What's the best way to find the courage to transition into your own business full time?
I've been working on a side business for several years. I really want to make it a full time job, but have been nervous to take the leap. I would love to hear from others who have made the transition. What got you motivated? Any words of advice?
Here are few things to think about before you decide to go full throttle:
1. Do you believe you can make it? If yes, good. If no, walk away.
2. Have you assembled a thorough business plan? If not, start one now.
3. Have you figured out what you will need in financial support? Figure 18 months on your dime.
4. Do you know how your business will generate revenue? This is a must for financial stability.
5. Do you have a mentor or small circle of friends who will support you and hold you accountable for working on your business? If not, don't go it alone.
Once you account for these 5 areas, you are as ready as you need to be. The rest takes time, planning, good decision making and action.
Thirty years ago the big ad agency I was with decided to close the office I was in and gave us three months notice and some severance. I was ready to look for another job, but one of my colleagues was very enthusiastic about our partnering and starting a new agency together. And he talked me into how great things were going to be! Then, one month before lift-off, he got cold feet!
I had to completely change plans, so I want and talked with a couple other older guys who had started one-man ad agencies and got a lot of excellent advice, and much-needed personal encouragement.
In the breakup of the previous agency's client list, one of my clients said they wanted to go with me if I started my own shop. And my overall assessment of the situation was very simple: I calculated that if I didn't bring in a single nickel of profit I could stay afloat on personal savings for at least 9 months. At 6 months out, if things were not going well I would start looking for another agency job...The good news is, I was profitable every month from day one, and that first client, Tencor Instruments, stayed with me for another 15 years and grew exponentially (with some help from me :-) to ultimately become the giant KLA-Tencor. And that business brought me much more. It's been quite a ride!
My advice: Be conservative in your optimism, have a contingency plan, line up your ducks, and go for it!
Al Shultz alshultz.com/
Plan, save and take action. Look ahead 2 to 5 years and decide where you want to be and how much money you want to be making and make a plan on how to make it happen. Save money while still working to be able to pay for any start-up costs and to help with bills while building your clients/sales. And then set a start date and DO IT! You only live once my friend so live your dream if you can. To your success and good luck.
PS: Remember you can always go back to what you were doing if it doesn't work out. But you will never know if you don't give it a shot.
There is no getting away from it. You have to take the plunge. Basically how confident are you about your venture? How muchfaith do you have in the prodict or service you are offering?
I was in the work force and had a small business on the side. I decided to take the plunge and simply gave up my day job and worked full time in my business.
What I found important was:
Having a specific goal and focusing on that, not on the hinderances that get in the way.
Discipline. (See my article on discipline elsewhere on MosaicHub) . Getting stuck in and doing what you haver to do anyway.
I have found a successful action is to have a daily battleplan. Each day I work out what I am going to do the next day and write it done. The next day I then do it, no matter how long it takes.
I do not wish you good luck. Luck has nothing to do with it. I wish you many hours of long hard work and a satisfying feeling of, "I have done it!" at the end.
Flourish and prosper!
a) Pros-Con model: Most of us go Con-Pros way, i.e. think about concerns first. Problems feel so overwhelming that we decide to drop / defer the idea. As per Pros-Con model, first list down all the great things that can result out of you taking the leap. Visualize the best case scenario. This will give enough enthusiasm and strength to work on problems. So, then list down your concerns and write how will you overcome each.
b) 5-year scenario: How does your life looks like 5 years hence, if you (a) Continue with your present job (b) Take a leap. Now compare the two scenarios.
c) Minimum Income Level: Most of us want to make transition keeping our income levels same. This may not always be possible. So find MIL - Minimum Income Level. Three steps (I) Calculate your monthly costs and commitments required to sustain decent life standards (MIL). (II) Calculate the number of months, your savings can sustain you (Sustaining months = Savings / MIL). (III) Find out if your business can start giving MIL within sustaining months.
d) Purpose-Strength: Check if your new activity is in line with your Passion & Purpose (The things which you feel strongly about). Further, check if your role in new business is aligned with your core personality strengths. (You may explore taking up a psychometric test for this purpose).
Hope this is of some help. Best wishes for all your future endeavors.
The Business.com team recently published this guide to Quitting Your Day Job for Your Startup which may be helpful to you and other beginner entrepreneurs in your situation. First, map out your finances and make sure you have enough funds put aside in the case of an emergency. The first year of business is usually the least profitable, as you will spend time most of the time doing market research, testing, and adjusting your business strategy around your findings. As others advised if you don't have a business plan yet, make sure you craft a detailed one that includes your target audience, development stages, competitors, and projected profits and losses. I've always found vision boards to be helpful which outlines the business purpose and your goals for the business (both small and large). Having the why and how down on paper can help you see if you're really ready to make the startup your full-time gig.
Would you like to get married, right now, before the sun sets? “To whom?” should be your first response. Once you know to whom, then you’d like to know more: looks, character, what does he or she do for a living, their definition of success, their future plans, and much more. As a society, we developed social norms around all the stuff we do before getting married. It’s called dating. Duh! During the dating phase you sample, try out – and if it’s not a fit then you keep looking.
…obvious, but perhaps not.
Disney’s last hit movie Frozen sung to us how a young girl was caught between the heat of the moment and her desperate heart wanting to get married to someone, who she just met. Well, that’s the stereotype we have of entrepreneurs. That entrepreneurship is about taking on risks, to jump into the cold water and quickly learning how to swim before you plunge into the big waves of the business world – quit 6-digit salary job for launching a startup. These high rollers make for nice news articles and gather the crowd. They keep us glued to the next news story.
Most of my time, I spend on risk reduction, not taking on risk. Just like you would evaluate your life partner before getting married, you test your business idea. It’s commonly referred to as the minimal viable product. You create the business idea you have with the least possible amount of resources, such as your time and your money. Once you have the minimal viable product, you can take it for a test drive, try it out. That will give you a much better idea if this is for you. Go on a date with your business idea before committing.
Its not a matter of courage. Its a matter of not having the fear. We entrepreneurs are slightly whacked in the head. You see we are not afraid of failing. In fact we often have the knowledge that we won't fail whether that is right or not. Many times its not but we don't care.
We know that we have to try. Its not a matter of success or failure which is why its not a matter of courage. We have to try. We have the desire to do this thing, no matter what it is and if we don't do it, if we don't at least try then we know that anything less will make us miserable.
The notes below n checking your finances, knowing your product/service can make you xyz are all well and good but that is just society telling us that we have to be aware/careful/responsible etc. Pfffttt I say!
Can you live without transitioning your business to full time? If you can then don't. If you have the desire deep inside and it has to get out and you think the only way to let it out is to go out on your own full time, DO IT!
It's nice to have the safety nets but you don't need them. Do it smart, hedge your bets, but what have you got to lose? Your house? Been there, done that. Your car? Buy another one. Afraid you may end up living in it? I have slept in worse places.
Life is a terminal disease and we are all infected. You've got one shot. Make it count.
First 50 words: http://youtu.be/bmXumtgwtak
It keeps me focused. Find your motivation tune. Download it. Play it. Repeat.
OK. So you sell someone else's jewelry at parties.
So other than my initial thought of "don't do it" I'd say this-- it's a party based business so you mainly work in the evenings. Work yourself crazy- and even hire someone to hep you. When you consistently make 150% of your current take home then consider making the jump.
If it were your own jewelry line and you were considering going it alone on I'd perhaps give you a different answer. But you are totally at the mercy of the people you are selling for.
You know I have never done a party or MLM business of any kind. But I have one I am thinking about doing now. The dynamics are just so different selling someone elses stuff- and I know I haven't had a "job" in 12 years.
Your question is quite common amongst budding entrepreneurs. It is at this point that a business coach / mentor comes in handy. All you, and many other entrepreneurs, need is a push and a hand to hold (supportive words from your mentor). But before you think about jumping you need to do some self-assessment:
1. Does the business currently earn enough to support you if it took a while to gain more clients? A corollary to that question is do you have sufficient resources to support yourself whilst your business grows? When answering this question, double the amount of time you first estimate it will take for your business to be a success.
2. Do you have a business plan? Whilst it might sound like a silly question, few entrepreneurs make the jump with a plan in place and then wonder why the business isn't a raging success. If you don't have a plan I suggest you write one. It doesn't have to be 100 pages, just make it as detailed as your business. Even though you have achieved great things, the reality is that up to now you've had a hobby. Once you go full time, it is serious and you'll need a plan.
3. How deep is your market? Your response should form part of your business plan. Up to now you have been very successful or you wouldn't be asking this question. Have you tapped out the market or have you barely scratched the surface?
4. Are you passionate about what you do? Whilst I work with a select group of entrepreneurs, I get approached by many that I turn down, and my reason is simple; they lack the passion. You will strike many obstacles and there will be some very tough times. If you are passionate about your business, you will get through these periods. If you are not passionate, you will quit. In my experience it is your passion for what you do that will make your business a success.
I hope it goes well. Happy to help.
A great question.
The feeling of confidence in your own ability to survive both financially and as an individual is dependent on your own psychological profile.
When you get up in the morning - do you look forward to the challenges of the day- good or bad, or do you prefer to work to a set routine?
Do you have any fear of someone saying no to you, especially when you believe that you have done everything possible to suggest to that person that the only answer is yes?
When faced with what appears to be a massive problem ( or challenge ), do you feel confident enough to use all of your powers of deduction, or the strength of friends around you to be able to solve is as part of another day?
If you see the positive in this world long before the negatives, then you know in your own heart that you really can make it on your own.
The practicalities of running your own business can be learned.
Do you have a business plan - has it been tested? By the sounds of things you already know what your business "model" is. If you can see that there are enough customers out there and that you have the ability to be able to get them to pay the right price for your products or services, then taking it to the next stage is simple.
Sales and Marketing are skills - use your contacts and the internet to answer your immediate questions and do not take no for an answer.
Do you know how big you want your business to be?
A business needs to be managed every day so knowing where you are taking it will be essential.
As your business grows so will your experience. Always look for more than one way of getting to where you need to be. Find one way to do it best THEN DO IT!
I recommend that you outline the things that are making you nervous about taking the leap. For example - if you are worries come from the financial side - meet with your financial adviser. Outline a business plan that actually covers your start-up expenses, estimated first 3 year income, etc. Verify with your financial adviser that you have enough discretionary funds (or resources) to support your business for 3-5 years.
If you are nervousness is coming for your time-management and business model - work with your business coach to define your business plans regarding your business model, your target market (your niche), your branding, etc.
Bottom line - take the time to understand exactly what you are nervous about -- and face those issues with your expert support team (your financial adviser, your business coach, your family etc). People don't run their successful business by themselves.
As long as you have a pound of passion it should work out for you-----
I always advise the following: your head says one thing, your heart another, but your belly never lies...Trust your belly, have enough money saved for a trial period. To get the business started do a business plan, know your costs and keep your sales up and be realistic about your growth potential...Always figured do what you love the money will follow providing their is a market for your product and our services
This may not be entirely a matter of motivation. There is a huge difference between a side business and being in business for yourself as your primary means of income. I have coached many starting entrepreneurs to help them decide whether it's the right decision, what they need to do to be ready (this preparation often helps with the anxiety of the decision), and how to prepare their lives for the changes this inevitably brings.
There are also questions of long-term planning, ensuring you're accounting properly for the finances, etc. If you need more input on this, feel free to contact me directly.
Gerry Seymour - http://gerryseymour.com/the-basics-of-a-sound-business/
Hi Kate, you've received some great answers. Taking the leap is scary, but if you do your prep work, it's much easier. It sounds like you already have a lot of interest in your jewelry and have found some great sales avenues. You should think through your budget, understand your expenses and how much income you will need. I would plan out a year since things always take longer and unexpected bumps occur. Also, I have found that surrounding yourself with supportive people and some helpful mentors is a great way to stay motivated when things get tough. Best of luck.
Kate, I love this question - it is very self-aware of you. Meaning, you are open and honest about your fear - lack of courage, and because of that, you will take the right steps to push through it...though fear will be there, but it will be exciting fear.
Plan and simply - it is a more logical, black and white answer, than an emotional one. You can determine when you are ready to move into your own business full time simply by considering a number of things:
- Do you have the financial backing to set out on your own, knowing it will take time to ramp up enough income to pay bills and survive? If so, go for it, if not, what steps or actions do you need to take to get yourself there? Cash is Queen when you are running your own business...so be sure you have plans in place.
- What steps, compromises, sacrifices, pains are you willing to take on in order to go out on your own?
- Is your product ready for primetime, generating sales thus income. If yes, great, if not, be sure it is, using any free time to do so, prior to giving up your salary job. Note - this does not mean it has to be perfect, it just has to be enough to where you can earn money for it.
- What support system do you have in place to cheer you on, to help you, to hold you accountable to the business? It cannot be just you, and you have to answer to someone that you are doing the things you need to be doing, to build and manage the business.
- Lastly, do you have the belief in yourself to do whatever it takes to make your business successful - consider these things - Are you open to learning, Are you open to asking questions or for help, Are you willing to make mistakes, Are you ready to deal with the pain and joy of having your own business, Are you good with people - including family and friends, to be naysayers and to not support you, Are you able to forgive yourself for mistakes or bad judgement, Are you willing to do anything it takes to be successful (maintaining integrity/ethics/ your true self.
If you take the time to logically and in black and white, plan out all of the various pros, cons, fears, objections, and gotchas proactively, along with the steps you need to take to start, manage and grow your business...then you won't question if you are Courageous or not...there will be no fear if you can ensure the things above (and of course some other more business focused things) are thought about, completed and or addressed.. and you determined for yourself that you are READY to go out on your own...the question is not if you are ABLE or COURAGEOUS enough.
Nick has the most direct and helpful answer - just quit.
Cortez burned his ships to motivate his men. Left with only two choices fight or die, they fought hard. I often feel that people who work hard on their plan B are going to succeed with Plan A because they are not committed to it (the best Plan B is no Plan B). If this advice scares you, I don’t think you are ready. The fact you are asking us for advice also tells me you are not ready.
Let me add this though before you leap. What is the downside? Are you leaving a well-paying career with health insurance with kids at home? If the worst possible outcome is losing your home, you do need to be prudent. If this is just about you, well then you can put the pieces together again no matter what happens.
Here is a good formula that I have read in the book recently. Once your side business begins to bring 80% of what you make now, you need to quit your job (or whatever) you were doing to make your business a new full-time job. Let's say you can calculate how much minimum you need to meet the ends. Make your side business cover those needs. Once it does, transform it into something bigger.
do you have other income to support you?
if you love it, you are passionate about it and you know the disadvantages, yet you favor it to anything else, just do it
the best way to find the courage to transition into full time self employment is to make sure your books are up to date and accurate; not only for the business but for your personal finances as well. If you have QuickBooks, you can easily set up a second company and call it "Personal". On your personal, create two income categories. One for your Business Net Income and one from your W-2 Employment (including spousal income if any). For the business net income, just adjust the income monthly after the P&Ls are complete. for the W-2 income, when you record the check/direct deposit, use W-2 Income as the category. Set up Cash projections both with and with out your W-2 income. If you are showing a decent sized Net Income each month (or more often than not); then you are on your way to transitioning.
For myself, I reduced the W-2 income from Full to Part time and then ultimately none at all. This is especially easy if your skills lend themselves to temp work as the agencies can help you with finding part time/short term assignments to fill in those slow gaps.