I left my day job in 2017.
I had been working for “The man” since my final year of varsity and I hated it.
I hated getting up at 5 to get to a place before 7:30 and spend the day taking orders or designing things I didn’t really have a say in. So a month before I put in my resignation, I was done. I was unhappy, I didn’t like waking up in the morning, I dragged myself to work every single day. Even my boss at the time noticed.
I was already doing work on the side, so I was also tired almost every time. Which contributed to my “tired”. I made my calculations and figured that “If I did this much” every month I’d be able to “make what I make here” or more. My biggest gamble was not saving up for this grand risk. I basically left with my last salary.
I’ll tell you now,.. that was one of the scariest times of my life. The first week was both exciting and traumatizing. I had panic attacks every other day, wondering if I would make it.
The next few weeks meant not leaving the house, working from 5am to 5pm, taking an hour break and then continuing till past midnight. It meant working more than I slept. It meant saying no to things that didn’t contribute to making money, it also meant spending less. It meant month-end was just another day now.
Basically, I worked my ass off to make sure my rent was paid and there was food on the table.
What I could have done to make the transition better is save up to pay 3 months of my rent off. So that if I wasn’t so lucky, that would be sorted.
I finished off existing client work during the first month and told them I was on my own now, they congratulated me and offered to refer me to everyone they knew. Which then created some sort of network for me. My client list started to grow because I did more work in a shorter period now. I was fast, effective and affordable. Because I wasn’t stuck at an 8-5 I now had the time to plan and market my business. Which brought in more clients.
Only after four months, I think, did I feel better about my decision. Lol. I actually only told my uncle (who’s been the closest thing to a parent ever since our parents passed) a year later. I was surprised he wasn’t mad/disappointed or whatever, he was just really inquisitive about the whole thing and has been supportive ever since.
I’ve only been at this, officially, for 1 year and 5 months but it feels longer. Every day I learn something new, I find new ways to improve and better my entrepreneurial journey.
My advise to you if you are thinking of leaving your day job is:
- Create a plan A, plan B and plan C.
- Hit the ground running; register your business, create a brand identity, have strategies in place before you leave your day job
- Master a great work ethic;
- Grow your network, so that by the time you leave you have a client list that can back you up.
Other than that, understand that it’s a process, you need to be patient and strong for the next months as it’s about to be a massive roller-coaster.
There will be good days, great days, bad days and even worse days, as I write this from the cutest cafe in gloomy Walvis Bay having a “great day”.
With that said – Good Luck fellow entrepreneur!
Till next Monday,