Picking up weights when coach says “3-2-1 go!” helps you finish the WOD first, but picking them up a second beforehand makes you a cheater.
Ordering a Pumpkin Spice Latte in October results in the ultimate life satisfaction, but ordering a PSL in the middle of April will leave you with empty hands and an empty heart.
Getting a beer at dinner makes you sociable, but getting a beer at breakfast makes you a drunk.
Timing is everything.
Timing is especially important when an entrepreneur decides to quit his or her job.
Do it too early, and you may return to our old job with your tail tucked between your legs.
Do it at the right time, and you may have 8 extra hours each day at the exact time the business needs you, so it can successfully scale to the next level.
Either way, all of us entrepreneurs remember the moment we said the following:
“I’m going to quit my job.”
After a long rainy season, the clouds parted that day. The sun shined on our beaming faces, as an upbeat soundtrack played triumphantly in the background.
Then our iPhones lost wi-fi connection, and the soundtrack came to a stop.
terrifying epic as life will continue to be, there are some things you need to consider and plan for when you’re leaving your job to be a full-time entrepreneur.
There are 5 things to consider when taking the leap.
But before we dive into this list, remember what I said about timing? You may put in your two-week notice with your employer, expecting to have a full two weeks to take care of these items, only to find out your employer doesn’t need you after the end of the day!
Warning: Be proactive and take care of these things well before you put in your two-week notice. Once you leave your job, it’s going to be much more challenging to transition stress-free.
Okay, here we go!
1. Health Insurance
Since 2014, the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty. As beast mode as you may be, you still need to have it.
Start looking into different options a few months out from your end date. Here are a couple of ideas to explore:
- Significant Other: Whether married or in a domestic partnership, your significant other may have a health insurance plan s/he can include you on.
- HealthCare Marketplace: You can find many individual/self-employed plans on HealthCare.gov (Pro Tip: use a throwaway phone if you can help it, you’ll get health insurance related calls for the rest of your life)
- COBRA: This is an extension of your existing employer plan, but it may come at a higher cost
- Health Networks: Sometimes there may be a shared health care program for people in your industry.
- Veterans Affairs (VA): Served in the military? Check if you’re eligible for health care with the VA. Your best bet is to call a representative to see if they navigate those requirements for you. That’s what I did, and I now have health care through the VA.
That all being said, anticipate any dental/doctor appointments you need to tide you over, and knock those out now!
If you are taking a big pay cut by leaving your job, there are two big ways to increase money you have available: save and lower your expenses.
I know, the boring old truths of finance. But take this opportunity while you still have a steady paycheck to save as much as possible and minimize any unnecessary expenses.
Here are some specific tips:
- Save: You should have 6-12 months worth of savings. This means enough money to cover your basic expenses for 6-12 months, in the worst case scenario. If you have time before you quit, get on the extreme savings plan! Before I quit my last job, I was putting away 2/3rd’s of my paycheck into my savings.
- Lower expenses: You can live on a LOT less than you think. An entire article could be written (and they have) on ways to cut expenses, but here’s what I want you to keep in mind: you will not live on a budget forever. No one is asking you to give up organic tomatoes and daily vanilla lattes in perpetuity – just until you kick your ass into high gear and get your business to where you finally want it. Understand the #balleronabudget lifestyle is a short-term sacrifice you need to make for the long-term gain.
Are you worried that you may not be able to afford your basic expenses after you quit, but you’re just not sure?
After combing through your expenses and buying into the extreme savings plan, conduct a “budget rehearsal.” Here’s how:
- Rehearse #balleronabudget lifestyle: Live the budgeted lifestyle you anticipate for one month.
- Review expenses: After that month is over, review your expenses by tallying them up. How do your monthly expenses compare to the income you’ll be making after you leave your job?
- Modify expenses: If it’s a tight squeeze, look at the expenses you can whittle down to meet your monthly income. If your expenses are well under your income, now you have the confidence that you will be financially stable once you leave your job!
- Take extra measures: If worse comes to worst, you can always extend that extreme savings plan.
3. Daily Routine
Plan your daily routine BEFORE you quit!
Your current daily routine has been set and probably hasn’t changed in awhile. However, when you leave your job, your daily routine is going to be completely different.
Finally, your schedule is 100% yours to create. Although this is exciting, it may also be terrifying at the same time.
Don’t let the long awaited “flexible schedule” become the nightmare that unravels you.
It doesn’t matter if your initial routine is something you’ll stick to for months or years to come. Just having something to abide by on day 1 will set you on the right foot, and give you the structure to not make you question if you just quit your job to be a full-time hobo (because the answer is “yes”).
Here are some tips:
- Morning Routine: For the first few months after I left my job, I spent a good hour to 90 minutes on my morning routine. This was inspired by the book The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to Elevate Your Business by Hal Elrod and Cameron Herold, where they talk about the 6 things that can best serve you if you start your morning off with them: silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. In a scary new world, this morning routine grounded me for the rest of the day and helped me stay optimistic.
- Social Plan: Depending on how self-sufficient your gym is, you may be able to work from home more than you think. Although working from home is an awesome lifestyle in many ways, it can also be inadvertently alienating, with the water cooler talk days behind you. Make a plan to regularly interact with people, whether it’s picking certain classes to coach or participate in, or otherwise.
4. Take the high road
What is the dream that drives you? Flicking off everyone at work you can’t stand or moving on from your current job for a better life you’ve always dreamed of?
It better be the latter.
Now isn’t the time to get vengeance for all the frustrations you’ve experienced during your time at your job. Rise above it, because ultimately you are striving to create a life that fulfills you to no end.
And as the quote by 17th century poet George Herbert goes, living well is the best revenge.
Another thing to remember is, for as hopeful and optimistic as you are that life as a full-time gym owner is going to be smooth sailing, it just may not.
For this reason, don’t burn any bridges on your way out. You may just need them.
If your employer allows you to stay for the two weeks, offer to ease the transition for them. Give them positive reasons to remember you. If nothing else, it’s good karma.
5. Get what’s yours
Once you leave your job, it’s going to be difficult to get anything you have left behind. Don’t let the tedious details trip you up once you’ve left your job and it’s too late.
Here are some things to take the time to review:
- Transfer any necessary files: Whether you have files you need on your work issued phone/laptop/computer, take the time to transfer anything you need.
- Unused PTO/Leave: Is there paid time off you’ll get paid back to you on the back end? See how many days you have left and talk to HR about your company’s policies. More likely than not, you’re owed your PTO, whether you use them or are paid back for those days.
- Final paycheck: Find out when you get your last paycheck and how many hours you will be getting paid for. Employers sometimes make mistakes, too.
- Retirement account: Understand the process to transfer your employer-sponsored retirement fund to your personal retirement fund. You most likely will not be able to do this until after you leave your job and you receive mail regarding it. Keep track of this!
- Mailing address: Make sure your mailing address on file with your company is up to date. Any communication they will need to make with you will most likely be done through mail, depending on the size of your company.
6. Bonus Step: Celebrate!
Many people dream of becoming full-time entrepreneurs, but only a few ever achieve this milestone.
Quitting your job when your business is ready is a life event you should not take lightly. This is a turning point in your life where you’re leaving the life of the 9 to 5, permanently.
The direction of your life will forever be changed from here on out.
Take the time to acknowledge and remember this moment, because it will define the trajectory of your life from this point. You will no longer be an employee, you will now be a business owner!
Gather support from friends, go out for a nice meal, have some drinks – whatever you consider the perfect way to celebrate, do it. This isn’t just an opportunity to be indulgent, but celebrating a big milestone allows you to recognize how far you’ve come and will give you motivation as your enter this next chapter of your life.
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