As an entrepreneur there comes a point when you have to make the most important decision of your business. Those tough decisions start with none other than the universal "To Quit or not to Quit?" This decision is not based on leaving a task unfinished instead it's a decision to focus on your desires, passions, and dreams. To do what makes you happy and not what just pays the bills.
With this theme I will be referring to entrepreneurs/business owners who have to make that striking decision of whether or not they should quit their jobs.
- Aim to be fulfilled by what you do each and everyday -
When my (now) husband and I started our first company together he was working full-time in Corporate America for an IT company. Right from the beginning in our own company we networked heavily in our community, overdrove the door-to-door sales, pushed our name out there, and started gaining clients rather quickly. In our 2nd year of business we took off in Sales and grew over 600% in gross revenue. We knew that this was more than just a hobby. At this point I made the decision to quit my part-time job to focus 100% on the business. I will never forget the conversation I had with him that year. Our business needed a full-time leader and I was going to need him to focus on the business full-time with me and quit his job. The work load he was under in Corporate America doubled with his leadership position and continual promotions. Forcing him to juggle the tasks of his day job as well as our business growth. He was performing great but it had come to that point where we really had to choose one or the other.
The decision of leaving his job wasn't the biggest issue, figuring outwhen to leave was the greatest debacle.
After much counsel, praying and fasting we planned our next step-we decided that Jamison was putting in his two weeks at his job in December 2013. YES! It was liberating, however very daunting. (Meanwhile we had about 5 months left until our wedding date.) It was definitely a BIG RISK.
I can specifically remember how we both felt in making that decision; it's bittersweet.
On one hand - we were thrilled and excited. We knew this was the right move. (We planned everything to the T to ensure that we had backup plans after backup plans. We made triple sure all pennies were accounted for, etc).
On the other hand - it was scary, it was risky, there were several unknowns, and we kept going back to the drawing board - over and over again - and reviewing our plans. It got overwhelming in a matter of minutes.
Ultimately, through many mental battles, we overcame and we made the firm decision. We were never to go back to Corporate America or work as an employee for anyone else.
For many of you who are juggling both - a full time job and growing a business - you may be wondering - "how do I know when it is the right time for me?" The aim of this blog post is to provide you with a guide to help you make the right decision for you and your family.
**DISCLAIMER: what worked for me and my family may or may not work for other families. This is in no way a guarantee that this will work for any one. This is a simply a guide that could help lead you to making your own decision.**
1. Pick a Date
Don't worry just yet about all of the expenses and incomes. Start simple and PICK A DATE. You might initially start out with several dates in mind, and that's okay. Go ahead and pick one, write it down on a sheet of paper in large letters, and post it somewhere you and your partner will see it every day. And then work towards it.
Once you pick a date, you're next step would be to develop an action plan (see next step).
2. Have a Plan
Now you have a date - this is a great first step. Without a date in mind, your exit from your job will never happen. Now the most important step is to develop a plan to make that happen in reality.
My husband and I created a plan and broke down month by month all of our expenses (business/personal) as well as income (from our jobs, from parents, from savings, from business, etc.)
Then we wrote down when we were expecting each payment, as well as each expense.
Our ultimate goal was to figure out how long we could go without any income (i.e. that steady 9 to 5 paycheck) and give us clarity as to where we really were in terms of finances. I do recommend that you seek a financial advisor or someone you trust to help you break these things down.
TIP: The reason why you should break this down month by month is because some months have significantly more expenses than others for your business and/or your family. For example: December may be higher in expenses vs. March due to Holiday Season. Also, the same goes for income. Depending on your type of business (especially if it's seasonal) you will know which months produce more revenue than others. This way you can really get an understanding of what your financial forecast looks like. I am not a financial planner, but this will give you an idea of where you are in terms of money and how flexible you can be. The cool thing is that once you map this out, some of you may be surprised to see that you may be in better shape than you think. Perhaps you could quit today and not even know it.
3. Stick to the Plan
We had our date and we had our plan - are you ready to go? Now the hard part. Stick to the plan, believe, and have faith.
The hardest part of it all wasn't quitting our jobs, it was sticking to the plan. Things can get tough and plans could change. We were afraid of failing and losing everything. I'm sure many of you can relate to this. However in the end we reminded ourselves why we were doing this in the first place. I encourage you all to stick to the plan, you'll be glad that you did. In times where you are in need of help and support - seek a mentor or a trusted family member. It's important to stay encouraged and uplifted, and of course, surround yourselves around those types of people are encouraging and uplifting. Trust me, you can never run out of that!
Remember - No Risk, No Reward.
Remember this too - The only people who really fail are those who give up. This will definitely be a future blog post, as I have many stories to share.
Entrepreneurs and readers of all types - thank you for reading this post. I hope you find useful and practical information which enriches your lives.