You did it! You’re leaving the 9-5 job. Great move! However, the last thing you want to do now is add more stress to your life. Isn’t that one of the reasons you decided to build your own business in the first place? You’re looking for freedom from your horrible boss, lazy coworkers, a forced schedule, and the limitations of a fixed salary.
But if you’re trading all that in for a different kind of stress, what have you really gained? Before you kiss your cubicle goodbye, be sure you first build a solid foundation – and I don’t just mean business-wise.
Build a Financial Safety Net
Nothing stresses us out quite like worrying about money. Whether you’re concerned about those college tuition bills you’ll be facing in a few years, or worse, not sure how you’re going to make the rent, it’s easy to lose your focus and drive. As a new business owner, you certainly don’t want money trouble casting a shadow over your entrepreneurial dream.
Before you turn in your resignation, set aside some cash in case of a rainy day. Aim for at least three months of living expenses, but more is definitely better. Hopefully you won’t need it, but having some cash on hand will greatly relieve the pressure of having a new business that’s not earning its keep – yet.
Make Sure Your Family is on Board
Money troubles are bad, but there is one thing that’s worse: an unsupportive (or downright hostile) spouse. As any entrepreneur will tell you, not everyone understands the drive to be a business owner. In fact, most people find it pretty scary to step away from that regular paycheck to chase after a dream.
If that sounds like your husband (or wife) don’t take it personally. They’re not making a statement about your ability. More than likely, they’re just worried about what the future holds. Do your best to understand where they’re coming from, and be sure to clearly explain your ideas, why you are confident it will work, and how you plan to cover the start up expenses and manage the risk.
I can’t stress (pun intended) this one enough. The only reason I have been able to accomplish what I have is because my wife has been supportive through all of it.
If your spouse is not on board (yet) , consider starting slow, with a part-time business while still working your day job. That will give you the opportunity to prove your idea is workable, and might just help your spouse get as excited about it as you are.
Take Time for Yourself
No matter what’s going on with your money, your spouse, or your business, it is imperative to schedule some “you time.” No one can work all the time, regardless of how driven you are. And no one can stay healthy while maintaining a nonstop schedule. Go for a walk, hit the gym, get a pedicure, or just binge on your favorite brainless television show. The point is simply to take time away from your desk to rest and rejuvenate. Without it, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed and stressed, even if you truly love your new business.