“I hate my job and I want to get out.”

This is the general sentiment of many conversations I’m having these days.

  • People are burned out and frustrated.
  • They’re waking up to realize those who were supposed to know better have actually just been making it up as they go.
  • They’re tired of being stuck under the thumb of bad managers, who make bad decisions.

Essentially, they’re tired of doing work they don’t enjoy, for people they can’t respect, in a company that doesn’t value them. So, they want out.

But aside from what they want to run away from, it’s even more about what they want to run toward.

They look around at the world, recognize that they’re getting older, and all of a sudden it becomes clear that the answer isn’t running toward another job, it’s working for themselves.

For those that are ready to do something they can be excited about, let me share with your some important considerations for escaping your job to start working for yourself.

Let’s dive in.

Be Your Own Boss

Making the leap to work for yourself is both terrifying and rewarding.

You will want to quit and run back to the “safety” of a job. However, if you can manage the fear, you may find it hard to go back.

  • It is tough to go back to having a designated start time once you’ve tasted the freedom of making your own schedule.
  • It is tough to go through the motions for the company once you’ve known what it is like to do something you care about deeply.
  • It is challenging to ask someone else for a raise once you understand that your earning potential when working for yourself has no upper limit.

Working for yourself affords the opportunity to focus on all of this in a way that a job rarely allows for.

But you may already be familiar with the benefits of being your own boss. Let’s get to how to do it.

How to Leap

There are a lot of ways to make the leap into working for yourself.

Here are the three most common paths I’ve learned that people take:

The Leap of Faith

You hate your job. So much that you might just decide to quit your job tomorrow and start doing something that would make you happy.

It’s time to give your notice and launch a business doing something you are passionate about. It doesn’t take long before the fear sets in.

You quickly figure out that creating service offerings or products is difficult and time-consuming.

What do people even want? What should you price it? Do you need a website?

Then, you realize you have no idea about the customer you’re trying to reach.

Maybe it’s everyone? That seems like a big market. No, it’s a niche audience!

Finally, you discover that your offer only solves a problem your niche audience has for 3-months, where only a fraction care enough to search for a solution, and even then won’t pay more than $28 to solve it. You’ve blown through two months of your savings, panic, and start applying for jobs. You may or may not ever return to working for yourself.

Reason it fails: Running away from your job was more important than running toward a viable business.

The Market Opportunity Leap

You’re a realist. You know that quitting your job isn’t responsible. You’ve got a mortgage and bills.

So, you start looking for a viable business. Luckily, everyone is talking about all the money you can make RIGHT NOW.

  • Some guy on Linkedin said AI is going to disrupt everything.
  • You just got a DM on Instagram that you could 100x your initial investment if you get into crypto, NFTs, or forex.
  • Maybe you should just start a social media company? Or maybe drop shipping through Amazon?

With all these options, you know it’s important to place your chips on the right bet. You don’t want to be the one that gets left behind. You want to be at the right place at the right time. You want to be able to tell your old boss all about it in a year when you run into each other at Starbucks.

You do your research and then place your bet where you see the most opportunity.

6 months later, after a couple quick wins, things start to slow down. Then, it hits you: you don’t actually care about AI, crypto, or social media. You just wanted to make enough money to get out. You see how much work goes into running a business and realize that even if you could make this business successful, you wouldn’t want to. You just traded one problem for another.

Reason it fails: You made money the most important problem to be solved.

The Fantasy Leap

The last leap, is no leap at all.

You get stuck in the idea of the leap. It’s a fantasy.

  • You commit to quitting your job as soon as your business is ready.
  • You start brainstorming and dreaming about the business you would create…
  • You spend months mapping out offers with pricing, writing sales copy, and buying domain names.

One year later, you get the notification that the domain name needs to be renewed. You haven’t put up a website yet. You can’t even remember where you put those notes. You wonder if you should renew the domain or just call it quits.

You come to terms that the idea was destined to be a dream, a way to pass time, a distraction.

  • You heard the voices in your head telling you to be responsible.
  • You heard the voices telling you that other people get to do what they love, but not you.
  • You heard the voices… and you believed them.

10 years later you look back, wondering where you’d be had you believed in yourself.

Reason it fails: You didn’t think you could, and even if you did, you thought you had time.

The 4th Leap

If you want to make the leap, here’s my suggestion.

Get out a piece of paper and write out the following…

  1. What are all of your reasons why you want to leave your job?
  2. What are all of the things you are really good at?
  3. Who are 3 specific groups of people or types of company that need what you are good at?
  4. What are 4-5 problems that either cost money or, if solved, could make make money for the people or companies who need your abilities?
  5. What are 2-3 things you would fix about the world immediately if you had a magic wand?

Here’s how this helps you build your viable and sustainable business…

  1. Your reasons for leaving are the MOTIVATION that stops you from going back.
  2. Everything you are good at are the ABILITIES you must build your business around. Running a business is hard enough. Do things you are already good at.
  3. The people and companies who need what you are good at are your POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
  4. The problems that you could solve for these potential customers become your OFFERS.
  5. What you would fix about the world combined with your reasons for leaving form your GUIDING PURPOSE. It informs how you deliver your offer, ensuring that you are energized to keep moving forward and that your work always has meaning.

Reason it works: You have a business that allows you to solve existing problems that customers are willing to pay for, leveraging your existing skills, that allow you to make an impact in ways that are important to you.

Your Next Steps

Take a look at your calendar right now and decide how much more time you’re comfortable with spending in your current situation. Life is short. If you ultimately want to work for yourself, the best time to start could be today.

Don’t worry about how just yet. That will be unique to you. Some people just leap, others build it as a side hustle, and some are able to turn their current employer into their first customer. Your circumstances dictate your best options.

I have learned that it is vital to do the work discussed here today. You need to know your why because it’s always tempting to quit and run back to the perceived safety of a job. Knowing where you want to go can help you get through the tough times of working for yourself.

We have the opportunity for our lives to feel meaningful and our work more rewarding, all while making the kind of impact we secretly yearn for. So, instead of following some guru’s advice about how to get out, focus on what you’ll do when you get out and make sure not to skip why you want to do it, so that you have everything you need to keep going.

Everything else is logistics.

If you’re ready to make the leap, remember that starting a business is much more than ideas on paper. You have to put the ideas into motion. But if you need help with the how to do it, try my How to Start a Business in One Week Course.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

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