Five Steps To Transition From Corporate Career To Entrepreneurship

Whenever I talk to someone about entrepreneurship, the three Fs come to mind: freedom, flexibility, and financial potential. The benefits of being your own boss far outweigh the regular 9-to-5. The idea of not being penned to a desk and having to answer to a superior, the flexibility of being able to work anywhere you want when you want, and having a form of control over your earning potential can’t be beaten.

These three Fs have many people in the American workplace running to entrepreneurship. According to the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity (download required), there are 550,000 people every month in the United States leaving their day job for entrepreneurship.

It’s great that more people are taking that risk. However, there’s another F when it comes to starting your own business, and that’s “failure.” It’s widely reported that the vast majority of entrepreneurs who set out to start their own business don’t make it past their first year. A major factor could be that they don’t have a plan in place to take them from A to Z.

It’s not enough to have a great business idea. You have to know how to turn your idea into profit. In order to take the successful leap from employee to entrepreneur, here are five steps that will help you map out a plan. With the right movement and timing, you’ll be on the path to writing your own paycheck.

1. Don’t quit your day job … yet.

Since flexibility and freedom are two of the main reasons many desire to be their own boss, quitting your day job is usually the first thing you set your sights on. However, unless you have quite a bit of a nest egg or a trust fund, it’s often the last step you should take.

The smartest way to approach your new business venture is to build your business alongside your 9-to-5. When you quit your day job without any kind of gain in your business, you put yourself in a limited financial position. You need to be in a position of abundance in order to create abundance, meaning you can’t create more from a place of lack. And when you’re worried about how you’re going to eat and keep a roof over your head, this becomes your focus.

Yes, it has been done before, but it’s an approach full of unnecessary struggle. When you get to predictable income, then you can jump ship.

2. How are you the answer to a need? 

I’ve seen it happen many times. People get so excited about starting a business, building a brand, etc., that they go out and get all the business accouterments (a logo, business cards, a website, etc.) and get stuck because they haven’t fully thought through the next steps.

While your logo and website may attract the eye, what’s going to keep your customer there? Remember this: You are one of 550,000 people starting a business that particular month. How are you the answer to someone’s need in the marketplace?

You must be able to define who you are in a way that provides clarity, confidence and value to your potential customers. In my business, I help my clients figure this out through what I call my Fierce Formula. When you know what makes you the answer to someone’s need and package it from that standpoint, the revenue automatically follows. Now the question is …

3. How will you package it?

The key to building a successful business alongside your 9-to-5 is to build it in such a way that it allows you to make money while you sleep. What’s the key to doing this? You have to establish a business model for yourself that doesn’t require you to be present.

For example, whether I’m coaching one on one or doing a group seminar, I’m simultaneously bringing in revenue through my online courses — those programs where I am not physically present. You only have so many hours in a day, and if you’re only packaging your brilliance based on hours and you being present, you’ll never get to six figures in your business. You need to have four to six streams of income, and at least two of those revenue streams should be programs that don’t require you to be there.

4. How will you measure success?

One thing many business owners neglect to do upfront is to figure out how much money they will need to generate and how they plan to do so quarter after quarter, month after month in order to reach their desired income. A good starting point to help you figure this out is to go by what you’re making now at your day job. This allows you to at least begin with what you will need to sustain your current lifestyle. You need to have a plan that gets you to at least that level in your own business.

5. What’s your give-notice deadline?

Once you know all the answers to points one to four it will be easier to determine how long it will take you to hand in that letter of resignation and start packing up your office. Begin by setting weekly and monthly goals for yourself, eventually working your way up to quarterly and yearly predictable income in your business.

Some people have a hard time seeing how they can create a successful business on their own. They’re successful in corporate America and contributing to someone else’s company, but they can’t quite see how to duplicate that same success in their own business. It’s OK. Coming up with and executing the perfect formula for your success takes time. But if you stick to the five tips mentioned above, you’ll be working from the resort of your choice in no time.

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