Don't Cash Your Last Paycheck Before Your Business Is Ready to Grow Keep your day job until you have money in the bank and a steady side income with prospects to grow.

By Kimanzi Constable

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Image Source RF | InStock | Getty Images

For years, I dreamed of the day when I would tell my employer I was tired and done, and leaving for a dream work situation. This was just my dream until I took action to make it reality. It took two-and-a-half years, but I quit and now live a life I mostly love.

Many people risk turning their dream into a nightmare by prematurely quitting a job they hate. Quitting without a plan is not a place of strength. Before you quit your job, make sure you have a foundation of these four things.

1. An emergency fund sufficient for ordinary emergencies.

The stats on Americans and emergency funds are scary. Most emergencies would wipe the average person out. If you are thinking about quitting a job, the emergency fund should be even larger than the standard. Have an emergency fund that withstands the income inconsistency of starting a business -- especially a lifestyle business.

There is no magic number but be prepared. A strong mindset is important, but don't ignore common sense. Have something to fall back on.

Related: Marie Forleo Spent the Last 17 Years Building a Booming Lifestyle Business

2. Have a proven and consistent income.

Making a couple of bucks for a few months isn't a proven lifestyle business. This kind of business is a roller coaster ride until you know what you are doing. You can make a lot of money quickly, then nothing the next month.

Don't quit before your lifestyle business has made money for more than just a few months and you have multiple streams (or at least trickles) of income you can grow. Depending on any one thing for your income leaves you in a bad place when that one thing vanishes. Let your lifestyle business prove itself before you quit your job.

Related: Heritage Branding Isn't About Having Centuries of History. It's About Telling Your Story.

3. Have a clear plan for growth each year.

In addition to already making money, you need a plan to grow the dream. What works today may not work tomorrow. You need to be diverse and think of your business as a business. Spend some time planning marketing strategies that will bring new business. Spend time planning how you can diversify your income even more.

Related: Millennial Social-Media Expert Explains Her Digital Strategies for Victoria's Secret, Hyatt, L'Oreal and More

4. Don't get lazy.

You work very hard building your dream on the side while you work a fulltime job. You need that same work ethic when you are living the dream. When you are tired and frustrated by the journey, take a break. Regroup and re-plan, but never get lazy.

Life would be great if everything worked out just like it does in the movies, but that's not a reality. You have to be smart before you do something that could ruin your life or the life of your family. Put a strong foundation in place before quitting your job to work your dream. It took years, but I did it. You can, too.

Kimanzi Constable

Content Marketing Strategist

Kimanzi Constable is an author of four books and has been published in over 80 publications and magazines. He is the co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting. He teaches businesses modern content strategies. Join him at RGIC.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Former Pediatrics Professor Donates $1 Billion, Makes Albert Einstein College of Medicine Tuition-Free

Dr. Ruth Gottesman's husband left her $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock with the following instructions: "Do whatever you think is right with it."

Starting a Business

Long-Lost Sisters Who Built the Largest Black-Owned Wine Company in the U.S. Reveal How to Break Into a Notoriously Tough Industry

Andréa and Robin McBride followed their shared love of wine into business — but it hasn't always been easy.

Business News

'Next Tesla' Electric Car Startups Hit Speed Bump: 'Investors Want To See Demand'

Electric vehicle companies large and small, from Ford to Tesla to Rivian, are dealing with cooler-than-expected demand for EVs.

Social Media

With This LinkedIn Algorithm Change, Your Best Posts Could Reach New Readers for Years

It's one of many new features rolling out on the platform in 2024.