HOW TO GET ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW AND QUIT YOUR 9-5
After hearing my story, the most common question I receive from entrepreneurs is “How will I know when it’s time to take the leap from my corporate job to full-time entrepreneur?”.
To think about being 23 again and taking that giant leap out of the corporate world and into my own home office (or my bed!) brings back memories of excitement and fear all at once. I want to first set the stage a bit for you: before handing in my resignation letter, I had never quit a job in my life. I was terrified, I had my mom proofread it, I felt like I was going to throw up. While it’s easy to pretend it was an easy leap of faith, it was anything but that. Being three years deep into my corporate career that started fresh out of college, it was a gamble but the more that I thought about it, the more I knew I needed to go.
If you’re considering taking a similar leap of faith, let me share with you a few things I did to set myself up for success:
I HIRED AN ACCOUNTANT AND FILED WITH THE STATE AS AN LLC
I wanted to be too legit to quit and make sure that I was starting out on the right financial foot and with some guidance. They have been instrumental in guiding me through each financial year of business!
A GRAPHIC DESIGNER HELPED DESIGN A LOGO FOR ME
While I couldn’t afford to have a custom website, I ran a blog with this logo on it and knew that I needed to post consistent work! I made business cards, a Facebook page, and this helped establish a brand and reputation.
DON'T GO INTO DEBT FOR YOUR BUSINESS, EVER
I used my corporate job to help fund my creative endeavors and it was a slow process! I pinched pennies, and made sure that when I did profit, I was re-investing back into my business.
LEVERAGE ADVERTISING TO HELP FIND CLIENTS
I was living in a village of 1,200 people, I knew no one, I had zero connections, and I was working around the clock. I invested hundreds each month to get my name out and fill my calendar, it worked and after that first year, I didn’t have to pay to advertise anymore!
FILL YOUR CALENDAR
Before I leapt, I had matched my salary with my own business. I worked up until my wedding photography season started. I knew I needed 25 weddings to match my corporate salary so I hustled and booked 25 clients. That gave me the affirmation that I would be getting paid for the next year and had time to make it work! This made making the leap less risky and way easier!
INSURANCE SWITCH TO DREW'S EMPLOYER
I knew I couldn’t leap without having insurance, so we switched our insurance over from my employer to Drew’s before I quit. It ended up being a giant blessing because I had to have an emergency foot surgery a month before I quit and we had double insurance! God is good!
LOOK FEAR IN THE FACE
It’s scary as heck, but when I realized that if I did happen to fail, I would be okay. I didn’t burn bridges, I worked hard through the end, I had experience and a degree to fall back on! I had to just make the leap and know that even if “failure” occurred, I could make it work.
Taking that leap will look different for everyone depending on your circumstances and the industry you’re pursuing. For me, I needed to know the net would be there when I jumped. For some, jumping and the pressure of needing to making it happen works better. I loved the security of knowing I had a full calendar and while that letter was hard to hand in, I never looked back. In my fifth year working for myself, I still feel blessed every single morning to wake up and report to the world’s best boss (me!)
My best advice is to do all of the steps necessary to set yourself up for success and have sound business practices in place so that you can free yourself up creatively. While creative entrepreneurs rock out the creative process, the business side of things is usually where the trouble occurs, so make sure that you are legal, you have systems, you aren’t in the red, and you’re ready to hit the ground running and shout from the rooftops that you are a ________ (artist, maker, designer, photographer, etc.!)
I am not an extraordinary case! I had zero connections, lived in a tiny village away from home, and was burning the candles from both ends working the corporate job by day and building an empire by night. Being self taught doesn’t mean you have to be paid less and looking back, I am proud that I recognized that from the very beginning. There will be a lot of “fake it ’til you make it” moments (heck, there still are!) and a lot of days of uncertainty, but when you feel unsure of your call, remember the one who called you in the first place!
You can do this, you deserve to chase your dreams, pour into yourself, invest in your business, set yourself up for success, and let me know how it feels when you can finally say, “I am a _______!”
Most days you can find me in yoga pants, working on the couch with a smile on my face and rescue pups in my lap. I am a wife to my beloved and a devoted puppy mom. I am a wedding photographer, a blogger, a fashion fanatic, a watercolor artist, a teacher, and a woman who seeks adventure. We only have one life, I believe in making it count, having fun, and showing off my terrible dance moves. I love rescuing dogs, eating macaroni and cheese every Monday, and taking daily naps. At the age of 23, I took a chance and left my corporate job to pursue full time entrepreneurship. It was a risk but one I was willing to take, that leap of faith paid off in so many ways. I love serving other creative entrepreneurs and teaching them how to build profitable, sustainable, authentic businesses that offer balance. I believe in authenticity, I keep it real. I have a passion for business and want to share the strategies I have used to launch a multifaceted business built on authenticity. Seeing people succeed while doing what they love fires me up. We only have one life to live, I believe in making it count and in chasing happiness with reckless abandon. WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM