The very concept of quitting your job and starting your business can seem both outlandish and frightening.
I know this because I went through the process. Just one year ago I had a stable and lucrative job, and although I was working towards establishing a business that could provide me with a full time income, I had a niggling thought in the back of my head that it was all a pipe dream. That it wasn’t really possible, and that even trying to do so was a huge risk.
I wish I had read this post a year ago, because starting your own business is nothing more than a process, and building something of true value is not nearly as difficult as you may think. And once you have quit your job and are in control of your future, the potential opportunities available to you grow exponentially.
Sure – there is plenty more to the process than what I am about to reveal, but a good grasp of the fundamentals is as good a starting point as any.
1. Define Your Asset
Or to put it simply – what is it that you have to offer – something you are passionate about – that other people value enough to spend money on? Chris Guillebeau calls it “convergence”:
…the intersection between something you especially like to do or are good at doing (preferably both), and what other people are also interested in.
The knee-jerk answer may be “nothing”, but you would not be doing yourself justice by saying so.
I strongly believe that almost everyone has something of value to offer others. It is a case of identifying that something, then figuring out how to place your related value proposition in front of the right people.
2. Calculate Your Required Income
You and I may well have very different definitions of required income. Mine is as follows:
Required income is the amount of money required to sustain the quality of life you choose to provide to yourself, which in itself is calculated by an assessment of the value of material items against the work required in order to afford them.
It’s a bit of a mouthful, I know, but the concept is in fact pretty simple. Required income is not what you currently spend on a month by month basis. It is likely that your expenditure can be reduced dramatically – by downsizing your living accommodation, reducing your clothing budget, buying cheaper food, and so on.
The lower your expenditure, the lower your required income, and the quicker you can establish a viable business. To an extent, it is up to you how small or large your required income is.
3. Build a Safety Net
Here’s a controversial suggestion – quit your job and commit full time to building your business before it is earning your required income.
You might consider that crazy, but I consider the concept that you can’t add loads more value to your business by dedicated a dramatically higher number of hours to it even crazier. This is especially true if your burgeoning business generates income on a time investment basis – i.e. the more hours you work, the more money you make.
Quitting your job before your business reaches the required income threshold is entirely possible (it’s what I did), but you must ensure that you do it in the correct fashion. An absolute must is a safety net – to put it bluntly, something that ensures you will not go broke whilst you are building your business.
A safety net is typically financial in nature (e.g. living costs for six months in savings), but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. For example, moving back into your parents’ house could be seen as a potential safety net.
Stick to the Fundamentals
In this article we have briefly touched upon the three key steps you need to take in order to start pursuing bigger and better opportunities in life. I’ve painted in broad strokes, but when all is said and done, this is where it starts.
About the Author
Tom Ewer is a full-time blogger and the founder of Leaving Work Behind, a blog for anyone who wants to quit their job and build their best life.