It was 8am on a crisp November Monday. I stepped off of the elevators on the 41st floor of my corporate office in Manhattan’s financial district. As I sat down at my desk, one task zoomed to the top of my to-do list– print my resignation letter and quit my job.
I felt a healthy mix of sadness, anxiety and relief.
I did things the right way, giving more than 30 days notice, offering to train my replacement. etc. My boss threw me an awesome goodbye party and then, boom four weeks later I was instantly self employed, my own boss, a creative entrepreneur.
That was almost three years ago and I’ve been supporting myself on my own terms ever since.
Do you want to quit your job? Are you ready to turn your passion into your full time job?
Keep reading, this post is for you!
I get emails and instagram notes every day from people who are ready to quit their jobs. If you know me, I believe that you should never quit your daydream. I think our passions are born for a reason and the cubicle life isn’t for everyone. At the same time, when it comes to being an entreprenuer there’s so much I didn’t know I didn’t know.
So, today I’m going to share some advice for anyone thinking about quitting their job. I want you to know the things I did right and the things I did completely wrong!
Ready? Let’s jump in…
Tip One: Don’t Quit Your Job
I know, that sounds super hypocritical but hear me out! Remember, when I told you that my first blogging check was $50. Then I set a goal for my blog to bring in $500 per month to help pay for my student loans (If you see Sallie Mae, tell her I hate her). Eventually, in a single day my blogging business could bring in the same amount of money that my bi-weekly paycheck did.
Yes, in ONE DAY my blogging business could bring in the same amount I’d have to work TWO WEEKS to get at my full time corporate job.
Related: How to Blog and Make Money (Part 2)
But even then I didn’t quit. One of the things I did correctly was keeping my full time job as long as I did. The business I was building as a blogger was growing but I was content to juggle it and my full time job– it was hard, but it was manageable.
Working a full time job and having a side hustle is the safest space to be in. I had the best of both worlds: my business was bringing in extra income and amazing opportunities, my full time job was keeping me stable with 401K, benefits and a consistent direct deposit on the 1st and the 15th.
You may be anxious to quit and spend 40 hours a week on your passion project, but be smart– use your full time job to your advantage, which brings me to my next tip
Tip Two: Be a Rockstar Employee
One of the hard things about starting your own business is that when you start working at something you love, going to your day job can feel super frustrating. You may find yourself sitting at your desk like, “whyyyyy do I have to do spreadsheets right now when I’d rather be working on my passion!”
If you’re giving your passion project 100%, give your full time job 105%.
While I was working a full time job and building my business, I got three different promotions at my corporate job… do you know where that extra money went? Into my business!
The better you do at your full time job, the more resources you’ll have for your passion.
Tip Three: Make Sure Your Passion Makes Money
This website went from a hobby to a full on business with it’s own bank account before it even crossed my mind that I could quit my job and become a full time blogger. By the time I started thinking about it, I already knew I could make money with my passion and about how much I could make per month. I had years of historical data that I could use to forecast ahead.
If your passion is an idea that isn’t making money yet, don’t quit your job. Instead set a financial goal that you want your business to make each month and work towards that. Soon that number will grow and you’ll know when quitting is viable.
Tip Four: Create a Savings Plan… then double it.
I’m still getting comfortable talking about money here, but I’ll say that I had a nice savings (almost six months salary) for my first year of working for myself. Year two was verrryyyy different. I wish I had saved more before I quit. Something I didn’t understand was that my checks often came late. Late payments for services rendered are an occupational hazard of being an entrepreneur (people want your services on time, but often pay you for them late). So, my savings helped bridge my cash flow hiccups when checks were late. By year two of my self employment some elements of my business weren’t as successful as I wanted them to be and suddenly my savings didn’t look as cute as it did before. Remember what I said earlier about a full time job being a dependable and consistent stream of income? Letting that go is very risky, so don’t do it too soon and as you prepare to do it, save save save!
Tip Five: Trust Your Gut
I had people in my life who thought I should have quit my job a year earlier than I did– I also had people in my life who thought it was too early to quit my job. In the end it was me who knew what the right decision was. I still remember the exact moment I decided it was time to quit– I was alone, I prayed and I just knew. So do your work, plan, prepare and then trust yourself!
I’d love to know your thoughts on this post. Have you recently quit? Thinking about quitting? Terrified to quit? Be sure to leave comments and support each other below! xx
Event Alert: I’ll be speaking on a Girl Boss panel with Gabi Fresh, Nicolette Mason, Aminatou Sou and Chastity Garner at theCURVYcon, get your tickets here!