Thinking of Quitting Your Day Job? 5 Things to Do First
Becoming an entrepreneur might be the smartest risk you ever take.
By Tanya Menendez (COO and Co-Founder, Maker’s Row)
I can’t go back to having a regular job. Sure, entrepreneurship has its up and downs, but it’s addicting and never boring. Most importantly, it’s about fulfilling your own potential, creating solutions to problems, and making the world a better place.
In the last 5-10 years, with the advent of companies like Kickstarter, AngelList, Etsy, our own Maker’s Row and Shopify, it’s easier than ever to start a company. Access to previously brokered information, funding or customers has become much more attainable.
Quitting your job can be risky and scary. Some people will even try to talk you out of it. Before quitting my job to co-own a leather goods line, I had great career paths at Goldman Sachs and Google. It was tough to leave that security for a risky venture. However, I found that eventually, the feeling of wanting to create and build something outweighs any risk or fear.
Here are five tips if you are thinking about taking the leap into entrepreneurship:
- Try working at a startup first. Working at a small business or startup will give you good insight into the inner workings of creating a company. Also, if you are upfront about wanting to learn more about starting your own company, the business owner can even turn into a mentor.
- Try working on your business during nights and weekends. You can do a lot of damage from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. and on weekends. Working on your company during off hours will help you decide if you are passionate enough to keep at it for the long haul. Also, this gives you time to potentially find some business partners.
- Create a backup plan. For your sanity and security, please save at least six months worth of money for your own expenses, and your projected business expenses. Believe me, you won’t regret this.
- Get involved and familiar with the new scene. Getting involved with your startup community is a great way to make your dream of quitting become more real. Take some time out to meet your future peers, or people you want to become your future peers. They will share tips and tricks and be your allies along the way. If you are shy, try following the scene on Twitter, and get on relevant email lists to know about the latest events.
- Gain some traction. Finally, it’s important to have some traction or some feasible way that you will keep the business going. Whether it is getting investors on board or bootstrapping and executing a revenue model, be sure to have a plan.
This is the era of entrepreneurship!