Hey, before you escape your day job and give your boss the middle finger, there are some things you need to do. Don’t get caught up in the sexiness of quitting. Don’t get swayed by the gurus, the late night infomercials, the magic pills, or push button microwave instant riches schemes. Don’t expect to hit the lotto right away. Instant gratification will destroy your dreams of entrepreneurship.
Successful athletes, entertainers, and entrepreneurs have put in the time, sweat, energy, and long hours to become the top in their fields. People fail to realize that they have had many setbacks, and most had meager beginnings. Athletes train for years before they get paid. Entertainers waited on tables or worked security jobs when they went to auditions. Entrepreneurs had failed marketing campaigns before they made their money.
It will take the same effort on your part. You are not trying out for a pro team or movie part. But your goals are just as important. You will have to WORK (yes, I said the W word) and take that long arduous grind to become the best you can be.
It will take time for your business to grow. It doesn’t happen over night. You will wear more hats in your business and if you drop the ball you don’t make money. Don’t quit because you haven’t made a sale or you didn’t meet anyone at the networking event. How long did it take for you to learn your position at your job?
10.5 Things To Do Before You Escape Your Day Job
1. Pick The Right Business – Don’t just join the shiny object. Don’t hop on board the lotions, potions, and magic notions. The next prelaunch is not for you. Chances are you are making money on the side from your hobbies. Or this is your first rodeo. Point blank, pick a business that fits your strengths and talents.
It doesn’t matter if it is real estate, insurance, antiques, tax services, or private consulting. Pick something that you will excel in. If you don’t know what that is ask your family, friends, co-workers, or go to trade shows. Nothing is frustrating like being in the wrong business selling stuff you don’t like.
Follow your skills not the money. Don’t join the vitamin company if you don’t want to do home parties. Don’t go online if you hate the computer, don’t sell real estate if you hate real estate. Think long term. It took me two years before I had consistent cash flow. That’s 26 months before I had my first $1000 day. The next month I had a $1500 day. That’s consistent cash flow that I reinvest into my business every month. I have stuck to my strengths. I have improved upon my skills. Please do the same.
2. Your Reason WHY? – Your why is the fuel to keep you going. Money is a terrible motivator. You can get a second job and make more money. What drives you? Who will you serve? Who will benefit from your success? Why are you in business? When your why is big enough you will get through the setbacks. Your why is your drive.
3. What is Your End Result? – How much money do you want to make? Do you want to sell the business or pass it on to your children? How much money do you really need to make to escape your job? Having a $5000 per month salary is different from making $5000 per month in your business. It’s not the same income.
Working with the end in mind gives you long-term perspective. This extra thinking and planning help you shorten the learning curve. Search out people who are doing what you want to do. Success leaves clues.
4. Keep Your Job – Yes, keep your job. Your income is your best source of wealth right now. It will pay your bills, debts, and help grow your business. This is going to fund your business, pay for your education, and soften the blow of money lost. You did know that you will lose money right?
Your business needs to grow. When you make a sale reinvest those proceeds back into the business. You will scale up and grow faster. The key is to get your business cash flowing. Boot strapping will help you keep your expense under control. Don’t incur debts and grow with cash flow.
5. Be the Tortoise – Slow and steady wins the race. Every time I read, The Tortoise and The Hare, the Tortoise always wins the race. Research, investigate, and get as much understanding as you can for your business and industry. How much is your start-up cost? How much are your monthly expenses? Do you need an office space or can you work from home?
Don’t be in a rush. The deal of a lifetime happens every week. People find success in all age ranges. Your due diligence might give you an aha moment. For example you were researching residential real estate and you found that commercial real estate was a better fit for you. You just saved yourself time, money, and frustration. Or you investigated online affiliate marketing but you want to interact with people through home and hotel meetings.
6. Customer Service – You will need this. You want people to refer people. You want your vendors to be on time, your clients to pay on time, and your employees to have the best customer service. Customer service will help you grow faster.
Your banker will help you out more, your book keeper will appreciate you, and your tax guy will give you the best tax advice. Practice customer service at your job. You may not deal with customers directly but you do have internal customers.
Your co-workers are your customers. Learn why you earn. Work on your communication skills. Learn how to handle disputes. This is where you practice engaging and enrolling people into your ideas. Plus you get paid to do it.
7. Exploit Your Company’s Benefits – Find out all of your company’s benefits and use them. Schedule that elective surgery. Update your prescriptions, get new glasses, take some trainings, go to school, and max out your 401k plan. These benefits will disappear when you quit. Use them.
Use your lunch time and break times to read and listen to audio. No more gospel talk. That’s an extra hour to get better in your business. Exploiting your company’s benefits is not wrong. You are entitled to them.
8. Fall in Like with Your Day Job – Work all of the time you are at work. Become a model employee it will translate in your business. You do not live in a bubble. What you do on the job you will do in your business. My business grew when I became a better employee. Plus you are sowing seeds you can harvest later. One of my biggest investors is a co-worker.
9. Super Hero on the Weekends – The weekends are the time you will become a super hero. Last year I took 6 trips where I was speaking and building my brand. At some of the events I felt like royalty. People hung on my every word. I was able to make connections that added dollars to my bottom line.
Attend industry and company events. I took 28 days off last year to help grow my business. Your days off will be money time. Just make sure you schedule some time with friends and family. Opportunities come up for speaking engagements, interviews, and mentorship all because your business is growing.
But when Monday comes you are back to your normal self. Your alter ego has to go away during the day job work hours. Don’t worry your freedom will soon come and the super hero will be permanent.
10. Sales and Marketing – This is the most important part of business. Sales is the life blood that keeps your company going. Marketing is the tool to get you the sales. You will go broke and fail without sales. No matter how great your stationary looks, how awesome your product is, or how excited you are about your business. It don’t mean squat without sales.
I stress to my team that you will need to learn 1 to 3 marketing techniques. Whether it’s direct mail, SEO, PPC, or cold calling you need to develop these skills. Marketing needs to fit your skills. Don’t learn anything you don’t want to do.
Marketing brings in the leads. You need to have leads and have a list. Your list is cash flow. New entrepreneurs go through all of the motions of getting in business and gamble with marketing. Take the time to learn.
The best part of your Day Job is it will fund your marketing. There will still be a check coming in when marketing campaigns fail. Yes, you will have losing campaigns. It’s the nature of the business. Soon you will have winners and your company will support itself. Sales and marketing are the most important parts of your business. Do not neglect these parts.
10.5 Your Cash Flow Plan – We come to the last part. Your money. You need a budget and your business needs a budget. Two separate plans. I tell people to do a 90-day budget. Why 90 days? Most people can’t plan ahead for a year or don’t want to. If you were asking for funding you would need multi-year projections.
I am amazed when newbies are shocked that their business has expenses every month. Auto ships, desk fees, internet fees, hosting fees, and taxes. Yup, you have to pay those things. This is why you need a cash flow plan.
Depending on your industry you need to know how often you will get paid. I am an online entrepreneur so I get paid everyday, every week, and every month. My real estate deals can take 30, 60, 90, 120 days to close and I have to wait on those commissions.
Cash Flow keeps your business running. Naming every dollar will help you cut expense and scale your business. These are the 10.5 things you need to do to escape your day job. Put them into action and succeed.