One question I frequently get asked is, “How did you know?” As in, “How did you know when you quit your day job that it would all turn out OK? How did you know the bills would get paid and you wouldn’t lose everything you’ve worked for?” My first answer is this: I don’t recommend anyone quit their day job until they’ve created a business plan and gained experience with their small business venture. Think, act and play like the CEO that you are. Don’t know what ROI or KPI are? I suggest you find out, or hire someone that does. I worked my day job Monday – Friday while building my direct sales biz on the weekend. With a three- and five-year-old to care for, my husband had to fill in the gaps. It was a stressful six months for all of us, but it gave me the experience and confidence I needed to make my crazy idea work and leave my full time job.
My second answer is this: Giving up a weekly paycheck and going all in on your entrepreneurial dream is scary. Channel your fears, which my Mom called “sink or swim” moments, to motivate you to figure it out. You’ll be determined to keep your head above water, giving up all the excuses that are pulling you down. Fear can be a business life saver, giving you no other choice but to swim faster and harder.
When should your quit your day job? When you’re willing to do these 3 things:
Give up your stuff. Becoming a full-time entrepreneur to build your small business requires sacrifice. My husband and I cut back on everything from the Disney channel to the daily newspaper. Coffee at Starbucks? Forget about it. At the end of the day, none of those things brought us happiness. Get lean and mean by creating a budget with less frills. Cut back, dine in and clip coupons; it still beats working for someone else any day of the week.
Go “all in”. When you go all in on your entrepreneurial dream, there’s no looking back. Remember the inspiring “Who’s with me?!” scene in Jerry Maguire? Going all in is a wild, fun, exhilarating ride that will take you out of your comfort zone. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas you can come up with when you have to make your small business work. Seek out mentors, read books, attend conferences and join networking groups that will boost your business acumen and connections. Be prepared to invest in your personal growth and go on a life-changing journey that will enrich your life (and your bank account).
Fire your a$$. Being a good boss of you can be a challenge when you work from home. There’s so many distractions…GMA, The Ellen Show and don’t forget the big traffic jam in between your bedroom and your work space, which may be the kitchen table. The best advice I heard was from business consultant Kathleen Cashman. Kathleen says, “Fire yourself every Monday and work your butt off to get hired back by Friday.”
Quitting a day job is something most people dream about, but few will act on. When your why is big enough, you’ll figure out how to get there.
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about Direct Sales Success, Women’s Empowerment and Social Selling, and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her YouTube channel. Learn more about her VIP Group: The Visionista Connection.