One thing I see way too often, are people who dread Monday mornings. From the moment the alarm goes off, you start thinking about how you have to do work you probably hate, for people you don’t even like. And let’s not forget about asking yourself “is it Friday yet?” every 5 minutes! It’s not easy getting up in the morning when you know you aren’t making the impact in the world you truly desire. But the beautiful thing of it all, is that we’re at a point in time where people are really starting to wake up to the fact that they have career options outside of their traditional 9 to 5.
Before I pursued full-time entrepreneurship, I was a city teacher that was undervalued and overworked. I was always bringing work home. Between grading papers and creating lesson plans, there never seemed to be time for self-care or relaxation, and that was a problem for me. This caused a decline in my health because I was always stressed and had high levels of anxiety.
The time came where I knew I was better off pursuing a life that truly made me happy, with a level of freedom that felt good. Fast forward, I woke up one day, and decided to quit my job. I had no idea what I was going to do, but “figuring it out” seemed like a pretty viable option, so that’s what I did.
The decision to become a full-time entrepreneur was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but the way I did it, wasn’t ideal. If you truly want to quit your job to pursue your passion, you want to transition out of your day job safely and responsibly.
Here are 4 steps to transition out of your 9 to 5 for full-time entrepreneurship.
1. Have a Vision.
You don’t need to figure everything out, but you do need to have a general idea of what you’d like to do. Think about your goals and desires in all aspects of your life. Where do you want to be physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. You have to be able to answer the question “why?” Why do you want to go into entrepreneurship in the first place? One mistake new and aspiring entrepreneurs make, is wanting to do it for money. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being compensated for your skills and talents, but money should never be your reason. If it is, you’ll be less like to be successful, because you won’t be serving. Make sure your vision has a lot to do with how you’ll help other people solve their problems. Start with seeing a picture in your mind and the type of lifestyle you’ll be living. Creating a vision board is a great way to get started here.
2. Build the Mindset.
Mindset will always be an ongoing battle, whether you’re part-time or full-time. To offset some of the struggles you’ll face as an entrepreneur, get a good understanding of what it actually means to be one. Before you quit your job, get your feet wet and start putting yourself out there. Courage will be HUGE here. They’ll be feelings of inadequacy, not feeling good enough, and questioning whether people really want what you have to offer. You have to move past that. The fear feels real, but what I’ve found, is that it’s usually something we’ve made up in our own heads, that other people aren’t even thinking about. Build your mental stamina and push yourself to the limit!
3. Create a Plan.
It’s never a good idea to go into anything, not knowing what you’re getting yourself into. You want to plan for your exit financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Set a quit date, but still go hard. Even though YOU know you’re going to leave soon, you still want to work hard at the day job. Be memorable and maintain relationships. Your strategy is in place to set you up for success, so make sure you have one, and stick to it.
4. Double Down on Discipline.
When you work a 9 to 5, you have a manager and deadlines that are in place to keep you track. However, as an entrepreneur, you need to manage yourself and set your own deadlines, because if you don’t, you won’t get anything done, and when you don’t get anything done, you don’t eat. Start practicing your discipline at home and in your personal life. Be aware of when you put things off, procrastinate, and create excuses to not do the stuff you know you need to do. Discipline is important to your success, so don’t discount it as some frivolous thing you can afford to not have.