So you want to quit your job.
Firstly, I salute you!
I had some great jobs before I gave up on them all together but no matter how interesting, varied, or well-paid they were, nothing compares to the total freedom I experience now.
I can do what I want, where I want, when I want and with whomever I choose.
No job can ever match that.
But to get to this point you first have to quit your job. And that means quitting your salary.
For most of us who don’t have another means of support that’s not something to be taken lightly.
So I want to show you an approach that makes it easier. And this works just as well if you’re looking to get out of your freelancing/consulting career too 🙂
Something you need to understand before you start
Before we get into the step by step process, it’s essential to understand that making a living on your own is NOT the same as switching to another salaried job
The world brainwashes us into thinking like an employee right from the moment we start school. But making your own income doesn’t work the same way as a salary. So if you’ve got stuck trying to get out of your job, it’s probably because you’re approaching it with an employee’s mindset. That means you’re looking for one thing that can make you just as much as your current salary (if not more) and that you can go full-time with straight away.
Then when you can’t see how you can make that full income from day one, you discard the idea and go searching for another. Or you give up altogether and accept your lot.
That’s employee thinking: when you switch jobs you go straight from one full-time income to another. Unless you’re switching to full-time contract work. that’s not going to happen in self-employment but you can still make it work.
Here’s the 5 step process that really works when you want to quit your job – and doesn’t require you risk your entire livelihood!
1. Never mind the business, create an offer
Don’t waste too much time thinking of clever business names and creating all the trappings of a logo, flashy website and so on. Instead think of one package, product, workshop or course that people will really want. You can always sort the other stuff out later once you know it’s working.
Oh and please do this while still in your current work. Then you’ll be able to think clearly about it without panicking about money!
2. Sell something once and make your first playcheque
Your next step is to find your first client or buyer. This can still be done while in your current job (contract allowing).
You don’t need some elaborate marketing or social media strategy to get your first client. Instead, reach out to people you know, describe the problem you can solve for them and ask them to spread the word.
Go all out to win your first playcheque – which means getting paid to do what you really enjoy. This might well be your hardest sale but once you’ve got it you know you have some potential.
3. Turn your playcheque into a side hustle
If you can do it once, you can do it again. Often the best way to turn a single playcheque into an income stream (or side hustle) is to team up with someone else more established or with more contacts who can send work your way. If you can provide something valuable to them, they will be happy to give people or projects to you.
Examples include writing content for a popular website or blog for free in exchange for traffic to your site where people can find out how to hire you. Or teaming up with someone more established and working under their umbrella while you learn as you go. Or giving a talk in front of an audience who are likely to need your services.
Remember that you will probably end up with more than one income stream later. This is just the first. All businesses have multiple income streams.
4. Manage the crunch
So now you have an idea what you want to be doing and you’ve even created a little income stream out of it. At some point though, trying to keep doing your job while creating something new outside of it is going to get really hard. Almost everyone comes to this point in the transition that I call “The Crunch”.
It’s near impossible to be able to build a full-time income outside of your job while still working full-time in your job. So at some point you’re going to have jump. Yes it’s a risk but here are some ways to reduce that risk and make your leap of faith a smaller one:
- Go part-time in your current job
- If there is a redundancy programme, ask to be considered for it (I did this myself)
- If you have a a long notice period (eg 3 or 6 months) see if it’s possible to be paid for that period but released immediately (I also did this)
- See if you can find one client who can guarantee you a minimum number of hours or a minimum retainer per month that you know could keep you afloat (as a colleague of mine did recently with web work)
- Move into freelancing/contracting/consultancy in your current work if it allows you more flexibility, gaps between projects, or you can get a good enough daily rate that you can use the surplus to spend time building your new thing (I did this too)
- Above all else, do the other 3 steps here first so you have some clarity on what you enjoy doing and have tried doing it for others on a paid basis. If you have so much demand for paid work you can’t fit it into your spare time, that’s a good indicator it’s time to quit.
To help you with this transition, know how much you need as a minimum to keep you above water (calculate it now – it might be less than you think). This is the figure that you could survive on if you had to.
Are you willing or able to reduce your outgoings to minimise the crunch? If you can, it will be worth it to get out of your job and create a career you really care about.
Expect to feel equal amounts of excitement, joy, and fear as you walk into your boss’s office and hand in your resignation.
Your fellow employees will think you’re crazy, you’re brave, you’re misguided, or you’re lucky. Some of them will be supportive and some of them will be inspired.
And some of them will get angry because you will have reminded them that they don’t have to stay in a job they don’t enjoy, they don’t have to be unhappy, and they don’t have to tolerate a life half-lived.
And that is a very challenging realisation indeed.
Know this: many many people all over the world have read my books and taken my programmes and gone on to quit their jobs. They write to me and tell they are now doing what they love. Sometimes they find themselves making far more money too. You can do this too if you’re willing to go for it.
Once you quit, the fun really begins. Because now instead of a few hours a week, you have 40 or more to invest. And if you skip all the things other people waste time on like endless networking and designing the perfect website and instead concentrate on creating compelling offers, winning sales, and doing good work you’ll make rapid progress.
Everyone will tell you that self-employment is riskier than having a job but that’s nonsense. The tricky bit is making the transition and building your income streams at the beginning. After that you’ll realise that employment is the risky option – because instead of having lots of customers or clients, you have just one – your boss – and they can fire you at any time with no warning whatsoever.
Welcome to the new safe.
Let me know how you get on.
FREE ONLINE WORKSHOP 21 OCTOBER 2019:
3 Keys To Setting Up A Successful Business BEFORE You Leave Your Job
And generate your first 20k of income
If you want help creating and launching your new business, check out The Pioneer Programme