Jumping into the entrepreneurial world after working in a job for many years can be challenging. I interact with many women entrepreneurs that are in jobs but are yearning to take the leap into entrepreneurship. These amazing women know that they are meant to do something valuable, something that makes a mark in the world and yet they are worried and scared to take the first step. Especially for some that have been in the corporate world for a long time, they are so used to the stability and the routine that the fear of the unknown is what keeps them from foraying into the entrepreneurial world.
They are not sure if their business idea is viable or if they can make enough to sustain themselves. Will they regret quitting their job and making this bold move? Sometimes it's the confidence that becomes a roadblock. All these are perfectly valid reasons and yet there are numerous successful entrepreneurs that have successfully made the transition.
I recently interviewed Tess Vigeland on the Womenpreneur: Strategies For Success Podcast. Tess is a veteran journalist, had a dream job as a broadcast journalist for 20 years. She is a well-known voice to millions of American radio listener as the voice of NPR's Marketplace. She thoroughly enjoyed her job and yet realized that she wanted to do something of her own. She was feeling restless and decided to walk away from her dream job. And she did. With no Plan B. Through her fascinating journey of self-realization and self-discovery, she learnt some heartfelt lessons that she shares with us about leaping without a net.
1. Prepare yourself financially and emotionally
When I asked her if she were to do it all over again what would she have done differently? "I would have been more prepared financially," pat came the reply. Coming from someone who has done Marketplace for so long. Her honest answer is so endearing and really strikes a chord. It is so important to be financially prepared because then you are not forced to do things that will hinder your success instead you can make the right choices when embarking on the self-employment journey.
The emotional roller coaster of an entrepreneurial life has been documented many times. And yet unless you are actually living it, you don't understand it. Entrepreneurship is a process and you have to go through the process to fully grasp the nuances. So be prepared for it. Surround yourself with positive support who will help lift you up when you are doubting yourself.
2. Know yourself outside of your job
For many of us, our jobs become our life. Know yourself outside of your job. We all have skills and strengths beyond the job realm. Take some time to recognize these skills and develop them. If you feel like you don't have any, experiment. Venture out and do things that you have always wanted to do. Take that pottery class or learn a new language.
Don't forget to note the skills that you have developed over the period of your career/job. When you make that leap, these translatable skills can help you with an irregular paycheck until you get on your feet and start making a regular paycheck.
3. Take some time off
Before you take the leap and after you quit your job. Be prepared financially and take some time off. Decompress and give yourself some space to figure out your path forward. Quitting your job on a Friday and starting your venture on Monday is doable but giving yourself a couple of days or a week creates headspace that can help you plan what to do next.
You have to prepare yourself to the fact that from now you make your own decisions no one is telling you how you are supposed to do things. The time off will help you find your identity and start your new journey with confidence.
Consider these aspects before taking the leap and quitting your job without any clear sense of what you want to do next.
After taking the leap, writing her book and being self-employed. Tess has decided to find out what this adventure called life is really all about. She booked a one-way ticket across the Pacific and has decided to live life as a digital nomad. You can follow her adventures on www.tessuntethered.com.