Making the Leap: From Employee to Owner

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When I was contemplating making the leap from a full-time employee to full-time business owner, there were a few preparations and sacrifices I had to be willing to make. Quitting your current job to become a full-time business owner can be scary and exciting all at the same time, so it’s important that you’re prepared to work even harder than you were before to make this dream a reality.

Here are a few things to keep in mind and have prepared before you make it official:

  • Make sure you are financially stable and have enough money to support yourself for at least 6 months. I was lucky enough to have the support of my husband while I got things off the ground. However, it only took two months for me to be making more than I was at my last job. You never know what will happen, so it’s best to always be prepared for the worst.
  • Open a business checking account while you’re still employed at your full-time job. Set up automatic transfers to the new business checking account. Within 3-4 months, you could have enough money to cover your start-up expenses (depending on the type of business you are starting, you may have to save for much longer).
  • Start your business before you quit your job. This was the most important factor for the success of my business. I had been freelancing for 4+ years before I decided to quit my job and focus all of my attention on my business. It’s important to have at least some experience before you quit your job. This might mean that you are working on nights and weekends, but if you want to make it happen, you have to put in the time. Plus, starting your business before you quit will give you good insight to running your business to make sure it’s what you really want to do. If you love what you’re doing while you are still working full-time, then there shouldn’t be any doubt you’ll love it once you can focus on it more.

After you’ve made the leap to a full-time business owner, here are a few things that will help you and your business become successful:

  • Set reasonable work hours for yourself. Just because you are self-employed and work from home doesn’t mean you should wake up at 9am, start working at 10am and be done working by 4pm. In order to be successful, you have to be willing to put the hours in. Most of the time, you will be working longer hours than you ever were at your last job as an employee. This is your business and it depends on you, so however much hard work you want to put into it, that is how much you’ll get out of it.
  • I suggest acting as if you are still going into an office. Wake up, exercise, shower and get ready for work when you usually would. When you’re ready to work, get dressed in work clothes, put on your shoes and go into your office (or your living room, dining room, home office, etc). Get into a healthy routine that promotes normal work hours and don’t check your email on nights or weekends (unless you work at those times).
  • Be prepared to delegate. If you’re business takes off, you want to be able to keep up with it. Hiring interns, employees and outsourcing are all options you have to keep up with your business. Don’t be afraid to hire on help. Remember: It takes money to make money!

With these few tips, you should be ready to rock and roll in your new business. Remember to have fun, stay motivated and kick butt, because you are doing what you love!


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