I hated being an employee and knew that I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, however I also realised that it would take time to prepare myself for the road that lay ahead. In fact it took over ten years.
When someone asks me should I quit my job to start a business or a new exciting career I normally ask them a simple “why do you want to start a business or start a new career?”
The why is fundamentally more important that the how or the when. Below I have outlined some very important questions you need to ask yourself before you escape the work you hate.
Do you know what your purpose is?
Having the confidence to leave the unknown to start something new is so much easier if you know what your purpose is. If you have not started questioning what your unique purpose is or don’t know what talents you have then may I suggest you start the process as a matter of urgency.
Do you have a plan?
When I left my secure job to start my business I did not have a structured business plan or a set of goals. However I did have a rough plan. The plan was simple. Build an innovative flying school that was different from other flying schools and work on my spiritual purpose of being an author and motivational speaker. That was the extent of my plan. No strict timelines, just a knowing of where I was heading.
The odds of you just quitting your job then stumbling on work you love is very low. So have a rough plan in place.
Have you done your homework?
As stated before I spent ten years studying and learning about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I could have learnt all I needed to know in a fifth of this time however I was not emotionally, spiritually or financially ready to leave the security of my job.
Have you read books or spoken to individuals who are successfully doing what you want to achieve?
Does your partner support you?
This one is a big one. If you have a long lasting relationship or if you are married does your partner support your dream of leaving your secure Job to venture into the unknown? If your partner does not support your dream it is going to be a very hard road indeed. You may need to satisfy some of your partner’s requirements before you can start your new venture. For instance my wife fully supported my desire to start my own business. However she also wanted to be closer to her family for support as she knew what long hours I would be working when I started the business. So my plan included moving to the Sunshine Coast to be closer to my wife’s parents.
You may be comfortable leaving your secure Job with a few thousand dollars in reserve however your partner may not. Remember life is not all about you, you will need to consider those you love and care about. Make sure your plan involves them. I would suggest listening to their concerns and fears before you begin your journey. I am not suggesting you should give up your dream however some compromising may be required.
What is Your Financial Buffer?
If you have four kids, a lot of debt and no savings like I did when I started my first business then quitting your job cold turkey might not be the smartest move. While I encourage everyone to take risks with their life we still have to live in the real world and be responsible to the ones we love. If you are single and have no debt and can live with little income then go for it. However if you have loved ones that rely on you for an income then I suggest a transition plan is the way to go.
I kept my old job (insurance manager) part time while I grew my flying school to the level it could support my family. I would have loved to have quit my job a lot earlier but I knew the slower transition was the way to go for those that I loved and cared for.
Do you have belief in yourself?
If you do not believe you have the power to effect change in your life then it is no surprise that you’re not going to make any changes in your life. Yes life does push us around at times however we also have an incredible amount if influence over the world we inhabit.
Life in many ways is like being a sailor of a large yacht. You cannot control the wind or storms that may affect your boat however you still have a great deal of control over the rudder and sails.
Do you have enough belief or faith in God ?
I would never have left the security of my old job had I not had a belief in God. It’s not so much that I didn’t believe in myself and needed God to help me (which he did). It was more the fact that I could only justify taking a risk if my “why” was aligned with Gods plan for my life.
Of course it’s also nice to know God is by my side through all the trials I face constantly. Running a business is rewarding but very hard work. I can only imagine how much harder it would be if had no belief or faith in God.
Understanding God helps us understand ourselves and our purpose. It makes the struggles we experience manageable. It is a relief knowing we do not have to do it all ourselves.
Do you get quality quiet alone time?
Have you had some quality time away from the work you hate to listen to the quiet voice of God or your inner voice?
Whether it’s a daily walk through the park or the beach, meditating before you go to bed at night or taking a four week holiday to find yourself, it is so much easier to gain clarity without the distractions of daily living.
Slow and easy wins the race!
When you hate your work all you can think about is escaping. We dream about telling the boss where to go then one day we just walk out free as a bird. However the harsh reality is unless you were born with a hefty trust fund or have a large financial reserve you’re going to require some form of income to survive in this world.
The best way I believe is to put a plan in place then work on that plan daily. If you just quit the work you hate and you don’t have a safety net the fear of running out of money will most likely force you into another soul destroying job that you take just for money.
I always recommend doing what I did, reduce the work you hate to the minimum required to support you while you work on creating a life that you love.
This will allow more time to work on your purpose and your financial needs will be taken care off while you’re transitioning. We accept going to university for four to six years to create a new life for ourselves then why do we assume that creating a new life will happen overnight!
It took me over ten years to move from work I hated to work that I love. However I believe most individuals with the correct guidance can accomplish radical change within one to four years. Considering most individuals live until at least sixty five years of age do you think it is reasonable to spend four years or eight percent of your working life discovering your purpose and creating a life that you love?
Patience, consistency and working towards your purpose will always get results in the long run. Most of us give up long before we start seeing any real change to our outer circumstances. I know presently you may be feeling depressed, frustrated and think that your life will never change. You have so much more control over your life than you have been led to believe. It is time to start acting. Start reading and start questioning your life and the world around you. It is through questioning that we begin to grow.
Do you accept responsibility for your life?
Do you accept that no one is going to do the hard work for you? You may discover mentors and guides that assist you along the way but you are going to have to do the bulk of the work. Do not let the world push you around anymore, accept you have a responsibility to yourself and God to follow your purpose and create a life that you love.
No more excuses, your journey and new life can start today. I am sorry to advise you but the choice has always been yours!