Being a successful entrepreneur and running your own business is hard. If you dream of quitting your job to become an entrepreneur, there are 3 things you should do today, in your current job, before you take the leap.
Create a Part-Time Side Hustle
Before you leave the comforts of your reliable health coverage and paycheck, start small and do some of your entrepreneurial work part-time. Find a way to create a side hustle to test your idea before going all in and quitting your job. It does require that you spend your free time working, but you will be further along when you do decide it’s time to quit.
Ideas to consider before you quit:
- Create a website to sell or promote your idea and start testing who responds favorably.
- Spend your weekends and evenings creating your business plan and share with friends and mentors for feedback.
- Attend networking events related to your idea. Start to build your tribe of potential clients, customers, or supporters.
The opportunity to launch your own company is an enticing one, be sure to do as much as you can with the stability of your current job, before you take on the risk and try to launch your new idea.
Evaluate Your Current Job
Before you quit your job, ask yourself this question: are my ideas and passion something I could tap into with my current job or company?
If you can become an intrapreneur and launch new ideas and products within your current role, that could be the entrepreneurial sweet spot you are craving. Intrapreneurs have the opportunity to create new things, but with less risk, as you will still have your company’s resources available to you.
NOTE: You won’t have the same upside as a wildly successful startup. You won’t have the same equity in the idea as you would if you started it out on your own. That said, starting something new, right where you are, could be great practice and just the training wheels you needed to get your entrepreneurial feet wet and ready to do your own thing.
Assess Your Needs
Make sure being an entrepreneur is what you want. Do you need a change? Are you passionate about seeing your idea come to fruition? These are great reasons to become an entrepreneur, but you also need to be equipped to handle failure, rejection, and ready for the long-term implications that entrepreneurship brings.
Start by spending time self-reflecting on what would help you tap into your passion. Talk to mentors that know you, and start to uncover your internal motivations, and how you could get closer to your goals.
Also, spend time identifying what infrastructure you require to succeed. For example, do you need a steady paycheck to support your family? Do you work best when surrounded by a collaborative team? Think about how you will you manage the ambiguity that comes with entrepreneurship, and not having the built-in support and structure your current job provides.
Proceed with Caution
If you take these 3 steps, you will be better equipped and ready for launching your own product or service as an entrepreneur. It delays quitting your job today but gives you some tools to leverage if you do take the plunge further down the line. Taking these steps will ultimately ensure that you make a career choice that will make you happy and lead to success.
About the Author:
Entrepreneur turned intrepreneur. Co-founder of Pick-A-Prof and MyEdu. Launched new products at the California Department of Education and IDEO. Karen’s work has been highlighted in media publications including The New York Times, TechCrunch, NPR, CNN, and more. She has spoken at SXSW, COIN, Tech for Schools, EDVenture, and worked with companies and organizations across the public, civic, and non-profit sectors. You can follow Karen by visiting her blog or connect via Facebook and Twitter.