It’s a big milestone to step into the world of entrepreneurship after years of a corporate career. A milestone, because it will change a lot about how you live your life from now on.
From the weekday 9-to-6 desk job, you’re now in for the anytime-anywhere work. From a steady paycheck, you’re now set up for financial uncertainties. It’s indeed an overwhelming shift. If you’re anxious about the transition, here are some actionable steps to take to make it a little less jarring.
Don’t quit your job yet.
Instead of diving into business with everything you have, test the waters first. Have a feel of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur before you leave your corporate career. Why? What’s the wisdom behind this?
First, you get to gamble with the safety net of your stable salary. Second, you’d gain the realization of whether or not entrepreneurship is indeed for you. And lastly, in case this isn’t for you, you still got a job that would feed you and your family, or in case this indeed is for you, then you’ve grown your business already. By the time you leave your job, your venture is already in a financially stable status.
So, how are you going to have that feeling of an entrepreneur? Well, start exploring viable businesses, like clothing store franchise opportunities or pizza restaurants. Lay down the foundations of your venture by doing market research and finding sources of funding. The point is, to test the waters first.
Expand your network.
Social and professional support is crucial when entering the world of business. When passion can’t get you through the tough adjustment period, it’s usually the people who would inspire you to press on. One of the key people you should be looking for is a mentor. You need someone who can give you sound advice when faced with the first blows of business dilemmas and who can understand your struggles as a new entrepreneur.
You need a great team as well. At the very least, you should have an experienced lawyer, accountant, operations manager, and marketing specialist. The expertise of these people will make the transition period much less stressful for you. Take an inventory of your network and reconnect with people you’ve met in your corporate career, in seminars or conferences. See if they’re up for the challenge of building a business with you.
Celebrate your wins.
Just finished drafting your business plan? Celebrate. Finally, secured your store location? Celebrate. It’s easy to get discouraged in the first few months or years of the business because more or less, there are no returns yet. It may feel like you’re not accomplishing anything.
This is where the value of celebrating wins even though they seem trivial comes in. They remind you of the things you’ve done right to get to where you are right now. They let you remember your progress, which is hopefully enough to get you going. Don’t forget to include in your list of victories: being able to transition from employee to entrepreneur. That’s something big worth honoring.
The change from employee to entrepreneur is a radical transition. Don’t be overwhelmed though. With careful steps, a strong network, and reminders of victories, you can adjust to business life well.