6 Reasons You Can’t Quit Your Job. Yet.
Are you eager to ditch your day job and go into business for yourself? Have you been counting down the hours?
Has the allure of doing business how you choose pulled at your heartstrings like the siren's call?
While I want to see you succeed and escape the golden handcuffs, I have to throw at least a few words of advice your way. Love it or hate it, we need to talk about why you can't quit your job.
Just recently, a friend of mine interviewed me for an episode of his podcast. About halfway through our chat, he referred to me as being an overnight success.
He referenced several podcasts I'd been a guest on. He mentioned me having the opportunity to be on stage at Podcast Movement 2014. My friend even talked about all the work I'm doing with my mastermind groups.
When he said “overnight success”, I couldn't help but chuckle. Even though we were in the middle of recording, he stopped and asked,
What's so funny?
I told him I was laughing because he thought A) that I was successful, and B) that I was an “overnight” success. When he asked what I meant, I told him,
I don't feel like an over-night success at all. I've been blogging for almost three years, podcasting for a year with over 50 hours and 60 episodes of content. I feel like I've been doing this for a long time!
I always try to tell people, that with effort and practice, they can do anything I've done. But, whenever I hear comments like “over-night success” I can't help but remember the process. I can't help but think about the work, the time, and the effort I've put into building a brand online.
However, this isn't about me, or my journey. This is about you, and how you too can become an “overnight” success.
If you're laughing right now, I hope it's because you know there is no such thing. I hope you're laughing because you've been following your dream long enough to know that success is found in the process, not in any event.
Yet, when it comes to quitting our jobs and pursuing our passions, we often forget about the process. We imagine the event of turning in that resignation letter, or, better yet, firing our boss and storming out the door like a badass.
We want a light-switch type change and forget it's more like a dimmer switch fading to white. Instead of our transition being a doorway we step through, it's a little-used path we must walk down. Our journey toward success is overgrown with weeds and covered with sharp rocks that can cut your feet, almost with every step.
If you haven't been scared off by now, let's get down to making it happen for you. Let's look at some of the jagged rocks and sticky weeds you can get out of your way before they trip you up.
6 Reasons You Can't Quit Your Job. Yet.
1. You Don't Have a Product
You can't make money if you have nothing to sell. Whether it's an ebook or a coaching service, you have to make money. As they love to say on Shark Tank, no sales, no business.
Get creative! Brainstorm ways you can turn what you love into what you do. When you can combine what you love to do with what you can sell, you'll be unstoppable! Once you stop loving it, that's when the activity becomes a chore and you lose both interest and momentum.
I work long hours because I love what I do and I'm passionate about helping my masterminds and coaching clients be as successful as possible. Sometimes I get tired, but the work is never exhausting.
Whether its ebooks or sheet music, recipes or greeting cards, you need to have something people can buy before you quit your job.
2. You Don't Have a Website
Websites are so easy to build these days it's ridiculous to not have one. WordPress makes building a website almost drag-and-drop. Trust me, if I can figure it out, so can you. I had never even heard the word “WordPress” when I first started.
Setting up a website is also cheaper to do today than at any other time in history. You can buy your domain from GoDaddy for less than I paid for lunch yesterday.
Even cooler, you can get three years' worth of great hosting from GreenGeeks for…
- the price of two video games
- the price of dinner for two at a fancy-ish restaurant (a regular restaurant if wine is involved)
- the price of a new Keurig coffee maker
- the price of going to the movies with two adults, two kids, two large drinks and two medium popcorns
And having a website is definitely more valuable.
You need a website so you can send people back to it. Even if all you have is a single bio page with a recent headshot, your email address, and your phone number, you need a website.
3. You're Unclear About Your Mission Statement
Let me be clear – you don't have to have your mission statement finished before you can start. You just have to have your mission statement started before you can quit your job.
One of the questions I ask each of my coaching clients is,
What do you want to be known for?
When you're gone, regardless of if it's from this earth or just this room, what do you want people to say about you?
Think about the impact you want to have on the people who know you. Spend some time thinking about the value you can add to the world, and, eventually, to your clients. You don't have to have it all figured out before you get started, but you do have to have it cleared up before you can quit your job.
4. Your Network is Too Small
If you want to make a million dollars, help a million people. Your net-worth is tied directly to your net-work. The more people you help the more influence you'll have. No one has ever reached the end of their life and said,
I gave too much.
If you only know 100 people, you can only sell your product 100 times. And, that kind of market share and mindshare is impossible. Even Jesus had his skeptics. Furthermore, if you know 1000 people you can sell your product 1000 times. If you repeatedly sell to those 1000 people, you still only have 1000 people you can help.
Without getting too much into stats and figures, let me give you a secret: You will never sell to 100% of your audience.
The more people you can help, the more money you'll make. Start by meeting one new person. Figure out what they need, then help them get it. Yes, it will take time, but you'll get better over time. As you get better at helping people, you'll get faster. As you get faster, you'll begin developing systems, templates, and processes.
Help people in the same way twenty times and you have everything you need to create your first product or service.
5. You Haven't Earned the Right to Ask
Have you ever had someone you just met ask you for a huge favor that would make them look good but cost you a ton of time?
I have. And, it's annoying.
Several months ago, a blogger, who has since left the online world, asked me to contribute to his book. While it was flattering at first, after asking some questions, I realized it wasn't.
This guy's plan was to have a dozen people, like me, contribute to his book. He'd compile everything and not have to do anything. The plan was to solicit our advice, (which we'd have to write ourselves by the way), put it into an ebook and sell it on his site.
No thank you.
Add value first and the money will come. Sometimes you have to earn your right to sit at the table.
While I absolutely hate any phrase suggesting newcomers must first “pay their dues,” there is wisdom behind it. Sometimes you have to earn the right to ask for favors or for sales. You have to build trust-equity before you can start spending it.
Just as with any relationship, you have to earn the right to ask your listeners, your readers, your “audience,” to spend their money with you. No one wants to be “sold.” But, people are ok with paying for things they see value in.
Overwhelm your audience with value and they'll thank you for the opportunity to repay you. Here's what one of my members emailed me after having technical issues during registration during a promotion period:
I hate to miss out on the membership site deal and a chance to give back as a thank you for your help. It's a bummer! If you can sneak me in there mum's the word, if you can't because it's closed I understand. I hope this was a great campaign for you, you deserve a big win!
“A chance to give back as a thank you”?
As crazy (and humbling) as that is, I'd earned the right to ask.
And, if you're wondering, yes. I did let her in at the promotional price because the problem was on my end and it was the right thing to do.
Before you can quit your job, you need to help more people. You need to build more influence. And, you need to change more lives for the better.
6. You Don't Have a Plan
While you don't need to have all the steps lined out, you do need to know where you're headed.
Yes, your plan can change. But, you need to have one when you start. When you leave the house, you at least need to know which way to turn when you reach the end of your driveway. Remember, success is a process, not a destination. Let your passion fuel your late-night work sessions, and your eagerness wakes you up every morning.
Get started today. Make this year your year and let's see how long it takes you to become an “overnight” success.
Question: If you've successfully made the transition from corporate zombie to living life on your terms, what were some of the obstacles you remember working through? Share them below and help out your fellow entrepreneurs!