There are some folks that started a lemonade stand back when they were five years old and knew that they were destined to be entrepreneurs for the rest of their life. But for most, the path to being their own boss happened less predictably. Most entrepreneurs had to face a moment in which they said to themselves and their families, "I'm quitting my day job and starting something on my own."
Quitting your day job for the entrepreneurial path is no easy task. In fact, it's probably one of the most daunting things someone can do in their life. So how do you do it? How do you quit your day job?
Be Financially Prepared
This is pretty obvious. When you're considering quitting your day job, you need to have your financial ducks in a row. We've said it before, but assume that your new gig will not put any money in your personal pockets for at least six months. Understand your monthly household budget and know what it personal cash flow you need each month. And then get even more conservative and pad an extra 10 percent.
There are a number of personal finance apps out there that can help you understand your financial behavior, budgeting and planning.
When it comes time to have the conversation with your boss, don't dance around the fact that you're starting something on your own. Be straightforward. If you're coy, your boss may think you're going to a competitor. Of course if you're spinning out to start something potentially competitive, you may want to hold your cards closer to the vest, but in that case, we strongly recommend talking to your lawyer.
Do it the Right Way
A big part of entrepreneurship is never burning bridges. Don't just stroll into your boss's office and declare you departure. Instead, prepare a resignation letter. (Documentation is everything!) Put in your two weeks (the standard) and show you appreciation for the opportunity you've had. You never know who might become a client or customer down the road...
Be Ready for Everything
For the most part, when you left the office of your day job, you left work at home. (Of course, this is becoming less and less the case, but the fate of the company you worked for didn't rest on your shoulders.) Now it will. Quitting your job and starting your own business means you're on call 24/7—especially in the early days. You'll need to be ready for everything: accounting issues, new business deals, inventory, HR, payroll, taxes, insurance, marketing, hiring, firing... as we say a lot here on the Kashoo blog, the list goes proverbially on.
When you quit your job to start something new, you're taking one of the biggest risks of your life. Obviously you're confident because you know you can do this thing and turn a dollar, but you should also be confident because even if, in the long run, your solo venture fails, you'll have done something very few people have the gumption to do. And hey, worst case, you can always go back and get a day job...