This is a guest post from How to Quit Working community member Catharine Symblème, who is currently in the middle of her journey to quit her job and start a business. If you’d like to share what you have learned on your transition journey (no matter where you are on that journey), email email@example.com with a bit about you and what lesson you’d like to share. – Jeff
Two months ago, I wrote a blog post about I had learned about quitting my job to become an entrepreneur.
As all things in life, it was a pretty good snapshot of where my head was at that time. And, of course, this article that you’re reading right now is a snapshot of where my head is now.
In two months, my head will be in a different place. And perhaps I’ll write a Part Three of this series ☺
But for now, if I was in a full-time job and thinking of leaving my job and starting my own business, here are 12 things I would do differently:
1. I would hire a business coach.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT item on the list!
I would take anything that’s left over after I’ve paid my bills, and instead of eating out or even buying a URL for a website, I’d use that money to hire a business coach.
I started working with a coach four weeks ago. And in the last four weeks, I have come further and learned more than I did in the previous two years of floundering around trying to figure it out by myself.
Even if you do nothing else on this list, get a coach. You’ll save yourself YEARS of time, heartache, and long-term financial stress.
2. I would find a Meetup where I could connect with other business owners.
Nothing like hanging out with other business owners to learn the business mindset.
Unfortunately, in this one-horse town where I live, there aren’t any meetups. But I’m assuming that most of you live in a city where such meetups exist, so take advantage!
3. I would start listening to these podcasts.
Get ideas and stay inspired while in your soul-sucking job.
- How to Quit Working Show with Jeff Steinmann
- The Solopreneur Hour with Michael O’Neal
- Paycheck to Passion with Jasper Blake and Meredith Eisenberg
4. I would not assume that my friends and family will support me, and get over it.
Your friends and family mean well. They want you to be happy. But they just don’t get it.
Unfortunately, even if your friends don’t actively try to talk you or ridicule you out of your new career path, they’re not going to lift a finger to help you in any meaningful way. They probably won’t even bother to Like your Facebook page or visit your website.
So just assume you’ll get no support from your current circle of friends. And then, with the help of your business coach and your Meetup group, go out there and find some new ones.
5. I would join these Facebook groups and watch these Google Plus Hangouts:
Hang with other members of your new peer group.
How to Quit Working Circle on Facebook
Proudly Unemployable™ – The Solopreneur Hour
Google Plus Hangouts:
(Just find and Circle the hosts, and if you have Gmail, they’ll send you updates when their next show is coming. Alternatively, you can look them up on YouTube)
6. I would start blogging.
Blogging is more than just cheap therapy
Even if your blog is just about a personal interest of yours, like kayaking or men’s watches, developing your writing skills, defining your audience, and then figuring out how to get people to read your blog is going to serve you well when you start to market your business.
7. I would be prepared for my first business to flop
Plan as much as you like, but 9 times out of 10, it’s gonna happen. So what?
Becoming an entrepreneur is like learning to ride a bicycle. You’re gonna fall. So just relax and get used to the idea.
Nobody ever died from running out of money. You may have to find a temporary part-time job, get on food stamps, or live with your parents for a while, but it’s not the end of the world.
The upside is, once you’ve survived it, running out of money will never scare you again.
8. I would start using the word “bork”.
As in, “Man, I really borked that one up!”
Okay, it’s completely irrelevant and silly … but isn’t “bork” a cool word?
(For the love of God, don’t take all this so seriously!)
9. I would start tinkering with Evernote, Feedly, and Hootsuite.
Or whatever business apps my coach recommended for me.
These are great tools that will serve you well in your new life, and they’re great morale boosters while you’re pining away in your current job.
So go find cool articles with Feedly, clip them into Evernote, and read them the next time your boss yells at you.
Then use Hootsuite to tell all of your new business buddies about what you found.
10. I would change my passwords.
Change your passwords, change your life.
There is power in writing things down, especially if you write them over and over. So why not incorporate your affirmations into your passwords?
Just like Mauricio Estrella did: How a Password Changed My Life
A Few Final Words
There are so many reasons to get out of the 9-5 wage-slave job market that an encyclopedia of articles has already been written about it. Sure, you’re gonna bork up. But you’re gonna make it. Even better? You’re gonna thrive.
Don’t let difficulty, lack of knowledge or a bunch of “responsibilities” stop you. Just do it. Pursue your dreams.
Nobody else is going to do it for you.