Take the leap.
These are all the messages we are bombarded with when we are what I like to call part time entrepreneurs, building our businesses alongside a job..
The notion that to be really successful you have to be all in otherwise you’re not fully committed.
As a Business Coach and Strategist who works specifically with women who HAVE jobs and families, I say this is complete nonsense.
I don’t believe you need to leave your job to have a successful business, nor sacrifice your life to get there.
In fact, if anything I believe people leave their jobs too soon, putting an enormous amount of pressure on themselves. They have no real plan and struggle for money, lose focus, the business flops and they end up going back to a job.
18 months ago I was in a similar place.
An established web designer coming towards the end of my maternity leave, I took the decision to switch business direction and focus more on business strategy. My existing business model was no longer sustainable, I wasn’t earning enough and I had no choice but to go back to a job.
Was I disappointed? For sure. In fact I felt like I was going backwards and that I had failed, but then I had a massive reframe.
Less than a year into my return back to corporate, I can honestly say that going back to work SAVED my business and here are 5 reasons why.
1 - Clarity on your purpose
Working a job alongside your business will do one of two things: either reaffirm that you are on the right path as an entrepreneur or confirm that actually this is not really for you.
For me it was the former. I realised that while my job served a purpose, it was not my purpose and it fueled a daily fire within me to do whatever I need to do, to make my business succeed. Sitting at my desk at work, I realised how much I missed my regular client interaction, doing fun things with my children and being in full control of my days.
Added to that, you know how they say that the "grass is always greener"? Well it helped me to fully appreciate the freedom I had working for myself and I was determined to get that back.
2 - Realignment of Priorities and Laser Focus
Go back to work, even if it is just part time, and that becomes approximately 25 - 45 hours you are now dedicating to help grow someone else’s business. Once I got over that, I quickly realised that any time available to work on my own projects was not to be wasted. Factor in two young children and focus and productivity become a priority.
Are you really going to mess around and waste the time you have? Not really.
You get focused on your income generating tasks. You become resolute on being visible and you do the work. Consistently.
Because that is what you need to do and you haven’t got time to waste.
You get clear on your goals and take action on them. Every single day.
Side note - if you find yourself time wasting a lot, then that is something deeper and most likely a form of self sabotage (whole other topic).
3 - Financial stability
No one likes to worry about money at the best of times. But living on your savings while you build your empire can be a burden and a distraction. And that is if you even have savings to dip into. Most don't.
If you jumped before you were ready, then you will find yourself focusing solely on the money.
Under pressure to cover your essentials you start to operate from a place of desperation, taking on clients you would normally say no to and repelling the ones you should actually be working with.
Why would you want that?
I like the fact that I can say no to projects which are not a right fit.
A job brings the stability of regular income so at the very least you know your essentials are covered. You also have the ability to make investments in your business if and when you need to (and you will need to).
Money worries are like this big black cloud that follows you everywhere you go. It is a huge creativity killer and it distracts you from the real work you should be doing.
Allow your business to start earning the income you want, on a consistent basis.
4 - Better support for my business and personal life
“If you're overwhelmed with too much on your plate, it's because you don't have enough support.” Maru Iabichela
The first few 6 months of going back to work were tough. I’m not going to lie. Trying to juggle a busy corporate position, children and my business. I did not have the right support in place on all fronts in order to thrive.
I quickly realised that the most successful women in business are those who learn to delegate. They know their strengths and know their limits. Anything they are not able to do, they pass on. Guilt free.
For me relinquishing control, building a team and trusting others was a learning curve but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am fully supported in my business and in my life and this has allowed me to be on the front foot and grow my business from a place of ease.
Remember, you are a leader. Delegate and dominate.
5 - Improved business model and income diversification
Did you know that most millionaires have 5-7 income streams?
I have the mindset that I work for myself and that my job is my biggest client and one of my many income sources.
While the 1:1 model is the fastest way to bring cash into your business, it is not sustainable. You get sick or you can’t work, no income.
So I knew that I needed to find ways to leverage my time. One of the reasons I transitioned away from my web design business was that it was not a scaleable business model. It required me to be IN my business all the time and that was not the life I wanted to create for myself.
The birth of my son and subsequently returning to work forced me to think outside of the box. How else could I earn money in my business if I removed the 1:1 model?
I started to explore other business models including group work, courses, workshops and digital products and now I earn money from many different sources.
Would I have introduced all of these things if I was working solely in my business, yes most likely but I accelerated the implementation of it all because the benefits had an immediate impact.
I also got smart and used technology to automate, delegate and systemise as much as I could.
So when is the right time to make the leap?
Only you can answer that, but know this - you want to be doing it at a stage where your business has a model that is working and is bringing in consistent income.
Be open to the lessons you are learning while being in your job and see how you can transfer this to your business.
Realise that Rome was not built in a day and no sustainable business is built overnight.
Create your escape plan and do it properly.
The last thing you want is to leave your job, only to have to go back.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Chichi Eruchalu is a Business Strategist and Coach for entrepreneurial women ready to break free from their 9-5 and turn their passion into a profitable business.
She teaches you how to create and scale your business alongside your job, develop systems to grow your income without sacrificing all your time and uncover the blocks that are keeping you hidden and playing small.