This post was originally published on The Connection Exchange
Last week, I started full time working for my business Tangs Design.
Let me be clear here and say that I have not resigned from my current full time government job my workplace has been polite enough grant me leave for an 8 month period. This time will be spent setting up a more effective website and building the business within Australia and an international platform.
The decision to spend an almost full year working on the business, working full time and attempting to juggle a life and performance career. I was laying on the floor on my yoga mat, trying to get some relief from the migraine that had plagued me for two days. I knew I was stressed and when my body started telling me this dramatically, I had to pay attention.
Since I made my decision, so many people have been asking me for advice about how to do this. If this is you firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! I am excited for you. However, before you throw caution to the wind and decide to take the leap of faith- these are the things I would recommend really thinking about before.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
This is by far going to be your biggest obstacle. Do you have enough money to support yourself for a few months while the business makes money?
It is unlikely that you will be making the same as your salary of the job you are making the first week in business.
Do you have enough savings to get you through?
Do you have someone else to help assist in paying the bills?
Have you considered other costs- health insurance, car insurance, your rates, dental emergencies? Within the first week of me going into business for myself- my laptop died and my car was damaged so severely in a hail storm that it was written off. These had not been in my budget.
Figure out your expenses, try to figure out what you think you can get by on and have a realistic consideration on when your business will turn a profit. The majority of things we do cost us money. However, there is always money to be made. Having said that….
“WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR RECEIPT, MA’AM?”
I was recently moaning about the money predicament to someone who reminded me I was once a university student who worked behind a bar to make extra cash. The ability for me to pour a beer didn’t disappear now that I am 10 years older.
If money gets tight, are you willing to work at your local pizza shop or supermarket should you need to tide yourself over?
Mostly, this question comes down to ‘can your ego handle this?’
SOCIAL LIFE AND FRIENDSHIPS
For the time you’ve been friends with someone, you have attended events/movies/cocktails/sports events/any other social engagement probably regularly. You had a great time, your friends had a great time- and who wouldn’t want that to continue? The invites will continue and there will be expectations on you about this. ‘Hey it’s my birthday so, lets go to lunch at this new expensive place, and then the movies and then we shall have cocktails on a boat I’m hiring.’ Goodbye $300. When you make the plunge, it is likely that you will mostly need to reign in this kind of spending.
Are you willing to miss out on the latest dinner, movie night out, trip down the coast for the weekend?
BUT I STILL HAVE A JOB?
People are already calling this time ‘my holiday’. Yes, I am moving away from the status quo but I still have a job.
Also, I’ve already had a few friends who have made ‘jokes’ about me being able to help with running errands, babysitting their kid that’s got a cold while they go to their ‘real job?’ Recently a friend commented ‘oh this will be great! You can come and meet for lunch all the time!’
If your dream is to have a job where you can be flexible and do these kinds of things for people- then great! That’s brilliant.
However, if you are like me- I like structured time working. I will be screening calls at different times and throwing myself into working for blocks of hours. I’m also preparing to say no a lot more than I have previously. Please note, I do not suffer from FOMO.
ANXIETY, STRESS, PANIC….
In my experience, leaving your full time job is not full the faint hearted.
When this was all ‘an idea’ in a cloud, this seemed like the best idea I’ve ever had.
When the planets aligned and the dates were all set, it was great. And then it came. The realisation that you are now your own boss.
I’M MY OWN BOSS? The panic. The stress and the self-doubt settled in and gave me a hard dose of panic. I couldn’t blame self-doubt for turning up.
I had after all recently locked myself inside my house. Seriously. Should I really be at the helm of a business?
And to make matters worse…
PEOPLE ARE SCARED FOR YOU
Not only are you terrified for yourself but other people are scared for you.
And then for some other reason other people will be pissed at you also.
Be prepared for this, because I was not.
Mostly, this comes from genuine concern about your wellbeing and mental health that you are possibly suffering a mental break.
But sometimes it comes from people who have not followed their dreams and there is envy.
This should not be overlooked.
ARE YOU WILLING TO SACRIFICE YOUR DREAM?
If all of this is seeming a bit heavy, I get it. It’s not an easy step so why on earth would you do it?
For me, it came down to imagining myself at 80 looking back on my life that I had. I couldn’t imagine wondering what could have happened. You need to consider what would happen if you never made this jump into your dream job. Would you regret it?
I decided I would regret it and that my life was more than a sequence of waiting to happen.
But come see me in 8 months.