Making The Leap: From Employee to Entrepreneur

Making The Leap: From Employee to Entrepreneur

Making the transition from a traditional job to working from home or starting your own business can be scary. You are giving up the known for the unknown, giving up stability and schedule for something that isnt guaranteed. But you are also giving up limitations for unlimited possibilities, and a strict schedule for complete flexibility…

I had the opportunity to share my own start-up story with a friend over coffee yesterday. I still laugh at myself when I think back on it, because the idea was completely crazy – yet I was totally confident that it would work. Chalk it up to age (23 at the time) and inexperience, but that naive confidence was probably the one factor that contributed most to my own success as an entrepreneur.

It was basically the Think and Grow Rich concept, even though I wasnt familiar with Napoleon Hill or his work at the time. While it takes more of a deliberate thought process now – 10 years later, with plenty of experiences to contribute to decision making and goal setting – at the time I simply believed in it, and then went through the steps to make it happen.

10 years ago I was a working wife and mother, and we were a combined family with 4 children. My husband wasnt working, and I was making barely over $6/hour at my job in the small town where we lived. The house was rented, the car was always breaking down, and we were barely getting by from paycheck to paycheck (my one paycheck, for 6 people, at that). We had no savings, no assets and no real shot of making it “out of the rut” anytime soon.

What I did to make the transition to successful entrepreneur is not necessarily something I would advise to others. That said, it did work for me, and I was up and running and (at least somewhat) financially stable within 3 months. To give you the short story: I quit my job cold turkey, sold everything that we owned, and started a service-based business out of our home. When I say “sold everything” – I mean the china, furniture, the kids’ toys, right down to my eelskin heels. It all went to auction.

I was in it to succeed, and had every intention of replacing it all. And did.

The most common advice, though, is that you save up at least 3 months worth of living expenses before you quit your job, or make the transition to working from home full-time. I think that this is great advice, and recommend it myself.

Another option is to begin working from home in your spare time, while keeping your current job. While this may mean insanely long days and unrealistic hours for you… it is only an investment you have to make for a short time. Once your business begins to earn what you are making at your job, you can comfortably leave that job and get back to normal working hours.

No matter which option you choose, you will most likely be making a sacrifice of some sort… and taking a chance. Plan smart, believe in yourself, and resolve to do whatever it takes to see your dreams come true.

Most people go into business for themselves because they want more out of life. More free time, more flexibility, more options, more financial stability. Whatever your “more” is, want it bad enough to throw caution to the wind and make it happen!

by Lynn Terry