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Entrepreneur Mindset, Tribe

Before You Say Sayonara: How to Know When to Quit Your 9-to-5 and Become a Full-Time Entrepreneur

How do you know if it’s time to leave your job and become a full-time entrepreneur?

I hear this from my students all the time and it’s a BIG question. 

On the one hand, you’ve got all these hopes and dreams on what you can do with your life when you finally start working for yourself… 

But on the other hand, you want the safety and security of a 9-to-5 that lets you provide for yourself and your family.

So how do you know when it’s time to take the leap?

Your Own Golden Parachute

What I’m about to say may seem controversial but here goes…

Don’t quit your day job!

Not until you’ve built a strong foundation in your business where you have the skills to market and sell yourself and you know you can make money on your own.

And before you quit, you need to make sure you get paid, not just once, not just twice but at least 3 times. When you make money once in your business, it could be chance or beginner’s luck. When you make money twice, maybe it’s a fluke but when you make money at least 3 solid times it’s starting to turn into a proven business model!

So, I know you can get to a point in your job where you’re like, “I’ve had it! I’ve had enough!” and you want to just quit then and there but I recommend that you hold back.

I want you to look at your job as a safety net or what I like to call… a golden parachute.

It’s something that lets you gently drop into your new business venture so you’ll have enough safety and security to feel comfortable and you don’t end up acting out of desperation or taking on clients or selling products or whatever it happens to be just so you can pay the bills. 

And my guess is that you want to build a business that does more than pay the bills, you want a business that reflects who you are… 

A business that reflects your talents and your gifts and your dreams because that’s why you’re leaving your job or thinking of leaving your job to begin with.

Good Enough to Leave for Good

When I first made the decision to become an entrepreneur and go into business for myself I’ll admit that I didn’t think about it enough… I just did it. 

And within about 6 months I was totally broke and frustrated!

I didn’t have a plan and I started to get scared.

So, when someone offered me a job in my old area of expertise I said yes and went back to work.

Now, here’s the thing…

You could say I was selling out that I was going back to work for The Man and, in a way, I was.

But when I took that job, it gave me the opportunity to have a stable paycheck coming in as I continued to grow my business (I didn’t give up on my dream just because I had a steady job :-))

That experience made me realize, I wasn’t going to make it as an entrepreneur without some money coming in because sometimes it takes money to make money.

So, going back to work gave me 2 things:

#1 – It reinforced inside of me that I never wanted to work for someone else, ever again (it kind of put the nail in the coffin one that one!)

#2 – It gave me a longer runway to figure things out more organically and without feeling rushed or making decisions about my business out of desperation. 

So within about a year of going back to that job I was making more than enough money from my business to replace my paycheck and I actually doubled my income.

I finally felt good enough to leave for good and the rest, as they say, is history 🙂 

Before You Make Money While You Sleep…

So, here’s why I want to help you make a wise decision about going full-time in your business…

I want you to have confidence and clarity going into this decision so you know that all you’ve got to do is put one foot in front of the other and take one step at a time

I don’t want you to feel like you’re taking this blind leap of faith and putting your life and family on the line because that’s NOT a good thing.

You want you to go into entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open… 

Knowing that being your own boss isn’t this romantic fantasy where you’re lying on the beach, drinking Piña Coladas all day and you have money magically flowing into your bank account while you sleep! 

As I tell my students…

Before you can make money while you sleep, you’ve got to make money while you’re awake.

The truth is that being a full-time entrepreneur is about doing the work day in and day out, and doing what it takes to grow a successful business.

When you come from that place, when you’re willing to do the work and you have a powerful “why” — a deep motivation — that propels you forward, it’s going to get you up in the morning and allow you to overcome challenges…

And let me tell you now, there will be challenges because being a full -time entrepreneur is wildly fulfilling but it’s not easy.

And I know you can make the right choice with support and guidance along the way and we’d love to support you, at Live Your Message, if it’s a good fit…

We’ve got lots of different pathways to help someone who’s starting a business, so you definitely don’t have to do this alone 🙂

Over to you…

What’s one big question or challenge you have around starting or growing your business? What’s the one thing you can’t stop thinking about… the thing that keeps you up at night? 

Share in the comments below. I read and reply to each one!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Michelle

    OMG, the people I know who could have used this advice. So much INTEGRITY in this message. People who leave their jobs prematurely so frequently move into a fear/survival state when the $ doesn’t flow in as easily and quickly as they hoped or were led to believe would happen. In a suvival state they are so compromised when trying to start a business. Your clear guidelines and sharing of your experience is such sound and NEEDED advice.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thank you Michelle and absolutely! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective 🙂

      Reply ·
  2. Robin Hardy

    This is a great message to share. Love the fact you are so real with your messages. Changing from employee is scary however so amazing once you leap!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Absolutely! Real is the only way to be in this time. And indeed…it can be scary at times. But taking that leap can be freeing for sure.

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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