How to Transition from Corporate Job to Entrepreneurship
Have you ever felt like you’re fumbling around in your corporate job looking for a place to belong, to thrive or to simply feel fulfilled?
I did, and I never found it.
One day, I finally woke up from the fog: I was building my dream in the wrong place. Corporate America and the whole notion of working for someone else was not my cuppa tea. Period.
A few time-consuming emotions ensued: Shock. Sadness. Desperation. Then it was time to turn this ship around—but how? How do you go from working a job for a paycheck to starting your own business? How do you begin to transition out of that miserable yet comfortable workplace to the mysterious world of entrepreneurship?
You do it with a step-by-step plan, and heaps of confidence. Here are three pointers to set you well on your way:
1. Start with the right mindset
First things first—you’ve got to get in the right mindset.
Banish these top self-limiting beliefs:
- Most entrepreneurs fail. (Most everyone fails before they succeed. Just don’t quit.)
- Entrepreneurship is uncertain. (Not half as uncertain as working for someone else.)
- The economy is bad. (Great opportunities arise in the worst economies, think Microsoft and Apple in the 1970s.)
- I don’t have a business degree. (Most successful entrepreneurs dropped out of college, honey!)
- Everyone will think I’m crazy. (You get to know your real friends and let go of ones who aren’t supportive!)
Seriously, take a look at those who spout these self-limiting beliefs. Do you really see them as a role model of success?
2. Build the necessary foundation
You need to have the right foundation to make this transition. Here are two ways to get started:
Get your partner on board. If you have a life partner, get them on board. You can do this without their support, but it will be easier with them on your side.
Extended family, friends or peers don’t need to believe in your dreams, but the support of your life partner—the person who shares your life and goals? Get that person to embrace this decision from the beginning.
Get your financial house in order. Unless you’re an eccentric millionaire, you need to set some cash aside, and the best time to do that is while still at corporate. Self-employment is the ultimate path to wealth, but the beginnings can be slow.
Be vigilant about this. Live below your means for six months to a year before quitting. Pay off your debts or consolidate them to minimize interest. Live an economically smart lifestyle. Reduce unnecessary expenses. Get clear on your priorities and watch your spending.
Build smart habits to sustain your new way of living.
3. Start treating your career as a temporary job
Find the right balance between staying true to your work ethic and treating the corporate gig as just a job. That will allow you to start building your side hustle and growing it into your full-blown business.
How do you do this? Here are a few tips:
- Learn to say no to additional work tasks and requests at your job.
- Leave your office at a certain time and don’t put in any extra hours.
- Focus on what matters and deliver that (and only that) well to your boss.
- Remove yourself from all work social events and hobnobs.
- Stop following internal or external company or organization news.
- Arrange telecommuting at least once or twice a week to gain more flexibility.
Imagine that you’ve already “left the building,” and focus your energy and attention on your side hustle. This powerful vision propels you forward. You start to believe it can happen and you won’t be paralyzed by fear. Instead, you’ll be confident and ready when it’s time to make the move.
Are you thinking about transitioning from a traditional job to entrepreneurship? What’s standing in your way?
Farnoosh Brock, founder of Prolific Living Inc., teaches professionals how to create step-by-step exit strategies out of miserable jobs in the Smart Exit Blueprint. You can watch her uncensored power tips to make immediate positive shifts in your work today.
Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.