5 Steps before leaving your Job for Entrepreneurship
A common question I get is: I want to quit my full time job to pursue my startup – what do I do before taking that leap? Here are my 5 key steps to take before leaving your full time job to become an entrepreneur.
1) Make sure your idea is viable!
This should go without saying, but I’ve got to put this one out there! Before you even THINK of leaving the security of your job, make sure you have tested the market. You have worked on your startups every evening/night and weekend, got in your first few clients and you know your idea will work…
Your idea being viable doesn’t just mean that you have potential customers! It means you can actually source and produce/manufacture the product at a cost effective price…
You can have the best idea in the world, but if it cannot be produced effectively it’s a non starter…
2) Take a reality check!
Let me put this straight. Entrepreneurship has been built up to be a glamorous role! Be your own boss. 4 hour work week. The truth ?! It’s a lot more grinding then fancy cars and hotels.
Unfortunately nowadays we are sold the image of the overnight entrepreneur – the next Zuckerberg of Facebook or Travis from Uber.
You cannot just turn up one day in a t-shirt and expect to be worth billions – its just not how it works. You have to put in work. The reality is that most startups fail and most entrepreneurs end up going back to work.
Dismiss your ego. Be prepared to hustle hard and stare failure in the face before ever coming out successful!
3) Personal Financial Plan
Now for the practical tip that a lot of people miss. Quitting your job means your main line of income is suddenly out of the pot. You have to be extremely confident that you have an alternative method of bringing in the finance you need to survive!
If you (and I assume the most of you won’t) don’t have a massive pile of savings to eat into, I suggest you do not even consider quitting your job until the business is generating enough to pay yourself a full time wage and cover your living expenses. When it does – you can afford to take it full time…
If you do have savings, make sure its enough to carry you over for at least 18 months! At least! You’ve got to give yourself a fighting chance… it takes time.
4) Discuss with those close to you!
Taking the leap into the entrepreneurial world is not just tough on yourself, it can be tough on the people around you! Make sure you’ve discussed this move thoroughly with your spouse, kids, support network. You may be prepared to tough it out on the floor of a 1 bed flat, but your family may be comfortable just where they are…
5) Don’t cut loose!
Some people may call this a bit pessimistic, but I call it hedging! Take smart risks. Don’t cut away from your old job in a reckless manner – keep the door open. In the worst case scenario that your startup tanks, at least you know you can go back and collect your salary again and keep the roof above your head! Don’t listen to all these entrepreneurial stories that tell you to cut away and go for broke. Be smart, make calculated decisions, do your homework then grind away…
Ultimately, cutting away from your day job to chase your business dreams is a big step, which caries big pressures with it- but it’s definitely worth it. Make sure you are prepared, but don’t overthink it.
But I have to cut of this video with a disclaimer – business and entrepreneurship is categorically not for everybody! You will know very quickly in whether you have the stomach to do what it takes to run your own business. IF you find that its not for you and that you much rather the secure income that comes from a salary then there is no shame in returning to your job.
But for those who the entrepreneurial route keeps calling, its an exciting and challenging path. You never know where the next hurdle will emerge from and that’s what keep it feeling alive!