Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are You Ready to Be Your Own BOSS? by Jodi Brockington

How to Make The Transition From Your 9 to 5

As someone who has successfully worked in every sector and has been able to sustain an entrepreneurial spirit, I am often asked how I was and still am able to make the transition. As a longtime serial entrepreneur, I, like many others, have struggled with when is the “right” time to stay at a job or go after something new—whether a new job with another company or organization, or simply to start your own business.

There are very few people in my network who would simply just up and leave a “good” job—that being one that pays well, you genuinely like or love, with a great team and boss because most will take very calculated risk. However, there are those of us who ended up not being able to make the choice to leave a job and it has been made for us from downsizing, the economy, and/or simply being fired for one reason or another without any warning.

Most entrepreneurs, small business owners and those in the retail/franchise business do not suddenly just wake up one morning and say let’s open a business today. Rarely does one just take over that coffee shop on the corner or start their own dog walking business, without doing some research, knowing who their competition is, having the financial support and/or having some clients already to kick-start their business with some money coming in.

Many entrepreneurs (myself included) started our businesses while we actually had jobs. Most regular jobs are truly the training ground for anyone who wants to have their own business one day and need to develop the necessary skills, networks and build their brands as experts in a certain field. I personally became a “Two-Year Girl” going in and out of jobs just about every two years and during, in-between and after I got my next gig, I had started some kind of business that helped me pay my bills, expand my network and develop a new expertise.

Many people believe that you need to have a lot of money in the bank to start a business. I am not arguing this point and wished each time I launched something new that I had a lot of cash to fall back on, but honestly, that was not the case. There are many businesses that do not require any major investment besides time, self-promotion/marketing, a website and some business cards, along with a DBA filing. If your business falls under having little to no overhead, then it is something you can do while you still have a job and eventually, when you have enough clients or customers you are free to decide to stay or leave your job at anytime. This is true if you bake pies and sell them to your co-workers and neighbors for the holidays and special occasions, you cut people’s hair at your house and you already own the scissors, clippers, etc. You can even tutor, write resumes for others, or provide counseling because you have a social work or psychology master’s degree/license.

You must realize that there is no “right” or “wrong” time to leave your job to go after your dreams of being your own boss and becoming an entrepreneur—there is just a “right” and “wrong” time for you and ONLY YOU will know when that is. I do recommend that at one point or another to test your entrepreneurial desire and really go on your own if it is something you really want. You should also feel just fine to return to the workforce in a regular job working for someone or a company if what you decided to do is not what you hoped for or what it seemed. Most importantly, if you have been successful as an entrepreneur, you might want to think about going back to work somewhere for a little while to gain the necessary skills to take your business to the next level. With a little work and strategy you should be able to transition back into workforce just as you switched out and stay, or leave again. It is YOUR CAREER and YOU OWN IT!!!

Learn more about Jodi Brockington at Friends of Jodi

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