The most exhilarating (and enjoyably stressful) day of my life was when I walked into the office of my boss and told him that I would be leaving the company.
I was leaving on good terms, for those of you wondering, but the mere act of hopping ship brought tears to my eyes because it was such a stressful and liberating moment. My boss understood where I was coming from and the fire I had burning inside me helped me follow through.
Rewind a second.
Months prior to my decision I had begun working on projects to create passive and active income through a mix of online work and consulting. The work stemmed from what I had been learning and developing at the business. I dabbled with offering those services on the side and with enough perseverance I could land a handful of clients that soon accounted for the same amount of money I had been making at the 9-to-5. I knew it was time to decide.
It’s now been 5+ years since that fateful day and I’m constantly reminded about that monumental decision; I think about how I did it but also because I’m frequently asked about making the leap from friends and family that, they too, want to get out of the rat race.
When I decided to compile the major factors, it had come to this:
1. I had to secure my finances (first and foremost)
2. I needed a stable set of clients
3. I required a passion for the work
The finances really do matter to get your foot in the door since you’ll need capital for advertising, marketing, and investment in resources. The finances came very easy as it simply requires to change around my lifestyle. I made an effort to cut the vices (partying), renegotiate bills (the big one was utilities – a quick website search and you can get that process started), and having a set of financial goals (in general). Each dollar I made and saved went back into the business which expedited its growth to where it’s at today. You notice where waste is going (food expenses and entertainment as example) which is replaced with profitable actions.
Then you have stability which is REQUIRED if you’re going to make a leap from your day job. There’s no point in trying to go full-time with your side-income earner if you’re not sure whether clients will stick. For this you need to do a combination of going above-and-beyond with delivering great services/products along with spending at least an hour sending new applications to leads in your industry so you have a constant flow of opportunities coming your way.
You don’t need to necessarily completely replace your full expenses – if you can cover the basics and those clients are stable then you have the chance. I say take it. Being able to dump that full-time work for an extra 40 hours in your side work that’s now earning you money is the game-changer. Build upon your success; keep the hunger you had as when you first started – through this you’ll always keep pushing yourself to the next level.
Passion comes strong when you feel like you have an “out” with the normal 9-to-5. Every night, after work, where you’re toiling away at your project, you feel like you’re making progress. Every time you have a piece of content shared, someone responding to your Tweets, or an order coming through is another moment of realization and reinforcement.
A startup needs you to be passionate so you’re willing to put in the time and energy to get the tasks done since you no longer have a boss to keep you in line nor everyday stress of the time clock. When you develop this passion – everything that would cause a setback goes to the wayside. You focus how you’re spending money, where you’re investing, and where your time goes. Because you’re locked into something you love you naturally discard anything (and everything) that doesn’t push you toward your goals. Passion, for me, was what helped dearly with the initial finances.
All-in-all, you must WANT IT. You need to understand there will be troubling times but you MUST push through if you want to succeed. You’ll take a hit financially, mentally, and physically, but if you can endure the pain you will see the gains.