Quitting the Day Job
I hear from a number of clients in our new focus groups how they have been influenced by thought leaders into quitting their day jobs and going all out for their new business start-up. Some have been encouraged by motivational speakers – gurus who write books – and are really fired up in the first couple of weeks post quitting their ‘steady boring and unstimulating’ jobs to make a huge leap into their new businesses. I totally understand this. There is a strong belief in all of us who do make the journey into self employment/business ownership that we need to be all in or completely out of the game to make it work. No halfhearted toe in the water stuff, no thanks, let’s show up large or stay at home.
Where is the cash?
The truth of this approach is it can leave you super-exposed to cash shortages which may defeat your plans before they really get going. Believe me, I have ‘started up’ with little income and had to get part time jobs I hated to make ends meet. The new shiny business doesn’t get a chance when you are worried constantly about paying the basics; forget creativity and putting on a brave face 12 months into your new lifestyle fuelled only by potatoes and baked beans.
Is it negligent to be encouraged to do this by business gurus?
I think so. I think most of us who have done it and come out the other side can often look back and see there was a better path to tread at that time. You still can get to the end of the road, but in one piece and without the scars of debt so many of us have had to deal with, by using less of the ‘RaRa’ ballsy approach to give up work and make money immediately on our own terms. The truth is you just don’t make cash straight away that easily; it takes time, some money to make money and a load of effort to make the cash you need; enough to run, develop and grow your business. Ever more so when the banks don’t lend and your business needs to start now, not wait 12 months to sort out investment from others.
Beware of sound bites.
A lot of motivational speakers speak in clichés, little short sayings which make an impact but on examination are often meaningless. Really, if you are the sort of person who attends a seminar, gets half an hour with a guru or reads a couple of hundred pages on how great it all can be and then, without thought, throws in the day job that pays all the bills, holidays and more then you need to adjust your attitude. If we were sat together I would say this more strongly. Seriously, take a reality check.
Take a serious look at your mindset. The thing is, business can be every bit as humdrum on a daily basis as any job and possibly, from time to time, more so! The reason being that as a business owner you have to choose the bits of the business that drive it forward, not just the bits you love doing. This can raise a serious challenge to get really good really fast on marketing, sales and business development when actually you want to spend the day doing the service or building the product that drove you to open the business in the first place. That means you get to spend more and more hours each day doing the stuff you don’t like so much but which is needed; stuff like organising the VAT, accounts or liaising with someone to do them for you. Updating your web site and writing blogs to get noticed, the list is endless. You want to outsource but that takes cash and it can become a vicious cycle of cash shortages in the business, making for poor decision making as to your next move. Cash matters, its not everything, but it is something.
I’m depressed now, what do I do?
Work out your real cash needs for the basics and work out how long, without your ‘spreadsheet millionaire’ head on, it’s going to take to earn that in your new business venture. Anything that comes out as under 6 months re-address the figures again and run them past a few people you trust to tell it to you straight. If you want to start a business and have a job already then you will do it; it won’t feel so good all of the time, but your goal is in sight to give up the job in 6 months or so. The time will pass quickly as you will be flat out busy. You will be tired and you’ll be doing 2 jobs for a while, but you will transition into your new business on solid ground and not the smoke and mirrors offered by those who advocate credit card boot strapping and placing your house at risk.
Be a clever start up, not an insolvent one. You deserve more than puff and BS being spouted by those who take no responsibility for the mess and worry you will be in if you leave your job too early.
Need to talk it through? Drop us an email and we will tell you what you can expect from self employment.