1.2.6 Taking the Leap: Quitting Your Day Job


Welcome to our discussion on Taking The Leap and Quitting Your Day Job. Deciding whether to enter entrepreneurship is an important decision. And there are a number of different factors that are important to consider. Some of these factors, which we’ll talk about today, include. Doing an appraisal of yourself and your own motivations for entering entrepreneurship. Is it the right timing? Have you adequately prepared and done the necessary preparation to put you in a position to succeed? And finally, do you have advocates and mentors, people to help you along the way? We’ll talk about each of these four things. Let’s start with appraisal of self. Before leaving your job, make sure this is really what you want. This shouldn’t just be about escaping your current job. Too many people are unhappy in their current jobs, but before you embark on entrepreneurship think about your true motivations. There are a few questions you can ask yourself as you do your self appraisal. First, how much are you willing to change your lifestyle?
0:58
Some people are very good at structure. Getting up, going to work for a set number of hours, performing set tasks, interacting with coworkers and so on. When you enter entrepreneurship, this often means that you’re working with very little structure and it can mean long, hard hours. Very often spent alone.
1:17
There’s also a lot of self-motivation involved. You have to be structured, innovative, creative, and proactive. Ask yourself whether you have the self-discipline to be your own boss and self-direct your efforts.
1:30
Not everyone is meant to be a founder. You can also join a startup with an existing founding team, and that is something also to consider. But if you are thinking about founding your own startup, keep in mind that the first year is likely to be the easiest because you’re still passionate. But think about how you’ll feel when the novelty wears off and things get hard. In some of my new research, I examine how perseverance, grit and commitment are important. And how you can rely on yourself and mentors to help you sustain the tough road. We’ll talk more about this later in the lecture.
2:01
The second factor to consider is timing, you want to think about timing from both a personal standpoint and a market standpoint. Personally, think about what is going on in your life. Are there big changes that are you experiencing? We tend to hear people say things like, just go for it, or have faith. But we have responsibilities and mortgages and bills, be honest about your current situation so that you make an informed decision. In terms of timing the market, this is incredibly difficult to predict. There is so much uncertainty in entrepreneurship.
2:35
However, go to mentors who have particular expertise and can help you think about this. You should also do your own research and your own due diligence.
2:44
People think entrepreneurship is for risk-takers, and that’s not necessarily the case. Successful entrepreneurs do their due diligence before starting their business and minimize the risk involved as much as they can. A third consideration as you think about entrepreneurship is mentors and your support system. As people you trust, you can ask them whether they think you are suited for the opportunity you are thinking of pursuing. We will also have a separate lecture on mentors and advisors including how to find strategic advisors and people who can help you with the problems you may face. So please check that out. Finally, you want to do some preparation as you make the decision to take the leap. Make sure you think about financing. One of the biggest detriments to starting a business is capitalization and financing. Think about savings and whether you have the savings built to cover you and the business for a certain period of time. It doesn’t have to be a specific length of time. But should take into account the nature of your business and your personal situation.
3:43
Make sure to think about both personal and business expenses. And also think about consequences if your business slows or fails, and what you can do to minimize that possibility. As you prepare, also ask yourself if there are relevent skills that you think you still need. For example, be up-to-date on the latest technology, if that is the field you choose. And be able to use social media to your advantage, if that will make a difference in marketing your start-up. Also think about whether you can embark on entrepreneurship in parallel with your current job. Before leaving a stable situation to pursue entrepreneurship full-time, see if you can start testing it first. This gives you some time to get some traction and also see if you like it as much as you thought you would. This is not always practical, but something to think about.
4:31
Try to also verbalize what it is you’re trying to do. Explain to others why you think your idea will work. Sometimes just by writing it down, it forces you to explain why it will work, rather than just assuming it will. And the more you think through the basic points, the better your chances of success.
4:49
As we’ve seen, it’s important to think through a number of different factors before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Do a self appraisal and be honest with yourself. Think about timing, both from a personal standpoint as well as a market standpoint. Consider mentors and your social support network. And finally, make sure you have prepared and given yourself all the tools necessary to succeed. Thanks for joining this session.

Jim Rohn