alone with everyday challenges – especially in the beginning. And trust me, you’ll have a million questions about a million little things you’re now unaware of.
Find someone who’s already successful in the branch of business you want to go into and talk to them. Actually, having a mentor is one of the habits that most self-made millionaires have.
Important: there is no magic formula for success, every case is slightly different, so don’t expect them to give you an exact recipe to follow (you’re not baking a cake, you’re starting a business).
In the end, you still have to put all the work yourself, but an experienced mentor can guide you along your entrepreneurial journey ensuring that you don’t make the same mistakes he/she did.
Don’t know where to find a mentor? Internet, books, and the local community are the perfect way to start.
A fancy degree means nothing if you can’t put the knowledge you have to actual use. People in business (clients and business owners) don’t usually care about your college degree. They just want to get what you promised.
To assess your skills, you need to be very honest with yourself. Your future success literally depends on it. Ask yourself:
After you finish you’ll have a better picture of what you’re good at and what needs improvement. Sometimes you will be able to apply the skills you already have in a different way. Other times, you’ll have to give up on everything you’ve known so far and start all over again.
If you miss certain skills for the business you want to enter, you have to learn. A lot. Competition nowadays is fierce. But there will always be a place for proactive people ready to learn and re-learn.
Adopt a growth mindset – you don’t know everything and you never will — and that’s okay. Even if you are at the top of your field, new discoveries are made daily. Therefore, to stay relevant, you need to constantly improve your skills.
I would recommend that you devote some time to developing your personal skills as well. Knowing how to clearly express yourself and adapt to various situations is key in being an entrepreneur.
Oh, I almost forgot, learn how to keep your procrastination under control. You’ll need it.
When entering a new business, you’ll have to learn a lot. But don’t try to be Jack of all trades. Pick something and specialize in it – it’ll save you both time and money in the long run. And with time, you will establish yourself as an expert in the field.
Of course, you need to know some basics of everything to run a company, but if accounting isn’t your thing, hire an accountant.
Let’s be honest, you deserve some time off. You may not be able to take a trip for financial reasons, but I would really encourage you to consider taking at least a few days off, even if to do nothing but relax and gather your thoughts before getting ready for your next phase in life.
Have some other valuable tips? Let me know in the comments below.
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