Over the years my motivation as an online entrepreneur has shifted from trying to make enough money to pay my living expenses, to then earn enough to move out of my parent’s house, to buying my own car and house, and having enough money to travel and live anywhere I want to.
It took many years, but I met each of those goals, building on previous results to climb my own personal success ladder.
Once I made over a million dollars online I reached a point where my decision making turned away from financial objectives to goals orientated towards personal satisfaction. Money still matters of course, but I wanted to dig deep and discover what I really love to do simply because I love to do it.
As I thought and reflected, I asked myself what is the outcome – the impact I want to make with my current business. The conclusion was simple…
I want to help people to quit working full time jobs they hate.
Yes I teach blogging, information marketing, email marketing, blog sales funnels and everything in between, but the outcome these things can deliver to a person is what matters.
Although success stories are few and far between, I value them so much because I know I played a part in helping these individuals to break free from spending their days doing something they hate simply because they have to make a living.
Dan Breaks Free
In the Laptop Lifestyle Academy, I support and coach the members to work towards that big goal – freedom from needing a job because you can financially support yourself through online business.
The community is new, and I know how long the transition can take to reach the point where you are financially independent. This is why I was so excited to recently read this post in the community from member Dan Netting…
I’m finally my own boss!
Last night was my last shift working for Fujitsu Services, where I have been working for the last 8 years.
Today is the first day of my new beginning, now that I have finally achieved my very long term goal of getting out of the rat race.
Even though this is something I’ve wanted for so long and I know this is just fantastic for me, I found myself getting surprisingly emotional as I walked out to my car for the last time, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed a few tears on the car ride home. I’m not sure I can tell you why exactly, but I imagine it’s a mixture of a lot of things that one feels when such a huge chapter in your life ends (I’ve been there not much less than a third of my life!), even if some of that chapter isn’t pleasurable.
Very mixed emotions today. Ones of sadness looking back, but most definitely feelings of excitement looking forward.
It’s my birthday this weekend, so the rest of my week will be spent relaxing, as well as celebrating with friends and family over the weekend. I’m not going to put pressure on myself next week though, and my week will be spent getting my head straight and around what needs to happen moving forward.
To the encouragement part of this post, to those striving for this same goal I want to say nothing more than keep trying, and do not stop.
It’s taken me a long long time to get here, longer than a lot of others I imagine, but through shear persistence I’ve got here.
I see a lot of people here who are still early into this whole process. There are going to be times when you doubt what you’re doing, whether you can make it, whether you even have what it takes, whether you have the right topic etc etc etc.
This is completely normal, but I promise you that if you plough on regardless and keep your head in the game, those feelings will disappear and things will continue to move in the right direction. They always do.
So keep doing what you’re doing. Learn how to do things right then apply, apply, apply.
You’ll attain what you’re reaching for if you do.
I hope to see many (somewhat emotionally charged) post like mine in the future 🙂
I asked for Dan’s permission to repost this here because I felt it would serve as encouragement for so many other people. It also just makes me happy to see Dan have this breakthrough since I know how life changing it is.
When Is It Realistic To Quit Your Job?
Everyone has different criteria and thresholds for when they are comfortable to leave their job and focus full time on their business.
I’ve worked with many bloggers as a coach and watched them make the transition. I’ve also listened to the entrepreneurs journey story from hundreds of guests on my podcast, hearing about how they left employment to become full time business founders.
For most people, the core challenge is a financial one, however your mindset and tolerance towards ambiguity plays a big part as well.
Some people don’t feel safe leaving the apparent security of full-time employment until their business is earning at the very least as much money as their job pays, sometimes even more.
For certain people it’s more about stability, meaning consistent income over time is most important. You might make $5,000 from your business one month, but then only $1,000 the next month or two, which is not going to give you a feeling of financial stability.
There are also those people out there who are insecure about what to do once they are focused 100% on their business. It’s a lot more scary to think of your business failing after you quit your job to work on it full time, compared to treating it just like a side project.
Unfortunately for many businesses, the fact that they only receive side-project attention from their owners means they never deliver the stable income necessary to support them.
Soften The Blow
Most people who are too scared to quit their job to focus on their business dreams see things in black and white. They only believe two possible extreme outcomes are possible…
- Losing everything after they quit their job and their business fails, like the statistics say happens to most small businesses
- Winning big time, with a multi-million dollar success story, albeit a very unlikely and rare outcome
The truth of the matter is far more blurry. Success comes in many forms, and the path there will not be clear.
The key to leaving your job is to be realistic, rational and prepared. Here is what you should do…
- Know your numbers. How much money do you really need to survive? Cut out all the personal extraneous costs temporarily until your business can pay for them. Give yourself a target monthly figure as a bare minimum to survive, and make sure it’s realistic – cover every cost you have and a little extra for the unforeseen expenditures, including both business and personal.
- Get freelance/contract clients locked in before you quit. Contracting is a great stepping stone income source you can use to supplement yourself financially.
- Save a cash buffer. Some people run with a three month runway, others need six or twelve months to feel ‘safe’. Personally I would want to see at least a full year of my expenses covered in my savings buffer in case my business stopped making money suddenly.
- Have a ‘worse case scenario’ plan. If your business fails and you run out of money, what happens? You go back and get a job is the most likely outcome, so plan for this possibility by keeping in contact with key people who might have work for you.
- Keep a part time or casual job. I’ve never had a full time job, but I did have casual jobs that supplemented my income while I grew my business. These jobs required ten-to-twenty hours per week and would cover my rent and food costs.
Another factor to consider is speed. Growing a side business will naturally take longer than growing a business you focus on full time. In some cases the business may not succeed at all until it gets your full time attention.
Your temperament matters too. You might be highly motivated and would love to spend all day on your business, so you know quitting your job will provide the freedom to really double down. Or you might struggle to focus on one thing all day every day, so constructing a schedule that includes a mix of contract work, a casual job and growing your business might suit you more.
Get A Coach And A Community
Some people are fine working alone. They are self-motivated, can deal with ambiguity and work through fear and stumbling blocks on their own.
However, I believe most people benefit from a peer community and mentorship when it comes to business. There is a reason why you will see company founders bring on advisors, and why most high achievers seek out mentors and coaches. It’s smart to get advice from people who have achieved what you are working towards.
A peer group, or mastermind, can help you through common situations every new online entrepreneur faces. It’s nice to have others around you talking about the same things you are up against, helping each other figure out technological solutions, find contractors, and fight through mindset challenges like fear, doubt, and confusion.
I’m of the belief that people who successfully transition from full-time employee to running their own online business more often than not are part of communities, get coaching and constantly educate themselves. This is how you solve problems and deal with the biggest enemy of all – your own mind.
P.S. Of course we’d love to have you as a member of the Laptop Lifestyle Academy, especially if your goal is sell your knowledge online and help other people through your expertise.