In this post series I will explain how I quit my day job and started a business that so far has lasted 6 years and is profitable. Additionally I will also provide tips that I have learned along the way that I wished I knew about much earlier.
For the start of this series lets cover the most important topic first and thats what you are prepared to sacrifice to reach your dream.
If you really want to get out of employee mode then you need to think like an Olympic athlete.
An Olympic athlete sacrifices many things to reach the podium. What will you sacrifice to be in a position to jump into starting your own business?
I gave up my weekends. In fact for the first few years I worked 7 days a week and I often work in the weekend even now.
I gave up the ability to buy nice things. All funds went into the business. Sometimes we did not have enough to cover the bills and used our credit cards.
I gave up drinking alcohol as I found it was slowing me down both physically and mentally.
I gave up TV at night so I could read more.
What will you sacrifice?
Becoming your own boss is not easy. You should know that 96% of all businesses fail in the first 5 years with most failing in the first year.
So I am going to assume you are willing to sacrifice a lot to reach your dream so lets begin this series by preparing to leave your day job. This is one of the most important parts. You don’t just quit and expect the world to give you millions. So lets begin.
Step 1: Before you leave your day job. Get healthy
To handle the pressures of running your own business you must have a healthy body and mind.
You must exercise daily or every second day both strengthening your muscles to help with the tension headaches and the long hours working, you must improve your aerobic fitness so your body can pump more oxygen to your brain so you can think more.
If you don’t have a healthy body you will certainly have an unhealthy and limp brain which will cause you to fail.
Give up or dramatically reduce your intake of alcohol. I wish I knew this much earlier as alcohol really slows you down. It makes you sluggish, tired and you lose the ability to work for long hours.
Step 2. Before you leave your day job. Decide what you are going to do
So you want to leave your day job right?
So what do you want to do?
Can you see yourself doing this in 5, 10, 15 years time without hating it?
Who are your competitors?
How much money do you need? How many months can you last with your funds?
What happens if it doesn’t work? Ignore the people who paste the positive banners in Facebook stating that positive thoughts and a nice smile will make you succeed. Thats BS. You need to cover the worse scenarios.
Do people actually want what you are selling? A lot of people go into business and fail because they just expect there is a market for what they sell – ‘hell everyone will buy my product because I love it’ – ahhh.. no.
Research! And research some more. Know the market you are entering in.
Step 3. Before you leave your day job. Network
Here is what I did when I was a cook wanting to get into IT. On my days off I worked for free at a local software vendor to learn about computers. When I left my cooking job the IT firm offered me a job.
Now its a lot harder these days so if you cannot work for free then at least join the networks, associations and groups that the sector hangs out in.
Attend their events and meet people. Get to know the players then research them. Write down ideas that could help their business succeed more. If they will not be a direct competitor then show them the list and gain their feed back. Remember you need to get your brain thinking in the right zone well before you leave your day job.
Its not hard – just use your now healthy brain to think of ways to connect with people in your sector. You need to find out how the market works, who your competitors are and if there is a space for you.