Wouldn’t it be great to quit your job so you can live life on your own terms? What if you could do whatever you want, when you want to do it? How would that change your life? What would you do with all the extra time and creative energy?
These are the same questions I asked myself over and over. And because I was curious to find the answers, (after months of planning) a few months back I made the decision to quit my safe, comfortable job so I could grow my online business.
I was so excited to share my story, that I immediately posted a public update on Facebook. In response, many friends commented with stuff like: “That’s freaking brave and amazing Jason!”
For a day or two, I felt totally awesome. I was no longer an employee. When it came to work, I was free to write my own ticket. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted and no boss could tell me otherwise. I was finally an entrepreneur.
But then the reality of my decision hit hard…
Sleepless Nights Are Filled With Worry
Motivational speakers always tell you to follow your authentic passion and to trust your gut. But these gurus don’t talk about the enviable sleepless nights filled with self doubt. What if my business fails? What if I run out of money? What if I need to find a job, but can’t? What if I totally suck? Am I really cut out to run my own business?
Leaving a job is a big life decision, bound to dredge up all sorts of negative self talk. And learning to ignore these voices, while generating your own income is the first rite of passage. The universe (or God) requires that you take steps towards becoming a new person. This is because the skills that got you here will not get you where you need to go. You must grow.
Before You Quit Your Job
Nobody I have ever met fully enjoys working for someone else. You trade time for money. You have rules to follow. Obligations to fulfill. Deadlines to meet. And lots of long hours. And even if you’re among the few who actually like your job, if your leadership team makes a stupid decision, you’re out of a job. That totally sucks.
If you’re running a side hustle, sooner or later you look at your monthly income and think: “I could go really big if I didn’t burn all my extra time working for someone else.” This is usually the time you start imagining how you are going to quit your job and grow your business. This is also the time when a lot of people make mistakes.
How To Plan Your Escape
Depending on your obligations, you need a way to make enough money to live. And sometimes keeping your job is the most practical way to support your family. But this doesn’t mean you can’t start planning. The allure of what’s possible is so seductive that you feel like every day on the job is a day wasted.
To start planning for your life of freedom, you need to first figure out how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle. If you don’t know this number, stop everything and set up an account at Mint. Once complete, you’ll want to analyze your past spending and set up a budget for future spending.
Things To Do Before You Quit Your Job:
Here are three major things to do before you decide to resign from you job.
1. Get at least six months of savings: I know six months may seem excessive. But here’s the thing… It’s going to take you longer than you think to replace your income. And by forcing yourself to save enough money to cover at least six months, you’ll gain the financial discipline necessary to run a business.
2. Don’t forget health insurance: One visit to the emergency room can be enough to bankrupt your dreams. Do yourself a favor and budget for a health plan. And if you can get on your spouse’s plan, more power to you.
3. Get super, duper focused: If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you have grandiose ideas on how you’d start a dozen businesses. Focus on the one you’re most excited about. Out of those, choose one that will:
A. Make it so you don’t have to work for other people.
B. Eventually scale so you can become financially free.
Push Forward When Things Suck
When it comes time to follow your authentic purpose, don’t worry about your age, education or where you grew up. These factors are less important than your ambition and willingness to push forward when things suck. (And things will suck!) Let your future accomplishments serve as an inspiration to others who feel blocked.
You don’t need to quit your job tomorrow. But if you ever expect to do cool stuff in life, you’ll need to stop procrastinating and make a plan this week. And if you need help, read this article on how to find your next career.