We hear a lot of coaches and mentors preach and tell people that it’s okay to just leave their jobs and “take that leap” without a solid plan or a fallback. While that might seem appealing to many, especially those who can’t wait to dip their toes (or perhaps dive head-first) into entrepreneurship, that really isn’t the smartest way to get started on your business. This is something I can personally attest to, so let me share with you a quick story you might be able to relate to and that might help you build a better strategy.
When I had my first business, I was very excited. I wasn’t worried about anything and I was ready to conquer the world. Even without a plan or a fallback, I believed my passion alone was enough to make me succeed. I just went for it! And it wasn’t long before I went completely broke — to the point of having to rely on food stamps. It got that bad but I was lucky enough to have been able to bounce back and get smart. I decided I would never ‘just go for it’ and I developed a plan and a strategy for the next time I gave it a try.
There’s nothing wrong with having a job. I’ve worked great jobs and they make for great stepping stones and fallbacks. But not everyone is designed to work for somebody else. I know YOU’RE NOT. That’s why you’re here. If you have a passion for something that you believe you should be doing, I want to help you do it.
- Shut Up
The first thing you’re going to want to do is SHUT UP. Running your mouth in the break room trying to recruit all your colleagues to support your new business isn’t as effective as you might think it is. Especially if your business still only exists in your dreams. Another way to run your mouth without actually opening it is by not being mentally present while you’re at work. You don’t want your employer zeroing in on your performance or on you hosting a premature launch party during lunch hour. Figure out a way to keep your job intact while you build your dream. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
- Reduce your expenses
This almost goes without saying. This is something we also like to call ‘being broke on purpose’ because yes, being on a budget feels a lot like being broke. You might have to cut back on a lot of things (like getting your nails done or that weekly steak and wine dinner) but remember: YOU’RE ON A MISSION.
- Save 6 months to a year’s worth of income
6 months to a year’s worth of income would be the ideal amount for you to save up, but not everyone can do that. It makes for a great goal to want to achieve though and try to remember that in traditional businesses (before the internet) people would even get business loans. There’s almost no need for that these days but we still have bills to pay while we wait for our businesses to grow, thrive and start making money.
You have to look at your business more as if it’s a seed. Farmers don’t just stand around and yell at the seeds they plant to grow, do they? So for us entrepreneurs, we can’t just stand around and not do much else other than talk about making money. We have to water the seed, till the land and we also have to understand one thing… We do not control the sunlight, which is essential for the seed’s growth. God does. You can plan, you can nurture and you can harvest but always remember: The sunlight is controlled by somebody else.
- Get your insurance
Once you quit your job, most of the insurances that go with it (like medical, for example) gets left with it too. And you’d be surprised to know how much these things cost so you have to plan around them. This isn’t exactly fun stuff but it is the absolute truth, and I’m speaking from experience here. It’s one of the biggest breakers that could hit you once you let that job go so it’s best that you’re prepared.
- Give your business time to grow
I’ve already mentioned it but it really is important to allow your business to grow and thrive in time. Like I said, you can’t just stand there and yell at your business to start making money. And you can’t throw money at it either and expect it would be successful overnight. You can buy all the programs and courses in the world but at the end of the day, you still have to have your own plan because it doesn’t go the same way or as quickly for everybody. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely ways to accelerate the growth of your business, but just because you see someone say, “I quit my job and in 90 days, I was already making 6-figures!” doesn’t mean it’s going to go the same way for you too.
At the end of the day, it’s really still trial and error. And you can’t buy your way out of that. You’re going to have to test some things on your own. Luckily, there are coaches that can help you along the way but you’re still going to have to go out there and prepare to bump your head a little. It’s not just about taking risks, it’s about taking calculated risks. Think things through and have a plan. Take that leap but always calculate before you do so. The power of the introvert is that we’re very observant, we observe people and situations. Put that power to good use. Look and observe, plan around things and make sure you have a solid strategy before you “just go for it”.
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