5 Essential Steps You Must Take Before Making the Leap from the Corporate World to Entrepreneur
It can be ridiculously incredibly tempting to walk out of that unfulfilling, boring or stressful 9-5 and start pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams when you’re having a particularly bad day.
Especially when you’re overwhelmed with demands that never seem to leave your inbox.
Or when someone spilled coffee all over those important documents AGAIN.
Or when you’re stuck in the office doing overtime when everyone else is out there having fun and you KNOW you’re chained to your desk until late, AGAIN. It’s enough to drive you crazy!
But don’t do it. Not yet.
Don’t quit your corporate job until you’ve worked through the five essential steps I’m about to share with you today.
Because, as you already know, the path to becoming an entrepreneur isn’t an easy one.
It takes focus. It takes time and dedication. It takes grit to keep pushing through towards your business goals even when it doesn’t seem to be going as planned.
That’s when you can start fulfilling your potential and living your dream. But none of this happens overnight.
Read through the following five steps I’m about to share, and make sure you take action on each one. It’s important.
Step 1. Know your ‘why’
Before you even think about resigning from your job, you first need to think carefully about what motivates you to make this change.
What is your ‘why’?
Your answer to this simple question will guide you towards making the right choices for your business, your happiness and your sense of fulfillment. It will help you tune into that inner ‘gut wisdom’ that can make the difference between entrepreneurial success and failure.
And if you keep your ‘why’ at the very front of your mind, you’ll also be able to make that leap from the safety of the 9-5 with more confidence. You’ll also find it much easier to stay focused on your end goal, even if the going gets tough.
How to find your why
Next, pull out your journal, set the timer on your phone for 20 minutes and start writing about your why. Why do you want to leave your corporate job? Why do you want your business idea (if you already have one), to become a reality?
Your ‘why’ might include one of the following:
- I want to become my own boss
- I want to enjoy more freedom
- I want to spend more time with my kids
- I want to pursue my passions
- I want to work from anywhere you like
- I want to ditch that horrible commute
Once you’ve come up with an answer, I want you to take it a step further and ask yourself again, ‘But why?’
Why do you want more freedom? Why do you want to work from anywhere? What is it that makes you want to make this dream a reality?
Be honest- no one is judging you for your answers!
Then when you’ve outlined your ‘why’, I want you to use it!
Write it down on your vision board or create a big poster carrying these powerful words. Display it over your desk and look at it often. Or even scribble it on a ton of sticky notes and display them all over your home! It all works.
Step 2. Set strong goals
Goals are a vital part of any business, and in my opinion, they’re also a great framework to apply to your entire life.
With goals, you’ll know exactly where you’re heading, instead of just having a vague direction in mind.
You’ll feel like you’re taking back the control over your life, and feel much more confident that you won’t be trapped in the daily grind forever. The future will look much brighter and sticking with the corporate job for just a tiny bit longer will seem more bearable than it was before.
Use your goals to help you transition from where you are right now to where you want to be. I promise you, it will all be worth it.
How to set effective goals
When you create your goals, make sure you do it in a way that empowers you to push through your fears and move towards where you want to go.
However, it can be quite a balancing act because you don’t ever want to feel overwhelmed, or lost or like you’ve been working far too long to make your dreams happen without making much progress.
That’s why I love the SMART goals framework. If you’ve been in business circles for a while, you’ll know that this is an acronym which we can break down as follows:
- Specific – Get crystal-clear about what you want to achieve. Where exactly would you like to take your business?
- Measurable – Make sure that your goal can be measured so that you know when you’ve achieved it!
- Achievable - Can you actually make this goal happen? Do you have enough time to make it work? How about money? Be honest.
- Relevant - Make sure your goal is pushing you in the direction you want to head. Seems obvious but it can easy to forget.
- Timely - Set a deadline for achieving the goal. Again, be realistic.
Now it’s over to you. What goals could you set yourself for the coming few months, year or even couple of years?
Be specific, really drill down to what is important and make sure they fit within the SMART goals framework.
Step 3. Take action
I know from experience that it’s far too easy to get lost doing background research, especially when you’re not feeling entirely confident in your ability to make your business work. It feels much safer to stay behind your computer, asking questions, trying to suss out the market before you take the leap.
It’s easier to daydream about things like answering your emails in your pyjamas, taking a mid-afternoon break to go to Yoga class, or eating almond butter straight from the jar as you sort through your finances, than actually doing something to make it real.
It’s safer. You don’t have to face any risks.
But please don’t make this mistake.
I’ve seen far too many women give up on some truly fantastic business dreams, simply because they were too scared to take action, or felt like they needed to know it all before they took the leap into their new career, or it just wasn’t ‘the right time’.
The truth is, you’ll never have all the answers.
There’s no such thing as the right time. You’ll never be able to research your fears away, or be 100% sure that you can make your business idea work. There are no guarantees in this entrepreneur life.
There comes a point when you have to place your toes on the edge of that cliff and take that leap. Take action. Make it happen.
Because, what’s the alternative? That you keep struggling through that daily grind for the rest of your life? That you just have to swallow your pride and sacrifice your dreams because you were too scared?
What kind of life do you think you’d live then? What kind of life do you want to live?
I know what my answer would be.
Step 4. Tap into your network
You already have a huge network of people who can help make your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality, I’m pretty certain of it. All you need to do is ask and the magic will happen.
Yes, I know that the thought of reaching out and asking for help like this can be scary.
What if they think you’re rude for asking for help? What if they laugh in your face?
What if you’re just kidding yourself and you’re not really good enough to make your business idea work? What if you just make a fool of yourself?
First let me tell you that you’re not alone in feeling like this. No one likes to ask other people for help, especially when they’re first starting out in business. We like to think we already have all the answers, that we know what we’re doing, and we can build our empire alone.
But I’d really encourage you to reach out and contact the people that you believe could help you.
They can provide really useful advice and guidance that can help you get started, they might be able to throw exciting opportunities your way, and they might even be full of ideas that can help drive you in a lucrative new direction. Besides, you’ve already built some kind of a relationship with them, so they’ll be much more willing to go the extra mile to help you out.
So don’t let the threat of rejection put an end to your dreams. Don’t be limited by that little negative voice in your head that tries to sabotage your life. You can do this.
Be brave. Go ask these people.
Step 5. Get a coach
Making changes to your life can be scary, especially when there’s so much at stake. It’s far too easy to get overwhelmed, lose direction, and let those doubts and worries come through to run the show. That’s why I’d highly advise you get yourself a coach if you’re serious about making your dreams become a reality.
They can help you make sense of where you are in life right now, help you understand yourself better and help you move through challenges like fear and lack of confidence and self belief.
They can also highlight areas that need more work, help you make sense of your business goals and guide you through making the leap from the corporate world to entrepreneurship with more confidence. Contact me if you’d like to hear how I can support you.
So before you make the leap from your 9-5 and start making your business dreams a reality, make sure you do some prep work first.
Outline your ‘why’, set yourself some SMART goals, take action (however small), use your network and don’t forget to find yourself a coach to help you transition more smoothly, without the usual obstacles getting in the way.
Hey, I'm Tasmin! I'm a Mindset & Business Confidence Coach for new and aspiring female entrepreneurs. I help overcome their fears and ramp up their confidence so that they can escape the corporate drudgery and create a life and business on their terms.
Want to chat about how I can help you? Apply for a Free Session with me here. I'm excited to talk to you :-)
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