Have that burning desire to go out on your own…carefully consider the following…

  1. Leverage your current income to fund the essentials you will need to run your own operation.
    Whatever it is- your computer, software, supplies, marketing materials etc. etc.
  2. Depending on the business you’re heading into…have enough of a cushion to pay yourself until your cash flow becomes more stable….up to two years…yes, you heard me.
  3. Get your physical house in order…Pay for significant household needs BEFORE you quit your job, for example: if you need a new roof, new car, or any major repair get it done before you pull the plug.
  4. Realize that as a self-employed person obtaining loans for homes or cars or even re-financing any loans will be very difficult …get it done before you resign.
  5. Plan, plan and plan some more…. then understand that you will be re-working your plan constantly. Be prepared to be more flexible than ever.
  6. Read the best books about what it means to leave a workplace with a steady income and start out on your own….Soloing is a great one. So is Working Identity.
  7. Prepare to take multi-tasking to a new level. You are your own marketer, sales person, financial manager, operations and IS director.
  8. If you are working at home, make the space RIGHT for you. Don’t stick yourself in a dark, damp basement and expect to thrive. Make it light, make it organized and make it a place you like. If you’re single, understand the impact of living and working alone-Yikes! If you’re married understand the potential impact of the home office on the rest of the family.
  9. Be aggressive about reaching out. Stay connected. A regular job provides all kinds of built in interaction…understand that you will not be able to be passive about that and will have to create it yourself. Build or find an entrepreneurial group so that you have people to collaborate with and share your victories and defeats.
  10. Prepare to leverage anyone who has a resource that can help you. You will find yourself begging, borrowing, bartering and yes, sometimes groveling to have someone with expertise provide help to do something that you need. Take good care of these relationships…trade services if you can.
  11. Understand that some weeks you will be pulling change out of your change bucket in the kitchen to buy yourself a hot dog for lunch because you’re waiting to get paid, or waiting for an opportunity so you can get paid.
  12. Understand that you will be calling all the shots and you will need to take every advantage of self-employment-You’re in the drivers seat so if you want to work out at 2 in the afternoon, do it. Assert your freedom.
  13. Don’t get caught up in the myth that because you are your own boss, you will be working less for more money. Although on your terms, you won’t be working less and your clients will be your boss. All of them. Some of them will be tougher than any boss you had when you were working for a company.
  14. Get an accountant that will educate you thoroughly and specifically as to what you can and cannot write off and the incredible importance of good records. Strap in for the taxes because generally you will need to gross double what you need.
  15. Know that the self-employed and the employed can feel like us and them. The issues for these two very different forms of employment are entirely different. Get support from people who have been, or are where you are. Seek and build a new peer group.
  16. You have been told your entire career about the power and importance of your network Being self-employed will give new meaning to that. Build and protect your database of contacts and leverage them.
  17. Self-employed income is some of most meaningful, and sometimes the hardest won. Don’t be afraid to supplement with other work/efforts as an interim strategy or setting up a hybrid career. Lots of people do more than one thing and like the variety

Kris left an executive position in marketing and communications- 3 years ago to create The Coaching Consortium®. Kris is a professional coach for entrepreneurs and professionals in transition. www.coachingc.com 847-382-8019. You can reach her by e-mail at kris@coachingc.com.