Life has a funny way of making us do things before we’re ready. After all, I don’t think we can ever truly be ready for the big things in our lives, owning a business being at the top of the list. Now I do think it’s important to have a business plan and know the basics of your income strategy, as well as some of the basic stuff like taxes and legal paraphernalia. But once you know that, you really just have to be willing to experiment and learn as you go. It’s like learning to ride a bike–you don’t learn until you actually get on the bike and do the thing.
If you had asked me three months ago when I’d be working full time for myself, I would have said in 2 years. One month ago I would’ve said 6 months. But today? Well, today I’m full time self-employed. And as terrified as I am, I know I’m in the right place. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I decided this was the right time to do this because I know a lot of you might be in the same place right now when it comes to following your own dreams. So here are three reasons why I decided now was the time to start working as a full-time entrepreneur.
I was living in my worst-case scenario.
Maybe this sounds a bit dramatic, but I was. When you want to work for yourself, the alternative is working for someone else. So the worst thing that can happen is that I end up having to apply for another job in 6 months. I know I have marketable skills and can find work if needed, so I decided to go ahead and take the leap. I can live without the extras that stable income can afford me, and I know I can make enough to pay the rent, so why not try it? There was nothing to lose.
I know my value proposition and target audience.
One of the basic fundamentals of business is having something of value to sell to people who will buy it. Before I went full time I did a lot of trial and error with figuring out what my value is, what I can charge for it, and who I’m selling to. If you want to be a photographer but don’t know what niche you want to work in, it isn’t the time to handing in your resignation. Make sure you have a clear understanding of these basics before you go trying to work full time for yourself. If you don’t know what you’re selling, you’re going to have a hard time selling it.
I ran the numbers.
Before I quit my job I made sure I knew what I needed to make each year and then figured out what that equals each week. I also looked at what I’ll owe for taxes, and wha my business expenses are each month. I also made sure I had enough savings to help float me a month or three if needed. Businesses are expensive to run, so make sure you have a thorough idea of what you need to be making each month to actually survive, beyond just paying your business expenses. It doesn’t hurt to have a good safety cushion, too!
How to Market Yourself as a Maker