Take the Leap
Start Walking into Entrepreneurship
“I can’t keep doing this,” said Maggie as she sat in yet another boring meeting. For ten years, she had climbed the corporate ladder to become a highly-respected engineer and project manager. Sure, the accolades, awards, and bonuses were nice, but she felt unfulfilled and bored with her job. She was tired of working long hard hours for someone else. More importantly, she was tired of missing out on life. How many more of her son’s soccer games would she miss?
How many times would she have to tell her daughter that she couldn’t make her ballet recital due to a business dinner? And, don’t even get her started about the lack of quality time between her and her husband. Yep, it was evident to Maggie that she needed to make a change.
Maggie knew making the transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship would be hard, but not impossible; especially because of her husband, William, who not only supported Maggie with her dreams but could also carry the family financially in the early stages of her business.
During her 40-minute commute home. Maggie started to consider going into business for herself. She took out her cellphone and called her husband.
“Hello beautiful,” Will answered.
“I think I’m ready,” replied Maggie.
“Ready for what?”
“I’m ready to work for myself. Not tomorrow. Not even next month, but by next year I want to operate my own business full time.”
“That’s great baby! Glad we already have a preliminary plan in place,”.
Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
Here are three goals to complete before becoming an entrepreneur:
Do the math and check it twice.
In the corporate world, Maggie was loaded with resources. But as an entrepreneur, she will soon find out just how valuable those resources were. Make sure your household can afford to go without your steady paycheck before you set out on your new venture. Maggie and her husband were prepared to make financial sacrifices by saving all bonuses and by putting money aside. This proactive approach allowed them to have money for start-off cost/expenses for Maggie’s new business venture.
You don’t have to make the jump right away; you can take small steps.
You have responsibilities. I get it; you just can’t quit. You have a mortgage, a car note, a spouse, children and unexpected expenses. Relax. You don’t have to take the entrepreneurial leap head first. If you’re serious about working for yourself; start by dipping your toes in the water. Starting small is okay. In fact, the safest way into entrepreneurship is to start part-time! Frustrations in the corporate world can be draining, but a steady paycheck can ease the tension. Commit to working on your business a few hours a week. Once you’re comfortable; add a few more hours until eventually, you are ready to work for yourself full time.
Keep and grow your network
Serve your network. You will need a significant circle of influence to help you get your business off the ground. You will need a diverse network of professionals and colleagues, friends and family. While you are still working be sure to serve and grow your network. You can do this by finding ways to assist others in their projects so there is a mutual and beneficial relationship. When the time comes for you to take the leap, your network will have no problems recommending you or your service. You can grow your network by:
- sharing relevant and resources,
- volunteering your time, and
- connect your existing network with others