Have you ever found yourself thinking, I hate my job? Or simply wanted something different from your work life?
Most people spend well over 40 hours a week at their jobs, with full-time workers averaging 8.56 hours a day, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Given these stats, you should at least try to find a job that pays decently and doesn't crush your soul daily.
While I was happy in my career as an accountant, I always wondered what it would be like to work for myself and run my own company.
Rather than continuing to wonder, one day my wife and I sat down and made a plan to make my goal of running a full-time business a reality. We decided it was finally time to take action. This is the key to making a big change in your life.
You can daydream for years, but if you never take action, then nothing will change.
My wife and I talked about what we would need to do to take the leap from traditional employment to working for myself full-time. We decided that we wanted our finances to be in excellent shape and that I needed to have a business that was making money prior to leaving my job.
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Hate Your Job? Take Financial Action
We decided to save up 12 months’ worth of living expenses before I left my job. Our goal was to be able to live for a whole year if the absolute worst-case scenario occurred, in which neither of us made a penny.
We took one specific action that would help us achieve this goal quickly. After paying off my wife's student loan debt, we had a large surplus in our monthly budget that we had originally used to build up a six-month emergency fund.
Rather than spending that money, we decided to re-allocate that money towards our new “12 months of living expenses” goal.
I'm not the only one who has taken financial action before making the leap. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of Making Sense of Cents, took action to achieve financial goals before she left her job to focus on her blog.
“My first step was to make sure that I was fully prepared,” she says. “I paid off my student loans completely; I made sure I made enough of an income; and I built up my emergency fund to make the switch go smoothly for me.”
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If You Hate Your Job, Stop Wasting Time
In order to grow a business that makes money, you need to find time to build that business. When you're already working 40-plus hours a week, the only time you have available to make changes are nights, early mornings, and weekends.
I quickly realized that I would need to optimize my non-work hours to grow my business as much as I could.
The most time I wasted was in watching TV. I quit watching almost all TV except one or two of my absolute favorite shows each week. I'm not alone in cutting out TV time to build a business. Grayson Bell, the founder of Debt Roundup, did something similar.
“Instead of sitting in front of the TV, I decided to work on building my blog services business after my day job,” he says. “It took months of getting enough clients to support my current lifestyle, but those long hours at night allowed me to leave my job and work for myself.”
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Taking Small Steps
Building up your business before you quit your job is actually pretty common. Holly Johnson, the founder of Club Thrifty, took action to grow her business before she took the leap, too.
“When I took the plunge into self-employment, I did it incrementally. I started by working on my side hustle part-time while still schlepping through my 9 to 5 job because I didn't want to risk my income altogether,” she says.
“Once I was earning as much from my side hustle as I did at my regular job, I quit my full-time job and never looked back.”
You can be next! It's not just a leap of faith, but a well-planned decision. If you hate your job, start working on an exit strategy today.