Are you ready to quit your day job and become a full-time entrepreneur? Are you sure? When you take the first big step into the future of your career, a lot is going to change. I’m not just talking about not going in to the office, and not sitting in a cubicle for eight hours a day. I’m talking about even bigger changes than that, changes that will require you to embrace a whole new approach to your work and your life. That’s why I tell all new entrepreneurs to embrace a few basic things before quitting their day jobs.
YOU’RE GOING TO BE YOUR OWN BOSS
That seems pretty easy to embrace at first. After all, who doesn’t want to be their own boss? The thing is, though, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a boss. It means you have to be your boss. You have to take control of and responsibility for your daily schedule, your project deadlines, your business hours and more. If you don’t fully embrace all that comes with being your own boss, you’re going to be in deep water in a hurry.
UNCERTAINTY IS GOING TO BE A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE
When you leave the comfort of office life, you’re leaving the security of getting regular paychecks and bonuses. If that idea makes you feel a little bit nervous, you’re not alone, but you do need to figure out how to deal with the stress of an uncertain life for a while.
Until your business is up and running, nothing is guaranteed (and even then, things could change very quickly). Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to battle uncertainty with a solid plan, including exit strategies for different scenarios. The more you plan for your departure from the 9:00-to-5:00 world, the better prepared you’ll be for the uncertainties that come with starting your own business.
I particularly like the way that KidRobot founder Paul Budnitz approaches this. He says that the key is to change the relationship you have with your fears. “Every one of my successful ventures has faced bankruptcy, come close to losing key employees, or just collapsed along the way,” he says in an article in Entrepreneur. “But by welcoming fear you get the benefit of what being afraid brings — heightened awareness, compassion for others you work with, and an unbreakable commitment to survive at all costs.”
Fear and uncertainty can be huge motivators. Embrace them, and you’ll go a lot farther with your business.
SHIFTING GEARS IS GOING TO BECOME A WAY OF LIFE
People hate change. They’re scared of it because they’re comfortable with things “the way they are.” Entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of being scared of change, though, because everything can change for your business overnight. Whether a major vendor or supplier backs out, you sell your startup to a larger corporation or you see an unexpected market shift, you’re going to have to be prepared to embrace change.
Entrepreneurs who learn to shift gears with ease and move their companies in the right directions, no matter what the circumstances, are the ones who not only survive but really thrive in their careers. If you’re willing to do that and really roll with the punches, then you’ll be in great shape.
While there are a lot more changes and things to adjust to coming down the road after you quit your day job, these are the big three to embrace. These are the things that, if you let them, will get you through the hard times and keep you motivated when you’re feeling burned out. Then, before you know it, you’ll be riding high on success and looking for your next big opportunity.