If you’re dying to leave our 9-5 job, you’re not alone! Picture this:
You’ve clocked into your 9-5 this morning. You put in eight hours’ worth of work… and it’s somehow only 11 am. Ugh.
Been there. Done that. It gets old fast!
Do you love your job? I sure didn’t love most of my jobs, regardless of if they were a real 9-5 job. If it’s the wrong fit or if you’re meant to be an entrepreneur or freelancer, a 9-5 can feel never-ending.
So let me ask you: do you love what you’re doing?
If you don’t love what you’re doing, why are you doing it? Make the #entrepreneurship leap!
If you don’t love what you’re doing, why are you doing it?
There are a lot of reasons that you might stay at a dreary job. Maybe it’s the financial security. Are you truly financially secure, though? Your employer could decide to downsize any day. It happens all the time, especially when the economy is tough.
Maybe you’re staying because you don’t have confidence in yourself. I can almost guarantee that self-doubt is unfounded! You have strengths and skills that can carry you forward and help you start a freelancing career or small business. If you aren’t sure what they are, ask friends, family, and colleagues and BELIEVE THEM! They have an outside perspective that can see the bigger picture that you may be missing.
If you aren’t sure what your strengths + weaknesses are, ask friends and family and BELIEVE THEM!
If you’re staying because you don’t feel prepared, that’s an easy fix. There is a myriad of resources out there to help you prepare to freelance or start a business. Unit 25 is here for you, and we’re also launching a membership community later this year that will give you the support and tools you need to get started and stay strong.
What you should know about freelancing and entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship isn’t always a breeze. Ieva talked about this in her Is Freelancing the Right Fit for You? post. Just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s not WORTH it, though! For many of us, the challenges of entrepreneurship make it that much more enjoyable, but it can be a deterrent for some, so make sure it’s the right fit before you make the leap.
You’ll need a game plan before you decide to leave your job. Some of the big ticket items to consider are finances, your passion for your chosen endeavor, and the feasibility of that endeavor (in other words, can you get customers?).
Finances in entrepreneurship and freelancing
First, assess your finances. Can you reduce your budget to bare-bones, and do you have enough in savings to cover at least 2-3 months of this budget? If you have a partner who has a steady job, have you talked to them and are they ready to make this jump with you? Finances can be one of the biggest hurdles for anyone thinking about leaving a 9-5 for freelancing freedom, but it isn’t insurmountable!
When I left my 9-5 back in 2015, we had a couple months’ worth of a bare-bones budget set aside, which was crucial since neither my husband nor I had a steady job lined up. It wasn’t the most logically smart move to make, but I want to give you hope that it is possible! If you’re willing to make short-term sacrifices and work your butt off, you CAN do it.
If you’re willing to make short-term sacrifices and work your butt off, you CAN quit you 9-5!
You also need to be prepared mentally for your finances to change. That bare-bones budget we just talked about? That can be a big change for some, especially if you’re going from a high-paying corporate job to an uncertain income. This is where your passion comes into play, though!
Check Your Entrepreneurial Passion!
If you’re not passionate about the adventure you’re about to embark on, it’s going to be a tough row to hoe. Leaving your 9-5 job is a big step, and you may find yourself working MORE hours than before. If you are passionate about your work and your clients, though, it will barely feel like working at all!
Passion gives you the fuel to keep going when things are tough in #business + #entrepreneurship.
Passion gives you the fuel to keep going when things are tough. When you’re missing that dinner out that you used to be able to afford, it will remind you why you’re making these sacrifices. Passion can also sustain you through the criticism that may follow your decision to leave your ‘stable’ job.
Passion vs. Criticism
Just a quick aside about handling criticism when you leave your job and move into entrepreneurship. We’ll be talking more about this in more depth later this month in the “How to Tell Your Friends and Family that You’re Quitting” post, but I want to touch on a couple of things now. If you receive criticism about leaving your job, remember that the other person is coming from a different perspective. Give them the benefit of the doubt and respond as gently and confidently as you can, and let your passion continue to propel you forward!
Bringing Community Around Yourself
To combat the criticism you may face, be proactive! Get plugged into existing entrepreneur and freelancer communities, or create your own. The Rising Tide Society is a great place to start. You can also join our THE LAB for Creative Entrepreneurs Facebook group or any number of others. Just make sure to look around and make sure that the group(s) you choose are positive places that will build you up.
Once you’ve found the communities you want to be a part of, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! Most group members are happy to jump in and help out when they can. They’ve been there before too, and someone probably helped them, so they’re just passing it forward. This positivity and support can be a huge booster when the going gets hard, so don’t hesitate to ask for it when you need help or encouragement – or even BEFORE you need it!
Building a Client List before You Quit
One of the best things you can do before leaving a 9-5 job is to get started before you’re ready. It may sound counterintuitive, but if you start taking on a couple of clients before you feel like you’re “ready,” you’ll be setting yourself up for success. It gives you the confidence to know that you can do this for real because people are hiring you. It also gives you some additional income to help boost that savings buffer for while you build your full-time self-employed income.
One of the best things you can do before leaving a 9-5 job is to get started before you’re ready!
If you’re finding clients before you quit your 9-5, you’ll already know where to look for them. You’ll have your ideal client outlined and will be better prepared to create an action plan to find them. Knowing all of this information ahead of time puts you in a better position for success!
Are You Ready to Leave Your 9-5 Job?
It may seem like a lot to overcome to start freelancing or entrepreneurship: hard work, finances, criticism. Don’t be discouraged – you CAN do it! Just by reading this post, you’re already more prepared than many people who jump into freelancing and entrepreneurship. This is why community is so essential, though. Without community to support you, the haters and hard days can bring you down too soon. So get plugged into THE LAB for Creative Entrepreneurs Facebook group and get ready to leave your 9-5!