You are not alone if you are thinking about changing jobs or starting a new business and throwing in the corporate towel. But how do you build the life you want when you’ve got bills to pay, food to put on the table and a household to support? You need to plan before you make the leap. If you’ve been attracted to the idea of being your own boss or the prospect of creating jobs for others, these tips will help you create the life you so desire without compromising the current one you have.
1. Determine what you are passionate about in life.
What is the one thing, career or business, you really want? If you know what you are goals are in life, you can plan by setting time-bound, realistic and measurable objectives to achieve it. Don’t keep these passions it in your head. Write it down. Give yourself time. Make a decision to start somewhere. Once you begin to put things on paper, every other idea about the resources needed to make your dream happen will begin pouring out of you.
2. Don’t just think about it, act on it.
Action begets outcome. Outcome begets more action. You can only build when you make a move, as momentum builds through action. So act! You can’t see the results until you overcome your fear of starting something and then begin to take the first step at actually creating a new business, project or building the life you want. The only thing worse than failure is not starting. There are too many people out there who want to stay in their comfort zone and take no action but still complain of their current life. Don’t be one of these people. A single step gets you closer to your dream career. So, don’t discount the power of action no matter how small. And keep in mind, you don’t have to quit your current job to act on your ideas. Figure out the best time outside your normal work hours to get something done. You don’t even have to do most things yourself. You could outsource or get someone else involved.
3. Set clear boundaries.
Try and make sure your job and personal passion project don’t overlap. It can become a problem when you use your company’s resources to kick start your new side project – and your bosses won’t tolerate it. Separate the two to make things easier for yourself.
4. Plan your transition.
Once you have decided to start a side project to build your dream business, you will at some point make that bold decision to do it full time. Make sure you have planned for it before you make that all important move. Most people will keep postponing that decision for a long time, often due to financial security reasons. It’s understandable, especially when you have bills to pay and a family to support.
So, the important point here is that the decision to quit should not be taken lightly. Carefully monitor the progress of your project. Have you made significant contacts who could be clients or support you when you start? How soon can your launch? What is your single most important success factor? And do you have that in your control?
There won’t be a clear indication when to go into your project full time. But sooner or later you will have to transition out of your current position to build the life you want.
This piece was written by Thomas Oppong and first published on entrepreneur.com