Do You Have The Three Things You Need To Quit And Start Your Own Company?
Ahhh the dream: You sit back in your desk, drink some more coffee, and daydream what it would be like if you called the shots while doing something you love.
Maybe you’d have some minions! And a really nice office set up.
Maybe you’d have a virtual office, and only work from your pajamas.
Maybe you’d work at night from the poolhouse, and have a team of people to clean up during the day.
The possibilities are endless, and it gives you a sense of pleasure that this could all be yours.
And yet…do you have the three things you need to go for it?
1. You need a willingness to try new things, put yourself out there, and fail repeatedly.
I can’t say this one often enough, but starting a business is an incredibly personal thing. It’s something you’ve created that has your touch all over it.
And people are going to judge it, you, the idea, the name, your lack of formal pants/whatever. It happens. And putting yourself out there in a really vulnerable way is exhausting.
Let me repeat that: Putting yourself out there in a really vulnerable way is exhausting.
It’s not particularly fun, it’s not easy, and it comes with a special kind of mental exhaustion that only your fellow entrepreneurs will really understand.
And no matter how smart and successful you already are (you are a part of the RevClub community, so clearly you are smart! :)), some of the things you try will never work out. They simply a) aren’t good ideas b) are good ideas but with no market or c) are good ideas, have a market, but you just aren’t reaching the right market somehow.
Case in point – Does anyone remember this:
Probably not anymore, because Coke took a bath over “New Coke!” and eventually reintroduced Coke Classic to the love of everyone everywhere.
Not a success, right? Coke messed with a product that didn’t need messing with (not a good idea), and caused a lot of angst in the process.
There is also this:
This is a program I tried awhile back, and it ended up being a total failure. Wrong concept, wrong market…and wrong amount of interest on my part. I tried to create something so I could work with a fun partner, not because I felt it was perfect for me or my community. So, before I got too far in the weeds I pulled it. It had a webpage, it was out on Facebook, and…I pulled it anyway. Then I took a good hard look at what kind of programs I wanted to build, and what was a distraction, and cut out all of the distractions.
The point from all of this is that New Coke or Classic, some ideas work and some ideas DO NOT work. It’s a part of doing business – trying new things out and pushing the envelope. And, it’s not always pretty.
But, once you decide that failures are just epic lessons dressed funny, you keep going and planning ahead. Which leads me to point #2:
2. You need to have some sort of idea/plan that makes sense to more than just you.
It’s easy to go off half-cocked with a great idea and no real plan when you are excited, or in a lot of pain at work.
But, that kind of lack of planning leads to a LOT of distress.
So, to know if you really have the chops to leave your company and start your own, you need to have enough commitment to map out a Business Plan (and a personal fall-back plan).
If you have an idea but the “nuts and bolts” just can’t seem to get done then…well, perhaps you shouldn’t quit the job just yet.
The business plan can be the most boring part of a start-up for some who likes to believe that they are the creative and passionate visonary type (*cough* me). But, it’s also necessary.
You need to know:
1. Who your clients are and what specific pain you are solving for them. For example: My clients are folks who are stuck and frustrated at work, they want to get out and find a passion because they are mentally exhausted by what they are doing every day, and they come to me to help them figure it out, so that they can wake up happy when they think about work).
2. Why and how you are doing it.
3. How and why clients are going to find you.
4. How you are going to keep financially afloat while clients find you. Many people cut costs when they start a business, downsize, and eliminate luxuries. Others try and land lucrative contracts before they commit to going full-time. Either way, having a money plan so that you have one less thing to worry about (because you will have a lot to worry about!), makes a huge difference. From working part time, to starting a 6 month/no salary savings plan, to identifying clients or customers – knowing all of this will make your life so much easier when you take the leap.
5. Who will sanity check your plan. Not everyone will get your vision for greatness, and that is okay, but you need to be able to explain how you will develop and grow your business to someone else in a way they can understand….because sometimes even the greatest ideas need a sanity check and a proof of concept. Plus, it’ll make you do the hard thinking and illustrate your commitment to your idea. Never a bad thing, right?
3. You need to have grit.
This may be the most important of the three. Seth Godin writes about this concept in his book The Dip, but every business eventually hits a low point, or “the dip” where the initial excitement has worn off but the long-term growth hasn’t kicked in yet and things get…hard.
And you don’t know if you’ll make it through but you don’t know if you should give up.
This is a tough place to be. And not everyone can stomach the kind of big uncertain decisions that need to be made, or the risks that you have to take in order to really move forward, followed by the lull that occurs as you move forward without yet knowing if it will all work out.
A way to know if you have the grit occurs when you hit the first hurdle to implementing your business idea. Do you immediately back-off, or do you charge ahead and figure out a solution?
How you respond will tell you if this idea means enough to you that you’ll stick it out, even through the dip.
So there you have it – if you feel like you have a good plan and idea, the willingness (and passion!) to pursue it even when it may cause you bumps and bruises, and the ability to take failure and make it a success – you are onto something.
Go forth and be awesome!
And if you want to work with me to figure out your passion, click below, I’m always happy to help :). Click here to see some options!