#5 Things to Remember before Leaving Job to Take up Entrepreneurship It's essential to understand what has and hasn't worked for you so far

By Baishali Mukherjee

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Statistics in media reports say 67% of millennials dream of launching their own businesses. In fact, most of us go through that moment in life when we contemplate about the life we should be living and eventually coming to the conclusion that the 9-to-5 grind is definitely not what we are born for.

It often gets boring to follow someone else's goals and you deeply feel that it is time for "the' change. Entrepreneurship endows you with the liberty of dictating your schedule, setting daily goals, and following your passion.

Once you decide to finally act on that urge and decide to become an entrepreneur, be absolutely sure that you're well prepared to make the shift as effortlessly as possible. The leap of faith from a secure job to a full-time entrepreneur can be a tricky and hazardous undertaking, if you are not sure about your dreams and goals.

To get you ready, Entrepreneur India got in touch with successful business leaders who had said goodbye to a stable pay-cheque and supported themselves full time. These five guidelines will put you in good stead before you make the big move.

1. Be Brutally Honest

Start by assessing your professional journey. It's essential to understand what has and hasn't worked for you so far.

Nilanjan Dey, Founder of Wishlist Capital, a financial advisory company, suggested making a list of the jobs you've done and categorize your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Be brutally honest about your worst moments. "When it is all clearly charted out, you will get the larger picture and a definite idea about what to do next. You'll start to identify what needs to be expunged or extended as you move ahead," he narrated.

2. Set Grand Ambitions

While setting goals think beyond the immediate material acquisitions. Dey, who left his job as a business journalist, maintained that should prepare a special list of things they want to achieve some day.

"This could be anything from buying a penthouse or going on a world tour. While making the list, think how you would prefer to be seen at the last stage of your life and things you want to get done before you die. This is the oldest motivator and will help you design your goals in the most comprehensive way," he explained.

3. Create a Game Plan

Listing the goals should be followed by chalking out the action plan. "Start planning by asking a series of questions," said Akshay Satnaliwala, Co-founder of Bemefit, a fitness and wellness startup.

Satnaliwala framed the basic queries that aspiring entrepreneurs should ask themselves while planning to leave their jobs:

  • Try and identify a product or an investment that can create revenue for you over the years.
  • Contemplate on the contacts you have who might be interested in your idea or help you promote it.
  • Think of the ways to support yourself once you are on your own, at least for first few years.
  • Invest time in research to support your plan, and make the first draft of action plan that will be the future rough version of your business plan.
  • Figure out a date for transforming your idea to fruition, which will lead to the day you leave your day job.

4. Build a Support System

Before you plan to go out on your own, be prepared for some big sacrifices. You will need to save enough to keep the wolf from the door for a year or more. To meet this goal, Satnaliwala advised to target an average saving of 30 to 40 per cent of your income every month. "Cut back on dine outs, expensive and branded clothing, and everything that isn't absolutely essential to your survival. Your initial sacrifices will find value in the peace of mind you'll have while dealing with the early years of struggle," opined the Kolkata-based entrepreneur.

Satnaliwala was working as an Article Assistant at Anil Kumar Agarwal Chartered Accountants prior to entrepreneurial pursuit.

5. Don't Burn Any Bridge

The crucial part of any professional relationship is the way you start and finish. It is immensely critical to be conscious about your last impression as you would with your first. Leaving in a terrible mess is a sure-fire way to damage your repute down the line. Especially when you have no idea if your former colleagues might end up being your potential clients or the most precious networking tool you can make use of.

Charu Singh, Founder of Zooki (an e-commerce site for women's clothing, jewellery and accessories), recommended taking small steps to prepare your team and boss about your decision much ahead of taking the plunge.

"Talk to your boss in advance as he would be upset to find out that you were thinking about quitting and he was the last person to know," shared Singh, who left her job in the human resources department of Reliance Info-Comm to embark on her entrepreneurial journey.

"Also give notice to the team that depends on you. Leaving unexpectedly without much forewarning can leave your team members in a soup," she added.

Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer

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