This post comes from Jenny Karlsson, professional pet photographer and business woman extraordinaire. Her knack for numbers and planning helped her take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship.
We asked Jenny to impart some of her wisdom when it comes to taking the leap into full-time entrepreneurship. And so she did.
One year ago, I handed in my letter of resignation and made the jump into being a full-time business owner. While I had known for a while that I wanted to leave that job, when to leave it was the hard part.
Three things prepared me for the leap, and I know they will help you do the same.
1. You need to crunch the numbers.
Start by evaluating your personal finances. How much do you need to cover your bills on a monthly basis? Do you have credit card debt? Student loans? Do you have a significant other who contributes to the overall financial picture as well? Is he or she on board to do the work required to see this through?
This exercise probably sounds about as fun as having your wisdom teeth removed (unless you’re a number nerd like me), but it is the first step to being your own boss.
2. You need to make a blueprint for your business.
By doing the work upfront to define your business idea, you are setting yourself up for success from the get-go. Who do you serve? What are your startup expenses? What do you really need to charge to turn a profit? This is best done in the form of a well-defined business plan.
If you are seeking financing, one consolation of still being stuck in your day job is that lenders want to see that you have a current income. Between that and a strong plan, you are showing them that you have your ducks in a row.
3. You need to create measurable goals and track your progress.
What gets measured grows. Equipped with knowledge of what you are earning versus what you are spending, build an emergency fund that covers at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses. Make it a priority to lessen any personal debt before taking the leap.
If the timeline to create a safety net makes you want to hide under the covers, don’t give up. It took me three years of sweat, tears, and determination, before I was “ready.” Having financial clarity and a plan to track your progress is paramount to knowing when to go part-time or quit your job for good.
Even with all these steps in place, the perfect day to quit your job will not magically appear one morning as a notification on your phone.
No matter how much you plan, at some point you just have to set a date, jump, and trust that the foundation that you've built is strong and will help you reach for your dream.
Personally, my only regret is that I didn’t leave my job sooner.
Now I am determined to help other women entrepreneurs gain financial clarity and a solid plan so that they can make the jump with confidence.
|Jenny Karlsson is a professional pet photographer with an MS/MBA degree, who made the jump to being a full-time entrepreneur after being a research specialist for 10 years.
Her mission is to help you gain financial clarity and craft a strategic plan to make the jump and live your dream.