“You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you don’t do this full time.”
This is a quote from an entrepreneur that I heard right before I quit my job at Citibank. When I heard it, I definitely was like “that ain’t true. (I know ain’t isn’t a real word with just follow me).” It most definitely is true. Having a side hustle and doing a career full-time are two completely different beasts. I think about this every time somebody asks me what should they do, as far as things they should have lined up, if they plan on quitting their 9 to 5. It is crazy because in the last month I’ve definitely had this conversation at least five times. I guess since I have talked about it a lot over the past 2 years that people think I am an expert on the matter (which I’m not by the way). Every time I have gotten asked this question I give them things that I did which I felt were beneficial but also somethings that I wished I would have done. So here is my Before You Quit list:
Things I Did.
– Kept My Living Expenses Low. This really has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur, but it definitely helped during the process. I usually try not to spend money on a lot of frivolous stuff or have a lot of unnecessary debt. I’m the epitome of somebody that lives below their means. This helped because I didn’t have a whole bunch of unnecessary bills that I had to make sure were taken care of. The bills that I did have at the time I paid them off right before I quit. That was definitely great for me to do.
– Already Had Clients. To me this sounds like common sense but I’ve seen people leave a job and not have a single client in sight. Having work already coming in just showed me that there was a demand for what I was offering. This allowed me to already have the business essentials together already such as pricing, my branding, website, portfolio, etc. So when I approached new and potential clients about working together I already had something I could show them. Besides that having clients led me to my next point.
– Was Making 1K A Month. Now making 1k from my business now is pretty damn bad but at the time it was beyond awesome. Making money from something that was just a side business had me so excited. To be real, since I kept my living and business expenses low I only needed to get about $700 to cover all of my expenses at that time. So I was pretty much already there. Also I knew that if I was able to consistently bring in 1K a month with working 40 hours for someone else that I could triple or quadruple that amount if I could work for myself. That is what I have done.
Things I Wish I Would Have Done.
– Used My Double Income Better To Help My Career. Now that I look back to when I was working my 9 to 5, the one thing that bothers me the most (besides not leaving sooner) is that I didn’t buy more equipment. When I left my job I had to go out and purchase a $1500 camera stabilizer, $400 strobe lights, sliders, etc but if I would have known better I would have started to put money towards that when I was making money from both. If I would have done that, I know it would have allowed me to do better work, be more efficient and maybe even get better gigs before I even quit.
– Saved More Money. Now this one should just go without explanation. We need money to survive. There will be time when business is slow but bills will keep on coming and you will need some money saved up to be able to get through those times.
– Promoted Myself More. Now this is something that I have just recently thought about. Since I am a content creator I used to put all of my energy into promoting my clients or the projects I was working on at that time. If I would have known better I would have put more money into myself and my company promoting the work that we do as well as visuals and promo material. This would have gotten me into the mode of marketing myself. Marketing myself is something that I do now that has been extremely beneficial to my personal brand as well as my company. So being able to do that with more money coming in would have been the best move.
Well there you have it. My list of the things that budding entrepreneurs should do before they quit. I hope this helps you out. I have a little bit of homework for you all though. If you are currently contemplating about leaving your job, what is the thing that is stopping you from making that leap? I would love to hear what you have to say. #GoCreate