So, you want out. I can remember when I felt the same way: If your boss tells you what to do one more time, you’re going to lose your mind….
Perhaps, I’m being overly dramatic (perhaps not if you know that your passion cannot be fulfilled sitting behind someone else’s desk) but the point is you want to try your hand at being your own boss because you are quickly becoming corporately unemployable.
So, how do you make the shift? My recommendation, very carefully and well planned out. What’s not okay is going into your boss’ office and throwing your letter of resignation at him because he’s pissed you off again. My recommendation is that you not burn any bridges in this process. Your former employer may become your client, like it has for me on more than one occasion.
While I believe that the allure of entrepreneurship is enticing, I find it necessary to set you straight. Entrepreneurship, albeit rewarding, is hard work. Especially until you truly become an entrepreneur with a team of people supporting and running your business day-to-day so you are free to work on your business. While I can’t recall who said it, it is very true, “You can’t work in your business and on your business at the same time.”
Until then, be prepared to sacrifice and to get a little less sleep. Be prepared to modify your lifestyle, at least temporarily, unless you planned effectively and use your employer as your primary investor, really positioning yourself to be able to step away in 12-18 months, (that is by the way, how long it can take to get a new business running fiscally sound.)
So, I know you and I know that you want to be gone yesterday. But, before you can set your date, there are a few things you need to do.
1. Clarify your personal vision. Right now, having a job is affording you some amenities, yes? Shifting to full-time entrepreneurship could impede the progress you’ve made in your lifestyle unless you clarify your personal vision and declare that the work you endeavor to do in your business aligns completely with your personal vision. Be honest with how you want to live and be sure to do your research (a separate step all into itself to ensure that your dream business can afford what you’re accustomed to.)
My recommendation is that the work you want to do is work you are undoubtedly passionate about and allows you to live the same or better lifestyle as the business grows. Now, it is possible that you will make a short-term sacrifice for a long term gain.
2. Create your business concept statement. By being able to succinctly describe the who, what, where, why and how of your business idea, you will have a leg up on most people who “willy nilly” decide to start a business. Completing this task is essential. Be sure that you can easily articulate all of these elements listed above and ensure that your business concept solves a core problem and establishes an experience for those you desire to serve. This should be done and align with your personal vision to create your overall business mission statement.
3. Do your research. Both primary and secondary research are very necessary to substantiate your business concept and its viability. You have to make sure that there are at least 10,000 people in the world who are ready right now to buy what you’ve created to solve their problem. Primary research is talking to potential clients to learn of their challenges and needs. Secondary research is reading magazines, visiting the libraries, etc. and basically doing anything that can lead you to the answer you seek without having a direct conversation to those who’d want to hire you. Your research is essential, but of course I already said that. This will determine if you’re moving in the right direct or have to go back to square one.
4. Run the numbers. This is a place where most entrepreneurs go wrong. They have no idea what it will take to have a business that supports their lifestyle. But if you desire to be successful, you need to know this. What is it going to take to get this business to pick up where your salary will leave off? How many clients do you need to attract and at what price point to maintain your current standard of living? How knowledgeable are you about your industry? What will you need to invest to make this business viable in today’s marketplace? What will your overhead be? At what point will you break even? How about earning a profit? Will you be able to work from your home or will office space be mandatory? Will you need employees? Can you afford them? Most entrepreneurs can’t answer these questions, and that is a big problem if you want to leave your job. So take the time and get to know your numbers. And, you should have a minimum of 9-12 months living expenses saved before you tell your boss goodbye. (By the way, there are many more you need to know but these are the most important for now.)
5. Write your business and transition plan. The good news? By doing the four steps above, you’ve actually been writing core components of your business plan. But now you need to formalize it into a document that will become your “business bible”. It will include the strategic plans for all you plan to do right now in your business. A good business plan looks over the next three years strategically. If you plan to use it to get funding, be prepared for much more. Be sure that your detailed transition plan is also accounted for. At which point will you start the business part time? How many clients can you serve now while still managing your current responsibilities? At what intervals of time will you add more clients? At what point will you know that you’re ready to submit your letter of resignation?
When you have determined the answer to the last question, you are ready to make your transition. Unless you work well with deadlines, I do not recommend setting a date before you complete the five steps above. It could end up working against you if you are not disciplined enough to hold yourself accountable.
Bonus: do something profit producing every day to get you closer to your transition date.
If you need help with your transition plan, consider a Transition Your Incredible Factor Strategy Session. During your session, I will help you to evaluate the feasibility of your business idea, begin to create your business concept statement, set up a timeline to complete your research and your business plan so that you have an effective transition plan to work toward so that you can finally live your dream of unleashing your Incredible Factor as your own boss.
©2012 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Executive Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step by step program for building a 6 figure business with more clients, more income and more leverage in record time. For more information and a FREE audio download “How to Use Your Incredible Factor to Attract MORE Ideal Clients” visit http://www.incredibleoneenterprises.com