As an entrepreneur, I often get asked this question:
How exactly do you transition from being an employee to being in business?
My answer is always simple. There are two types of people in the world: there are waders and there are divers. You’ll see how important this distinction is as we go on.
I’m going to outline my top three tips for starting a business before you leave your current job. After being in business myself for decades (and struggling for 12 long years), this advice comes from my firsthand experience — and could save you a LOT of valuable time and money in the long run.
Here we go…
1. Find Out How You Work
First, you need to decide what kind of person you are. Do you like to just dive into things, take a big risk, just go for it and put all your attention on it at once, or do you like to just wade in slowly?
Simply asking this of yourself will come into play when choosing whether to start a business (or not).
Regardless of who you are, one of the things that really bothers me is when people drop their current income to zero in order to start something new. I’m not just talking about a job here — I mean income.
When you’re starting out in business, it’s crucial that you take care of cash flow. There is no point in jumping in and running hard only to find out you’ve run out of cash two months in. Instead, it’s super important to make sure you have money coming in, so you can give your business the chance it deserves.
I don’t care if you’re a diver — suck it up for a little bit. Don’t lose your income. You can lower it, yes, but don’t lose it.
Why is this? If you are starting out in business and cut yourself off financially, you won’t be happy. Let me tell you now, you’ll be stressed, in fear, and full of anxiety.
You’ll start coming from a place of scarcity, as opposed to abundance. There won’t be any joy in your new business, and it will feel like a burden… before it’s even started.
Do you know what that is called? That’s called diving with no water into a pool.
And what’s going to happen if you jump into a pool with no water? You’re going to crack your head right open. I have a million students, and I’ve heard thousands upon thousands of stories about this. It happens all the time — but the good news is that it’s easily preventable.
2. Start Your Business Part Time
Whether you’re in a business that you think is not doing well and you want to get out of that business and into a new one, or if you are in a job and you want to get into a business that you love… here is the route I highly recommend you take.
Keep your current situation and start your new situation part time.
Of course, this would mean working overtime, late at night, and on weekends.
Let me say right now that if this is unappealing to you, you shouldn’t start a business. Because if you want to be successful in business, you will have to work weekends and you will have to work at night. Boohoo!
The truth is, when you own your own business, at the beginning you will have to work your freaking buns off, with 1,000% attention and 1,000% focus. That’s how it works.
I didn’t make up the rules. It’s just the way it is.
If you’re not going to stay in your job, while working nights and weekends on a part-time basis and earning some income with your new business (until it’s stable enough for you to fully transition), then my humble advice to you is to forget about starting a business altogether.
3. Get Educated In Your Field
This is a big one so pay close attention.
If your new business situation is in your current field, and it’s very similar to what you’re already doing, then you’ve got a nice head start!
But if you want to jump into something new and different than you’re doing right now, what do you have to do? You need to get hands-on experience in the trenches.
Even if it seems like a downgrade at first, it’s really an investment in yourself, your knowledge, your skill — and the assurance that your business will succeed instead of thinking short-term.
If you get a job in the field you want to run your business in, then you learn the ropes… on someone else’s dime.
(You do this at the same time as building your business on nights and weekends.)
The truth is, people go to university for four, five or six years to get skilled in their chosen field, and they pay to go. But if you do it this way, instead of you paying them, they’re paying you a little something.
Think of it as an investment in your business – and your future success.
In my book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, I tell a story about when I was 95% sure that I wanted to open a restaurant. I wanted to open a restaurant, so I took my own advice and I started working in different jobs in the restaurant industry.
I was a broiler cook, a sous-chef, a host, a busboy, a waiter and a manager at a pie store, because I thought I was going to have a dessert restaurant, so I wanted to meet bakers. I was going through the garbage every night to see the boxes they threw out, and who their suppliers were.
I had seven different restaurant jobs in four months. I would leave each one of them, sometimes even before I got paid fully, because I was simply there to learn.
I learned the most important thing about the restaurant business for me: that I would never be in the restaurant business.
Can you believe it? That’s honestly what I learned: that I don’t want to be in the restaurant business. This was the most valuable advice I could’ve ever received.
When you work before diving head first into a new business, you go to school on someone else’s dime. You learn what it’s like to be in the business, not to look at it from the outside.
You want to be inside the business. You look in the trash can. You learn the suppliers. You learn everything you can about being in that business: the pitfalls, the good stuff, where the money is made and where the opportunities are.
Here’s a statistic: 80% of all new businesses fail within the first five years.
You’ve heard that 100 times, and it’s true — except for one thing: 65% of all new businesses succeed if the person was already in that industry.
If they were just creating a new niche within the industry they were already in, then the chances of success skyrocket.
If you’re serious about having your own business, you need to know how you work, be prepared to do the work, and be humble enough to admit you don’t know everything.
By taking a step back and seeing your approach as a slow and steady investment in your future, you’ll be able to play the long game — and reap the rewards.
So there you have it. My top three tips for starting a business, before you leave your current job.
Again, like I mentioned, I have many years of firsthand experience with starting businesses. I started 14 different businesses throughout 12 years and out of the 14, almost every single one of them failed. If you follow my guidelines above, I assure you your chances of success in business will dramatically increase.
For Your Freedom,
On – 25 Apr, 2017 By T. Harv Eker