So many of us dream of quitting our full-time job to start a business. The idea of being a business owner is the complete opposite of the 9 to 5, and it sounds exciting. We spend hours searching for ways to make a successful transition, but not enough time thinking through what life looks like after you quit your job.
We usually tend to think about things that will bring immediate gratification. For example, according to a Business Insider article, lack of career growth and low pay are two of the biggest reasons why people quit their job. Therefore, the idea of becoming a business owner gets focused around changing the current aspects of your 9 to 5 rather than the full scope of what entrepreneurship entails.
While it’s totally normal to seek fulfillment, it’s important to not lose focus of what it means to be self-employed. Here is an inside look at my transition from fortune 500 to self-employment.
After You Quit Your Job You Quit Your Routine
As you can imagine, the routine is completely different and unless you stick to an agenda you might not maximize your results. Since you are in charge of your own schedule, you’re responsible for setting your priorities.
Prior to opening Norma’s, the hours of my corporate job were set to work between 8 and 5. Based on those hours, it helped shape my day-to-day routine. As a business owner, depending on the business you’re responsible for, you might not have actual working hours unless you give yourself a schedule.
While making your own schedule is a huge “pro” to your new lifestyle, establishing working hours is crucial. After all, having a defined routine will help you become more efficient and build momentum.
At the beginning stages of a startup, you have to be mindful of your expenses. As most of your life is still adjusting to the full 360 transition, so are your expenses and income. I audited my personal expenses and looked at the several monthly recurring transactions. What wasn’t needed, got cancelled!
The idea is not to become the grinch of fun, but to slowly build back on the things you want to have. This will also allow you to have more flexibility with your investments.
Trimming down expenses seem like a horrible task, but if you partner up with an accountant there might be some personal expenses that can become a business expense. Understanding how taxes work will have a major effect on your business.
Learning Curve After You Quit Your Job
One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is being able to multi-task without losing focus. When you’re first starting out, there are so many moving pieces that can become overwhelming.
When you work a corporate job, you are usually hired to work for specific department, and you’re assigned related tasks. On the contrary, the initial stages of owning a business are shaped by operating in all departments like accounting, marketing, hr, customer service, etc.
The learning curve is so deep that you are forced to make mistakes. After all, you’re not expected to be an expert in all areas of the business. It’s been through trial and error that I’ve learned to create a list of priorities to keep the business moving.
Goal Setting and Hustle
In the 9 to 5, your manager sits with you at the beginning of each year to set some goals that align with the organization. It’s usually a detailed list that is tied to your end of year bonus or promotion. When you start your business, it’s up to you to set, define and track your goals. While nobody else might monitor your performance, setting specific metrics will help grow your business.
However, it’s not just setting KPI’s and having a detailed vision board. It’s also about the hustle. As mentioned before, you are all the departments of your business – including sales. Being able to sell your products or services in person or online is essentially the most important step when it comes to increasing your revenue.
Selling is an area that I’m not a complete fan of. It has never been something of interest to me, but it’s a powerful tool. With that said, I started studying marketing trends, data and analytics which helped build my sales strategy through digital marketing. To name a few that have worked for me – Facebook ads, e-mail marketing and social media.
I’ve lived by the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, mostly because I hate repairing and fixing things. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in business. You quickly have to become a problem solver when things don’t work as expected. Sure, Google can help in many ways when it comes to technical questions. Yet, when it comes to issues related to your business strategy, the most helpful solution has been finding a good mentor and support system.
Although owning a business has its unique set of challenges, it’s still a worthy investment for those who want to put their time, effort and money towards their passion. I personally, don’t regret a single thing about the journey but there are certainly defying moments. These moments are full of learning lessons with many up’s and down’s. However, it’s through the good and bad that we, as entrepreneurs, stay chasing our purpose – to keep learning, growing and living life by our terms.