I have found myself pondering the question of whether I should quit my job and make money from home many a time. Just as many times I have ended up with a not yet answer. Not that it was the best answer, I can safely say that most times it was a comfort zone answer.
Why you quit your job?
Do you see yourself as an employee, a professional or a business in your current job? Do you trade your expertise at market rates or you are at the mercy of your employer?
It is all great when you are performing and doing well. Even better when your work is appreciated and you are rewarded in ways that are meaningful to you. This can be in form of compliments, good pay, bonuses, holidays, flexible time, trust, you name it.
However, like any product on a shop shelf, one can find themselves reaching a sell-by-date very quickly. Have you passed your sell by date? Once that happens it may be time to move on. This can be finding another job or starting your own business.
The tragedy is that some people only consider starting their own businesses after they have reached their sell-by-date. That can be a a terrible idea but sometimes it may be the only option to move on.
How to quit your job
This is not a decision to take lightly. It can be very life changing in nature; a great life change when you succeed, or a major catastrophy if things do not work out.
There are a number of things that one needs to consider before reaching that decision to quit your job. These need to be weighed carefully and brutally honestly if the journey is going to be worth its weight in gold.
Define your goal and your WHY!
Have you ever noticed how tenacious people get when they know what they want. Think of a child who want candy? They use persuasion, tricks tantrums, puppy dog eyes, irritation, whatever it takes to get what they want.
It would be very helpful if you can define a long term goal or vision that is not dependent on your current circumstances. Something that lasts through circumstances and keeps you focused in troubled times.
For example, if your goal is financial freedom, define how that looks like and why. What are you going to be doing once you are free. Is it for you to do that community service that is close to your heart, or to pursue art or world travel. Is it to spend time with your children or family. Or maybe to pursue your skill to its fullest without expecting any reward for it?
How much does that life cost roughly. That will define your financial freedom number i.e. the amount of money you require to cover your expenses without needing to work, as a minimum. You can then pursue some passive income objectives that can achieve that goal for you.
Can you self manage?
When you decide to quit your job to start any kind of business, you should be able to manage yourself. Self discipline will be required as there will be no mandatory office hours or supporting staff to handle your other administrative and mundane tasks until you grow your operation.
If you do not have this skill you need to learn to self manage quickly. Get yourself a small project and put together a plan and follow through on it. Keep track of what you plan to do against what you actually do. This would be ideal to practise before you decide to quit and see how well you do.
For example, to gain more time set yourself a goal to wake up an hour or more earlier everyday and read something on the business idea that you want pursue. Do some tasks that are required in setting up your business so that you can get a head start before taking the plunge.
Without this skill, you will be at risk of not making it.
Have you saved enough?
Normally they say that you need at least six months worth of expenses to be covered while you are working. You can imagine how much more you need it when you decide to quit. Does your venture generate enough for you to live on and to keep your savings cover intact, or are you going to sacrifice a bit. Even best laid plans can fail, so make sure you have some mitigation plan.
Some may have a fall back plan with family or some savings or investments. However, I recall Denzel Washington saying that fall back plans are the reason for some people not to forge ahead with their dreams. There is some merit to that argument, but a savings nest egg can help cushion the drastic effects of cash flow crunch experienced by startup businesses. I prefer to be prepared than surprised.
Selling is required no matter what you do.
No matter how good your idea, it will be worthless unless you can sell it to someone. I covered a bit of this in the entrepreneurs and marketing skills article. You will need to learn some marketing and sales skills. This will make you better at finding new work or being able to convince customers to buy or use your products. Even if you get someone else to do the sales function, it would be useful if you understand some basic skill of selling.
Find a mentor or someone to understudy
If you are fortunate enough you should find someone who is in the business and running the business aspects that you can learn from. The best case scenario is to work for them, or have them as your mentor to teach you the trade and guide you on how to do this.
In the internet marketing business you can join forums on Facebook, specialized websites and the like. For example if you are in the real estate business forums like biggerpockets.com will be very handy to help you learn about real estate investing, buying, selling marketing, getting finance. For internet marketing forums like wealthy affiliates and six figure mentors can provide some good insights. First read the review or get a free trial membership before committing any money to the venture.
Someone once said you are the average of 5 people that you associate with. So get connecting and mingling with people in your area of interest to improve your average. The more successful the better.
Research and learn fast
Whatever industry you are going into, you need to already know a lot about it, otherwise you have to start learning as quickly as you can. It is now a little easier with online resources available in additional to traditional colleges and books.
Learn how to research the topic, the market, the competitors, the customers. Ask around from people in the industry, customers that are interested in the products, and research on the internet on the same topic. Read as many books as you can to find out about the subject matter. Listen to videos and audio tapes in your spare time
Learn your strengths and weaknesses
You need to know yourself well. What are you good at? What are you not good at? This is important so that you know which areas to seek help on and which ones to focus on because you are good at. This will help you make the most of your time when you start executing your business tasks.
It also helps choose what niche to focus on. Choose one in your strength area. This way you will do something that you are good at which will make it easier and more effective. The more you get results when you start the more confident you will become to pursue your dream.
Get your social networks established
In this online world, you need to establish an online network as a catchment for your potential customers. Build a social media profile and become active.
If you can relate to others in the industry of interest you can engage in meaningful correspondence, build contacts and networks as well as learn a thing or two.
Can I quit my job?
If you are still asking this question, I hope the above reflection will help you with your answer. Gauge where you are and decide the best way forward for you. Some have successfully quit their jobs upfront, some after establishing some foundation, others after they had already attained financial freedom. Make an informed decision based on your circumstances. Hopefully you do this before your sell by date has expired.