Do you have a side hustle that makes you tingle with joy but feel stuck with a ho-hum job that pays the bills and offers little to no satisfaction?
Do you long to get leave the cubicle behind and do something more meaningful or creative?
Does the idea of a variable income keep you trapped in that office, too afraid to step out and go gangbusters on your own grind?
Do you dread going to work and count the hours until you can get home and get down ‘n dirty with your real passion?
Imagine being on your own, running your own business in a way that supports you fully and keeps you engaged and happy. Can it be done? I’m living proof.
I’ll never forget the day that I quit my bartending gig and leapt into the wonderful (and cray cray) world of entrepreneurship.
At the time, I had been reading tarot for over ten years so I had a good deal of experience under my belt. Naturally, I took the cards everywhere – including to the bar. It wasn’t long before more people were coming in to get their cards read rather than marvel at my mad mixology skills.
I began to contemplate putting my energy into starting my own business rather than dealing with the drunks and drama that often showed up at the bar. One day, I was musing about my dream to the owner and later found out that he was telling people that I would fail because “no one would pay for that”.
I quit my job immediately (because I’m super rebellious and don’t take kindly to failure talk) and never looked back. Since that day, I’ve been gainfully (and gleefully) employed as a full time tarot professional, which is not an easy feat as this work is not mainstream. (FYI: that bar failed two years later.)
Unless you have a rich benefactor (which if you do, count your blessings!) leaving your day job and going solo can be a scary endeavor. Back in the day, I had a lot of balls and a supportive partner, which helped to make my transition to full on self employment doable.
But it wasn’t all fairy tales and adventures: the early years were lean and I had to budget like a coupon clipping ninja. Plus, I had no business education to speak of, so there was a steep learning curve.
But that experience has taught me a lot about what to do and not to do when you’re ready (or almost ready) to say take this job and shove it.
Here’s my sage advice for those who are sick of working for the man and ready for independence day:
- Plan like crazy. You’ll need a solid exit strategy. Jumping off without a plan can work for the brave (or foolish) but that level of uncertainty is not for the faint of heart. Sit down and look at how much money you need every month to survive. Is your side business already bringing that in consistently? If not, do you have money put aside to cover your ass or a partner who is willing to support you financially until your business starts making a profit? Do you have a legit business structure and a website? Did you create a marketing plan? Do you have a plan B in place if, god forbid, an emergency arises? If you have children, do you have the proper insurance – including a good life insurance policy? And do you have working hours established? How long will you stay at your current job? Will you continue to work a part time job while you grow your own business? I know this sounds like a lot, but you need to be realistic and practical if you want your goodbye to be full of joy rather than fear.
- Develop your side biz in your off hours. Yes, that means working like a fiend for a while but this is wise. If your business is established and already making money, it makes it that much easier to move forward towards entrepreneurship. (And please don’t listen to the hype from people who promise get rich quick and six figures right out the gate. It RARELY goes that route. As RuPaul says, “you better work!”)
- Shore up support. Have money set aside. Put an emotional support system in place (this is vital because self employment can be a lonely road). Get your family on board to help out with household chores. Hire an assistant if you can afford it. Work with a business coach if your budget allows. Emotional, financial and household support are necessities, not luxuries.
- Wean yourself from your day job. Go down to part time if you can. This is often the smartest move, especially if your day job provides health insurance and you’re not quite at the point where you can afford to pay for your own. Work less hours at your day job and use that extra time to build your empire.
- Make the big leap! Once you have a strong business model and are making enough to support your basic needs, jump in! If you stay on your grind and fully commit to your success, it’s only a matter of time before your calling grows into a full time, thriving livelihood and you’re achieving bossmosis!
But what if your business never gets to that point? Keep doing it anyway, even if only on the side. If it is in your heart it will never feel like work.
So, tell me: are you ready to boss up and get out of the rat race? Start gearing up today so that you get to decide your tomorrow.
“An entrepreneur spends a few years of his life as most people won’t so that he can spend the rest of his life as most people can’t.” – Unknown
© Theresa Reed |The Tarot Lady 2013
If you are serious about your biz, join me and my fab crew October 2014 for the Soulful Proprietor Retreat. This event will be off the chain and full of lots o’ biz wisdom and loving support.