The 6 Things You Must Have to Successfully Transition Out of Your Day Job
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. However, if your dream is to create freedom while building financial stability, entrepreneurship can open doors that most people won’t walk through.
There are those reading this that have a day job but long for a business that supports them. There are some who already are building a business on the side, and there are those who will make the transition in 2015.
Wherever you are in the process, there are six “musts” you need before you make the leap into this crazy world of entrepreneurship. If you make the move without being ready, you risk turning the dream into a nightmare. Use these six “musts” to transition out of your day job into a business that you love by the end of this year.
1. An emergency fund.
Life would be wonderful if everything went according to plan, but this isn’t a movie. Your plans will get derailed. For those times you’re going to need a financial cushion to break your fall. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. This will help ease your stress level and keep you from being one step away from a business failure. The income for entrepreneurship can be sporadic. An emergency fund will help you weather any financial storms.
2. A consistently profitable business.
There are highs and lows with any business. Too often we only focus on the highs as proof that we’re ready to transition fully to entrepreneurship. That’s a recipe for disaster. Before you transition, you need a business that consistently makes at, or above, your day job. That’s not to say every month will better than the last, but over a period of time there should be a pattern of profitability. Too many entrepreneurs have a good month and make the leap too soon.
3. A plan for growth.
A business lives or dies by its growth. You need a plan to take your business to new and higher levels of growth. You can have the best idea, and maybe even seen some progress, but you still need a plan that keeps your business growing. That growth is what helps build something that takes you out of your day job.
4. A persevering mindset.
Sometimes you have to quit in entrepreneurship. Quitting a bad idea, the wrong marketing plan or a part of your business that isn’t profitable anymore doesn’t mean failure, but having a defeated mindset does. Successful entrepreneurs have determined that no matter what, they will do whatever it takes to reach all of their goals. Your mindset has an effect on the action you take. The confidence from a persevering mindset attracts customers to do business with you.
5. Thick skin.
Our society has been trained to believe that success is college and a "good job". We know that many successful entrepreneurs have proven otherwise, but most people in your life won't get it.
For years when I tried to explain what I do and the vision, but it was met with polite nods. Later, I would hear that person had a different opinion that they freely expressed to others. That would bother me.
Learn to ignore the naysayers and don’t bother trying to explain what you do to them. Focus on building your business and let them jump on the bandwagon once you're wildly successful. The very moment you make the transition, get ready to repel those who don’t (and probably never will) understand.
6. Single-minded focus.
You’re probably going to start out as a one-man show, which means large periods of time when only you are responsible for getting things done. It can be lonely and you can become easily distracted.
At a day job, you have a boss and assignments that keep you on track. You have co-workers all around you that keep you from getting lonely or distracted.
Before you make the transition, test your focus. Make sure you won’t make the transition only to spend unproductive hours that stretch into unproductive days and weeks. Discipline yourself to ignore all the bright shiny lights and to focus on the strategies that build your business.
We have begun a new year, the time to set goals and make resolutions. The stats tell us that most of these won’t last past the first few months of the new year.
Whether you’ve made the transition or not, you’re reading this because you’re an entrepreneur. We think differently than the typical 9-to-5er. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial for getting started, but is not enough by itself to succeed. You have to lay a solid foundation if you are to reach your goals.
Related: So You Want to Be Your Own Boss...