Starting your own business is a dream that mostly everyone has. After all, a successful mature business brings in passive income on a massive level. However for about 90% of the population, we start out as employees and self-employed. How do we transition from there to our own startup?
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Author’s Note: This entry is part 5 of the series “Business Myths” if you are curious about starting a business or have some questions to ask about starting one, please leave it in the comments section below.
If you didn’t know, I started out as an employee too. However unlike most people, I spent only 5 months working for my employer. After which I was given the wisdom to properly leave and build my own startup.
These are guidelines on how to properly leave your day job and start your own business. All of these are based on my personal experience and knowledge.
1) Don’t Jump the Gun
A lot of people see or hear an opportunity from others – whether it’s a friend, family member, or colleague – and simply quit their day jobs as soon as they can. This is not good.
There is the right time to leave and if you don’t wait for that time, you’ll get yourself in a financial disaster.
Think of it as jumping to a boat on the dock. If you jump too soon and the boat is still some ways off, you’ll hit the water and get all wet and muddy. It’s going to be a mess.
So how do you measure when the boat has arrived and you can jump? Two ways:
First – make sure you have enough for emergencies as emergencies are things that you MUST pay for and costs a considerable amount and is always unforeseen. These can be in the form of an accident, a broken down car, or even a leak from a hole in your roof.
Whatever it is, you must have enough cash to take care of these otherwise it will stab your startup business to death.
6 months of your monthly income should suffice to keep emergencies at bay.
Second – make sure you have proof of concept. Perhaps you have made a sale already – or fifty – whatever it is, you have to have your cashflow for the startup running already. Otherwise your business may not be a good idea and there might be no boat at all to jump into.
2) Start Small and Slow
Don’t take risks you can’t measure and you can’t pay for when you’re starting out just because of comfort or ego. If you don’t have a flashy car or watch, you can still make the sale as long as you have value. You don’t need those things!
If you don’t have a carpeted, air conditioned office, that’s okay – you can still make a cashflow positive business without those things!
Small, slow and steady does the job until you graduate from the startup phase to the growth phase.
3) Put in as much Work as you can
This is arguably the only direct factor you can put in in an unpredictable market. If you work harder than your competitors, the chances of you making your startup business successful increases exponentially.
If you put in 1 more hour of work every day or every night, that’s still 360 hours more than anyone else each year – and that matters. That makes a difference.
A lot of startups fail because the founders have the mindset of business being easier than employment because no one is telling them what to do. Actually the opposite is true. because no one is telling you what to do, laziness kicks in and stares at you in the face everyday, every hour.
Work extremely hard so that when the boat arrives, and you jump from your day job to your startup business, the boat is in tip top shape to take you where you need to go.
4) Let your Employer Know
When you’re working on your startup and it’s affecting your output on your day job, let your employer know what your plans are. This is so that there will be no question marks on your relationship with the people on your day job.
Gossip about you and how your work output isn’t what it used to be is something you don’t need looming over your head as you build a startup.
5) Leave with Honor
Turnover everything from your day job properly so that nothing can be said against you. If you fail to do this, you will be burning bridges.
And in the case your startup business doesn’t make it, you won’t have a job to come back to and a glowing recommendation if you skip this step.
So there you have it – these are the things you need to do as you consider leaving your day job to jump into a startup business opportunity. If you have some more things you think we can add to this, please leave your thoughts on the comments section below.