Signs You Can Quit Your Day Job
THE LEAP! The leap feels so big. Quitting your day job to launch your own empire is full of so much anxiety, fear, curiosity, hope, and thrill.
Most of us aren’t equipped to sort through that many emotions, all happening at the same time. It’s like the Jungle Juice from your college years. And most of us weren’t equipped to handle that either.
So, while there’s no one path to entrepreneurship, let me help you sort out when you’ll know you’re ready to take that leap.
Money & Insurance
The biggest burning questions I get in my DMs are fears about money and insurance.
If you’re in the position to stay in position, do it. By that I mean, if you’re able to stay in your day job while you grow your empire on the side, that’s the most stable situation. Yes, it’ll mean you’re sacrificing some nights and weekends but if you’re just rewatching Breaking Bad again, you won’t lose much.
When you’re earning 75% of your day job salary through your side empire, you’re in a position to walk.
I mean, I walked without having much lined up. People do it all the time. But ideally you’ve built enough of a bridge to make the leap more like a hop.
You only need to get 75% of your salary covered because once you take the leap you’ll have a lot more time on your hands for business development to get you to 100% +.
The + also includes covering your insurance, which is probably the #1 block for people in the US who have to suffer through employer-based insurance programs. It’ll become a cost of doing business. You can handle it. But now’s the time to research how much you’ll be paying and add this cost to the list of expenses you’ll incur regularly (you’ll use that list to help you figure out your pricing).
Thing is – people get jungle juice feelings about money and insurance but it isn’t the first thing to sort out.
What the hell do you sell, Honey? You have to start here.
What do you offer in exchange for money? Usually it’s some kind of product or service. To make a successful leap, you’ve gotta articulate exactly what you sell and package it up in a way that potential buyers can clearly understand.
It’s one thing to say “I’m a stylist and I’ll tell you what to wear.” Dime a dozen.
It’s waaaaay more attractive to say “I’ve got a curated box of clothes in your size and style that I’ll mail to you once a season.” THAT I would buy. It’s packaged. Ok, literally – a box of clothes – but conceptually too and that’s the more important part.
And even more important than that is the underlying mechanism you develop to actually deliver the offer. You can’t just *say* you sell a box of clothes, you have to actually set up the processes by which you’ll find out what customers want, establish relationships with stores, think through the packaging (physical this time – the cardboard box you’ll mail).
You need the idea, plus the processes to make the idea happen. Figure that stuff out first.
The second thing you need in order to quit your day job, right after the idea and process, is the clientele. Almost everyone has their first clients long before they get their first logo.
Client demand can start out small – like, you told your idea and process to a friend, who told a friend, who wants to work with you now. Even if you aren’t ready yet, that counts as client demand.
If you find yourself saying no to some potential work because you’re out of hours in the day, that definitely counts as client demand and that’s how you know you can walk… or leap.
(By the way, I used these same signs to help me navigate my process of cutting out some income streams that I don’t like and leaping over to others that bring me more joy – uh, like Boost & Bloom. This ain’t just for the newbie entrepreneur.)
A strong, sustainable empire will also require branding and marketing and systems and strategies and you’ll build all of that as you go. Don’t worry about it now. Just get product, demand, and money sorted out and you’ll be ready to quit your day job.