How to walk away from $85,000/year

Dec. 11, 2014 by
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Corporate job

So you want to quit your job and start a business? The upsides are great. Unlimited earning potential, the freedom to do whatever you want with your time, no boss telling you what to do every day, you can work in your pajamas if you want, the list goes on and on. Well, what’s stopping you? Unfortunately there is no magic recipe for success, but hopefully sharing some of my experiences along my journey as a new entrepreneur will inspire those looking to find their true passion in business. 


By way of introduction, my name is Matt Haines and I am a CPA turned Software Developer and Entrepreneur. I started out my professional career just like most people. I went to San Diego State University (had to throw at least one of those in there for school pride!), received a degree in Accountancy and took, in my opinion, the best job possible out of college at KPMG. Sounds relatively normal at this point, right? Well, after four jobs in as many years (and no I was never fired), it started to sink in that maybe the corporate world was not the place for me. So what advice could I possible have for someone who is unsure about leaving a career job with steady income? 


First and foremost, before you make the move into the entrepreneurial world, take the time to analyze where you stand and where you plan on going. Taking the time to plan ahead will help tremendously as you blaze a trail toward creating a successful business. Here are my top three areas to consider before making the switch. 

1. FINANCIAL PLANNING Although open to debate, the most critical area for me falls under financial planning and no, I don’t mean figuring out how to fund a 401(k). Anyone looking to start a business should have an idea of how they are going to continue to generate income while getting their business off the ground. Some may recommend staying at a day job until your new business is generating enough income for you to survive. However, this can prove to be much more difficult than expected given the time it takes to run a business. In my opinion, and as my younger brother likes to put it, a way to generate enough income to “stop the bleeding” is all you need. A break even number if you will. With that being said, it remains important to have enough savings built up to get through any rough patches. So while you still have that day job, make sure to plan ahead and build up a savings account. Believe me it will come in handy. Bottom line, the goal should be to create enough financial stability while creating the maximum amount of time to work on your own business. 

2. DRIVE Nothing beats drive! It’s hard to beat someone that never quits! These phrases start to become ingrained in every successful entrepreneur, but why is drive so important? When you first venture out on your own in the business world everything is new and exciting and motivation is at an all-time high. You are bound to run into challenges along the way and this is where drive gets put to the test. The need to believe success is around the corner is vital in creating reality from a dream. I find one of the best ways to stay motivated is to set goals. Now some people would say, “We’ll duh, everyone knows that,” but how many people actually set goals the correct way to reach them on a consistent basis. The key to success here is setting short term goals and setting them often. What is your goal for the day, for the week? Crush these goals and they give you the momentum to continue and reach the 6 month and 1 year goals. Set out every day to lay a perfect brick and eventually you have a wall. 

3. PASSION Are you making a difference or trying to make a quick buck? A real question entrepreneurs should consider before turning an idea into a business. If you are in it for a quick buck people can and will be able to tell. However, don’t get me wrong, the point of running a business is to make money. A topic I feel is quite overlooked in the “start-up” world, but that’s a topic for another discussion. So long as you have purpose, passion should be a slam dunk for you. At D&M DevCo, we set out to create software that makes the lives easier for thousands of Consultants. What excites you every day? Understanding the subject matter can be highly debatable and complex, I’d love to hear from people who have made the switch from the corporate world to a business owner. Please feel free to join the conversation and leave a comment with your thoughts. 


Matt Haines - “Every day you wake up, your destiny depends on what you do”

Comments

Christina
A thought provoking summary of some of the most significant aspects to consider before taking the leap into the entrepreneur's lifestyle. Two other issues come to mind from my experience. One is balance. It's all too easy to throw yourself into your dreams and let the rest of your life fall apart while you're pursuing the goal -- either out of financial necessity or passion. On the other hand, when things aren't going as planned, doing laundry all day can seem like a great escape from facing the fears at your desk. My second issue goes along with financial planning. Be honest with yourself about your ability to deal with the potential for long gaps between payments. Many self-employed people find it nerve-wracking to ride the wave of big payments and then no payments over a stretch of time. It takes practice, and if you're bothered by the idea of living without a steady paycheck -- even if your business becomes successful -- then consider strategies for dealing with that possible stumbling block. There's nothing like the thrill of being in charge of your own destiny, no matter what the challenges!
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