What is the first step in quitting your job and starting a business that will not only support you financially but also mentally, physically and spiritually?
It’s different for everyone because everyone is going to have different starting points and different types of obstacles to overcome. But most people would agree that the first step in starting a business is:
**Wanting it so badly that you’re willing to sacrifice your current comfort zone to achieve it.**
Of course, that’s not what the online gurus are preaching about starting a business and you won’t hear this in entrepreneur school. They make it sound so easy – all you need is an idea and the money will pile up while you sleep!
Well yes, this may be true someday. But the only way to achieve this is a lot of work up front and very few people in life have all kinds of free time to spare right now.
If you’re like most people, you work 40-50 hour weeks at work (maybe more!). You spend a good chunk of time commuting to and from work each day. Maybe you have kids, maybe you have a significant other and family takes a lot of time too (as well they should!).
So free time to work on starting your business isn’t really something you have left over at the end of the day.
If you’re frustrated at work (which is usually when we start thinking about starting a business). Then you’re probably arriving home exhausted and all you want is to decompress from the day and try to heal your soul before going to bed. So that tomorrow you wake up and do it all again. Trust me – I’ve been there!! I haaaaaated my job (because the department was managed terribly) and I came so close to walking out and never going back – in fact, I thought about it almost every day! But I didn’t want to leave until I had a plan.
So I found my idea and I started my own business and I started blogging and posting to Facebook and Instagram and I waited for the clients to come strolling in.
Yes, it was that easy. If you ignore the fact that I stopped partying every weekend, I stopped watching tv after work, I started waking up super early in the morning to work on my new biz and I kept my 45+ hour/week job. (My plan is to quit when my biz is 2 years old or I have too many ideal clients to keep working my “day job” whichever comes first.)
That’s right – I haven’t quit yet. The money isn’t piling up while I sleep. But I’m LOVING the experience of starting a business.
UPDATE: I quit my job to work full time in my business in September 2016 and it’s been an AMAZING experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything less than world peace or an end to world hunger!!! I originally gave myself 2 years to get my biz off the ground but instead I did it in about 1.5 years. (I officially opened Real To Ideal for business, as a side gig, on July 4th, 2015 and made it my full time job in September 2016.)
My social life has taken a hit (but my liver is healing!) and I have a real, honest-to-goodness professional business of my own and I’m blissfully happy about it! I used to drag myself out of bed before dawn. Because I wanted to get something done before I had to go to work. Now I jump out of bed because I can’t wait to get started! I used to get home exhausted after work, every day. And didn’t feel relaxed until I had a glass of wine or scotch to ease my frustrations. Now I get home and go straight for my laptop instead and I’m full of energy while I work on my biz. I stay up late and wake up early because I’m excited about what I’m doing with my life now.
And yes, sometimes it’s hard to keep this energy level up when it feels like you’re talking to an empty room. The Feedback that I’ve gotten from my clients is easily, enough to keep me going. (I print out my fave quotes and post them on the walls around my home office to cheer me on.) Plus, there are loads of Facebook groups full of supportive people who are in the same boat plus others who have upgraded to their own yacht and they cheer us on like our future selves begging us not to quit.
So what’s the point of all this, of starting a business? Having an idea of what kind of business you want to own someday is a great start. But it’s not actually the first step.
The First Step in starting a business:
First you need to look at your life and see out where your energy is being drained or wasted. For me it was the glass of sweet nectar and an hour of tv after work. Once I cut that out, I had 5 hours per week to devote to creating my ideal career and lifestyle. Add another 5 hours each Saturday that I spent recovering from the night before and I had 10 hours per week to do what truly made me happy.
Maybe you have a lot more obligations than this. And you’re ready to click away because you think you can’t do this – but just wait!
What if you can only spare 15 mins per day to starting your business. Maybe you really can’t free up any time at home. But you could cut 15 mins off your lunch break each day at work. That adds up to 1 hour and 15 mins per week. Which also adds up to 62.5 hours per year. And that’s assuming you take 2 weeks off per year. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dare encroach on your vacay or Christmas break or sick days!
62 hours doesn’t sound like much? That’s more than a 40 hour work week! Imagine what you could do if you took 8 days off of work and spent 8 hours per day in your business. Would that be a worthy endeavor? Yes! Yes it would! 15 mins per day, spent productively, is plenty of time to start your own business and create a lifestyle you are blissfully happy about.
So what are you waiting for? Get out a notebook or calendar, or use your Google or Outlook calendar. And start finding those chunks of time you could turn into productive side business time.
Do you need more help, structure & nudging to get this done? I’m building a fantastic workbook, video, e-book mini-course all about how to create more time in your day and money in your wallet. I hope to have the e-book done by Jan. 2016 and will offer it here as a freebie. So check back soon for that! (The video and full-on workbook, I hope to film that in early January offer it soon after. If you know any kick-ass pdf graphic designers, send them my way!!)
Wondering what step 2 in starting a business is? I’ll write a whole post on that soon, but here’s the gist:
Figure out what your ideal lifestyle would be. No limits to your imagination, but make sure it’s something that works for your spouse/kids/whomever depend on you. And build your new career around that.
For me: I wanted to be able to work from anywhere, anytime so that I could travel as much as possible. That’s why I chose a career that is completely online. But I also chose a career I am passionate about! That will feed many different aspects of my soul and that I can continue to do when I get older. What is your ideal lifestyle? What careers would support this lifestyle? If you’re not sure, poke around on my blog for “Day In The Life Of….” posts or sign up for career coaching. (With whomever you feel a connection to, doesn’t have to be me. If you sign up for a free coaching session with me and don’t feel 100% jazzed by the end of the session, I will gladly recommend other amazing coaches I know who you may prefer.)
Thanks for reading! Now go out there and THRIVE!! :)
If you want more exercises like this: to help you get on the right path towards your dream career, lifestyle and starting a business, peruse the EXERCISES page
Ready for Step 2? It’s right here – How To Build Financial Freedom Before Quitting Your Full Time Job. If you’d like to have each step delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to this blog by signing up in the footer below.