As part of this year’s launch for my Launch Your Business 8-Week Boot Camp, I am publishing a 5-day series called, “My Journey to Freedom: From $0 to 6-Figures…On My Own Terms.” Feel free to post any questions you may have in the comments!
In my last post, I shared the story of how I officially launched my first business in 2008 as a speaker, consultant and coach. By the end of 2009, I had made the decision to quit my job. One of the biggest questions people ask me is WHY did I do that? And HOW, specifically was I able to leave my job in less than 2 years after I started my business?
Some people hear my story and assume that one random day, I just jumped up from my cubicle, shouted “I quit!” and never looked back. But the truth is, I spent almost 2 years laying the groundwork before I left my job. I loved my nonprofit career and didn’t leave my organization on bad terms at all.
By all measures, it was a “good” job. The organization had a great reputation and it paid well. I had healthcare, a retirement plan, 5 weeks paid time off, a professional development stipend, flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and yes, my very own parking spot. To be honest, I probably could have worked there for four more years.
But I wouldn’t have been happy. Why? Because I began to realize that a bigger career, a bigger impact and a bigger life was possible for me.
Once I launched my business, I started to see the potential of being totally in control over my work and my time. I had grown so much in my own leadership journey that I no longer fit into the role I had at my job. I would be writing a grant proposal, but daydreaming about blogging. I couldn’t wait to get home to start working on my own projects. I’d wanted to write a book for years, but work kept me “busy” and I could never seem to find the time.
Yes, I had a GOOD job. But it was time for me to be GREAT. What I knew for sure is that I didn’t want to work myself to death and wait until my 60s to finally start living the life I truly wanted.
I was reminded, haunted really, by a quote from Robert Schuller:
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Work for myself.
For years, I thought I wanted to climb the ladder and become the CEO of a nonprofit organization.
But the truth is, I wanted to become the CEO of…ME.
I wanted to be able to do what I love and get paid really, really well for it. Most of all, I wanted to do it on my OWN terms.
I’ll never forget what my grandmother said when I called to tell her what I thought was my good news.
“Are you really going to quit that good job?” she asked. “But how will you make money?”
I could hear her worry through the phone. But instead of internalizing her fear, I chose to focus on abundance. What mattered most was that I knew there was MORE out there for me. And I was going to go get it!
Many women think that they have to quit their job BEFORE they can launch their business, which is completely backwards. Now I’m a dreamer, but I’m also practical. I didn’t have a trust fund or a husband or a rich uncle to help me out, so I HAD to support myself. I HAD to make money in my business. There was no other choice for me.
That’s why I highly recommend building your business while you still have a full-time job so that your salary can not only pay your bills, but also give you the funds you need to invest in your dream while you work on getting clients. Having a “safety net” can definitely make your transition from employee to entrepreneur much smoother.
By the time I quit my job, I had already secured 2 consulting clients. And one of them was my former employer! I had a 6-month contract and a 12-month contract. From there, I booked more speaking engagements, took on career coaching clients, taught a few online workshops and I even had a freelance writing gig at one point.
By the end of my first year of being self-employed, I had replaced my salary, which at the time was about $60,000. Financially, I felt safe and at the same time, ready for so much more.
In my next post, I’ll share how things actually went downhill for me in my 2nd year of working for myself. I almost quit…but looking back now, I’m so glad I didn’t.
Now, I’ve got some homework for you!
HOMEWORK FOR TODAY:
- I made the decision to quit my job within 2 years of starting my business. If you knew you could not fail, WHEN would you want to leave your job?
- I made sure I had paying clients BEFORE I quit my job. What can you do now to start getting clients in your business?
Feel free to post your homework below
P.S. Enrollment for my 2019 Launch Your Business 8-Week Boot Camp is open! This is where you get taken by the hand and guided step by step to go from IDEA to LAUNCH in just 8 weeks or less! This comprehensive program will provide you with the training, coaching and accountability you need to launch (or relaunch) a business that transforms lives AND allows you to earn a great income. You will find that the training is practical, the coaching is hands-on and the entire system is designed to help you envision what’s possible, not just for your business, but for your LIFE.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE: happyblackwoman.com/launch