Have you thought about leaving your job in the corporate sector? If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve given some thought to that. It’s totally okay if you’re thinking about leaving even though you may be making some good money there.
How to Leave Your Corporate Career and Successfully Launch Your Own Gig
In fact, if you feel like you need to quit, you may be experiencing at least one of the following five signs that you should do it (source: Forbes):
- You’re unhappy most of every day working in your current position
- You feel that your working environment is toxic, and the source of the toxicity is your boss or colleague
- You feel like the skills you’re using at your job aren’t the ones that you truly enjoy doing
- You believe that you could accomplish much more
- You feel like your current goals at your job are meaningless or even negative.
Does anything from this list sound familiar? If so, then you should leave your current career to start a business. After all, you decide what to do with your life and how to work.
Before you go to your boss’s office and announce your decision, you should also understand that entrepreneurship is hard. To succeed, you need to work hard, be ready to make sacrifices, and be as persistent as you possibly can.
Besides, leaving your job also means disrupting your routine and changing your life forever, because you’ll have to overcome your objections and insecurities. Not to mention having the courage to finally pull the plug and quit your job.
You’re still reading this? Great! Then it means that I didn’t scare you.
Plus, it means that you really want to start a business and create a lifestyle that you truly love.
In this case, let’s get to work. Here are the steps that you’ll need to take in order to leave your corporate career and successfully launch your own business.
Step #1: Evaluate Your Current Situation
We kind of started doing this when I asked you whether you experienced the signs that you need to quit your job at the beginning of this article. If you feel like you’re experiencing at least some of them, then it means that you’re not happy with your current job.
It doesn’t allow you to unlock your full potential.
It holds you back.
It doesn’t make you feel happy.
It doesn’t make you feel like you’re accomplishing something meaningful.
In this case, you don’t need it, even if there are some good things about it.
Leaving your job could be “especially difficult when everything else about the job is a positive,” writes Daniel B. Kline, a Fast Company contributor. “But if you hope for more, then staying someplace where that’s not likely is a mistake.”
The next step in assessing your current situation would be to think about how your ideal lifestyle would be like. For example, maybe you want to work some more until your business takes off and then shift to another approach? Brainstorming about this could help you to get an ideal long-term vision of your career as an entrepreneur.
Step #2: Understand that the Perfect Time to Launch Your Business Does Not Exist
Many people fail to start their own businesses because they choose to wait for the “perfect” time. For example, it means having enough money in the back to ensure the survival of their business or waiting until they learn how to start their business. Some people even choose to wait until they’re fired from their jobs.
While some of these excuses may make sort of sense, they are still excuses. There’s no perfect time to quit your job and start your own business. Let me explain. Supposedly, you think that if you quit now and begin building your business, you’ll fail.
Okay, but what exactly gives you a 100 percent guarantee that you won’t fail? The fact that you’ll launch it later? The fact you don’t have enough money? (Richard Branson, for example, launched Virgin with $200).
The perfect time doesn’t exist! And this brings us to the next step.
Step #3: Plan Less, Do More. Don’t be Afraid of Failing
The longer you spend planning quitting your job and launching your business, the less time you’ll have on actually building it. Time is a precious resource, and you might be robbing yourself by planning. In fact, many people spend so much time planning that they eventually lose all motivation they had at the beginning.
It goes without saying that planning is essential to building a successful business, but I personally think that it’s not the key.
What is the key, then?
Don’t just take my word for it. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, says that nine times out of ten, you’re going to fail (maybe that’s why nine out of ten new businesses fail).
“I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com,” he says. “Literally billions. … Companies that don’t embrace failure and continue to experiment eventually get in the desperate position where the only thing they can do is make a Hail Mary bet at the end of their corporate existence.”
In fact, some of the failures that Bezos refers to include (you may not heard about them because many of these projects failed quickly):
- Amazon’s Fire phone
- Amazon Destinations travel service
- Amazon Wallet
- Amazon Local Register
- Amazon Auctions
- Amazon TestDrive
- Amazon WebPay
- com, a Q&A service
- fashion flash sale site MyHabit
And these are only the worst ones! Nevertheless, they made Bezos a big fan of failure because he saw it as a great contributor to success.
So, the best thing that you could do is embrace failure because even if you fail once or twice, or even three times, that doesn’t mean that your business won’t eventually succeed. You absolutely WILL if you stay focused and persistent.
Step #4: Keep Learning
It’s very likely that you don’t have a vast experience in entrepreneurship, so learning it should become one of your highest priorities. For example, even if you want to start your business as a freelance writer, you’ll have to learn the art of getting customers and learning a wide range of writing techniques to produce engaging texts.
In other words, you’ll have to learn how to overcome obstacles and resolve issues all the time because it’s a part of the journey. Also, you’ll have to learn how to manage employees and market your products and services, because no one will do that for you.
The only way to succeed, therefore, is to consume quality information on entrepreneurship and everything related on a constant basis. Consider reading books, listening to podcasts, visiting entrepreneurship conferences and meeting, enrolling in online courses and doing many other things that’ll supply you with the information you need along the way.
Step #5: Follow Your Passion
One of the major reasons why you want to leave your job is to do something you truly enjoy, so following your passion is the best advice I can give on choosing where you want to go. Just start by brainstorming what industry you would like to work in and how you can combine it with your experience and current knowledge.
Following your passion is a good decision also because doing so will provide you with some additional motivation to succeed (and I don’t have to tell you how important it is to stay motivated as an entrepreneur).
Step #6: Know Your Customer
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
These words of one of the best entrepreneurs of all time, Steve Jobs, couldn’t be truer. The concept of being customer-centric is a widely used one in business because it focuses the effort of the company on creating something that their target audience wants and needs.
In fact, when Amazon launched in 1995, the mission of the company was “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” and it still hasn’t changed.
That’s why you should leverage all possible ways to get to know your target audience before designing a product or service. Some of the best ways include:
- Asking customers directly (in person or via email)
- Conducting online surveys
- Holding events
- Reading customer reviews of companies working in the same niche
- Using keyword research.
Your Time is Now
Richard Branson once said: “Successful people start before they feel ready.” This quite, of course, doesn’t mean that you should quit your job tomorrow and announce your entrepreneurship plans to your family the same day. It rather means that you should start small, but the main thing is to start. As you already know, there’s no perfect time.
Hey, wanna achieve success and gain your rewards from the idea of starting a small business in another country? In this article you will show you how to do it and give you some useful tips. We want you to be well prepared for switching to different lifestyle and work-out the knowledge ground to implement your future projects. Even if there are potential risks which await your plans at every corner and in every smile of foreign bureaucrats and possible partners don’t let anything to turn your dreams down.
Be brave! People who have guts to start their business from the scratch are more inclined to thrill-seeking. So be ready for challenges. If you are not this kind of person – you should better find a better trade.
Regardless of your age, a risky young man can start making money in any field abroad. There is a range of activities which will be interesting for a mature 35-year-old office guy as well as for 18-year-old adventurer.
Apart from the general investment climate rates, there is no any exact statistics which indicates in which state business is more inclined to failure as well as in which it is not. It is a blank field opened for discoveries and adventure seekers – people like you!
Imagine how many countries, which are full of business possibilities, are waiting for your young energy to start a business there.
You can start with Africa. It’s lush nature and unexpectable business climate can turn out to be a good starting point for an adventurer like you, who has little money but strong will to launch a business abroad. While African nations are not regarded as perfect investment targets for big and famous corporations, there are still some countries which are showing good stability and are business friendly even for small entrepreneurs. Good examples are Republic of South Africa or Ghana. It is one of a few countries on the continent in which the transition of power took place peacefully since its independence day in 1992.
So there are always ways of launching your business in countries where you won’t need large starting capital. Which will have a proper depository of well-educated workforce and protection of your private property by the law.
To be well prepared to start your low-cost business include these six tips into your agenda work-out.
1. Evaluate business practices
Find out if there are any examples of successful entrepreneurs who started their trade in the country you want to choose. There is a possibility to find out if there are any business people from your country. It will simplify the process significantly as you can always ask for assistance or useful contacts they’ve already established there.
Even if you are a pioneer in the country and finding compatriot-entrepreneurs there is not likely – no need to panic and dismiss it from your target list. As all you need to do is to learn more about business laws. Get information about taxation and banking, which are usually different in every country. In some countries, like Georgia, you can start your business in one day, in others, this procedure lasts for weeks or months. Study the requirements and laws of the country. Find out the prices for real estate, property, how much it will cost you to incorporate.
Be well informed before you entice yourself into some activity. Don’t be in a hustle and evaluate everything properly.
2. Engineer your ideas and expectations to a viable mechanism
Ask yourself questions and guide your actions with answers on them.
What are real reasons for launching your business in a different locale?
Define the reasons why you are trying to find a different place for starting your small business. Is it a saturated market, or you cannot afford to pay a salary to specialists in your home currency, or maybe there are a tax increase or no resources to produce what you want? Answers to this questions can be the actual roadmaps to what you are looking for. That should give you a clue on which country you need for your commodities.
What are your plans in the country you want to choose?
Will it be services or products? If products think about the country you’ve picked. Will it be the place where you are going to assemble them, where the shipment will be held, and where you are going to sell these goods? If you will choose services then you need to study more about the employment market and its specifics. Anyway, the main point is to define if your new country will have enough resources which will satisfy your small-scale project.
Where your business should be situated physically?
It is a crucial decision to choose which location your office or warehouse will have. Should it be a capital or a suburb town? Think of the customers your shop or office will have, which are specifics of your clientele? It is also necessary to mention the infrastructure. How will you administer the supply of materials and freight?
Who can become your partner and who can be your staff?
Launching your startup abroad will require making hiring decisions deliberately. Especially when you want to find somebody who will be reliable in the key positions like a lawyer, finance manager or accountant. Everything is dependent on the culture of the locale, what are the habits of the inner working atmosphere. Decide if you need a partner, and which obligations he should have. Save every cent of your modest budget.
What should your timelines be?
Count your time, let it work for you. What are your deadlines, will the delays be critical or your business can be flexible with that. It’s possible to tackle these problems by working out a schedule including it to your development strategy. Don’t forget about the risks of prolongations and delays. It will entirely depend on the type of your deliverables. Include any risks and force-majeures to your startup business plan, so you can feel secure even if the worst things happen.
If the risks are high, try launching a very small starting project. You can evolve it later bringing it to larger scale if you will be satisfied with the environment and gain success. You can even take a loan from your home bank if you see that the business climate in your startup country is stable.
Open a small office and work in the environment for a while. Know people more, learn about the local bureaucratic system and analyze mistakes. That will be a priceless experience obtaining which you can evolve your small business to a company in short period of time.
3. Learn the Environment you are going to work in
Some regard launching a startup abroad as an easy task and go for the unknown markets barehanded. Be smarter than that and don”t rely on destiny and your luck only. Always be ready for the worst and then you will never be struck by problems unexpectedly.
Rules and regulations
Let’s take a small IT startup for example and examine what is needed to lead it to bring profit. The activity of your office will depend on the countries’ financial laws, immigration rules, as well as licenses and other legal documentation connected with private property and intellectual rights. Be scrupulous while arranging your documentation as you don’t have much money to waste them in vain.
Your property rights and fulfilment of financial liabilities should also be of the priority to you. It is crucial as in some countries any debts overdue or breach of the Labor law can lead to serious consequences, fines or property confiscation.
The economic situation of the country
Your IT startup can gain or fail from the poor economic situation of the country you are going to work in. States with poor GDP rates usually have a high level of unemployment, so there will be no problem to hire employees. Although if we are talking about IT company to find educated staff can be a challenge.
A solution can be to launch IT-training for the local English-speaking students or to offer high salary and accommodations to your compatriot experts. If you have a small budget – first will be more likely to implement. If you have friends who are same adventurers like you, entice them offering affordable living and beautiful natural surroundings of the country you want to work in. So you can spend your time with your good friends and make money with them. Isn’t it worth changing your dull office work or small garage for another country?
A country you want to work in should be politically stable
If you are not an adventurous person and you have nothing to do with coup d’états and local conflicts – learn more about the country’s current political situation. If you will be well acknowledged you can profit from it. There are countries which are developing and have the potentials you need, but have a lingering military conflict in one of its parts, which scares away the big investors with large capitals.
Meanwhile, you can launch your startup in the capital or a part which is distant from the conflict zone and get advantages having no competitors nearby and employing and helping people of the economically war-torn country. Always remember that business should bring you emotional and moral satisfaction as well.
4. Know the culture of the country
Your choice will predetermine your life for many years to come. Don’t ignore the cultural diversity and local traditions. It can help you or double-cross your business as well. Talking about the IT startup, it won’t be hard to find a common language with your staff. Most of IT people usually have no any prejudices and will tolerate your mistakes if any. Meanwhile, you should take into consideration the cultural difference which can influence the work productivity, length of working hours.
There are countries with innate traditional workaholism. Some are good in their hospitable traditions, and you can profit from launching an IT client-service center there. Learn more about religious customs of the country. About things which can’t be tolerated or will be regarded as taboos. Having a local friend or hiring a cross-cultural business consultant can help you to apprehend the business environment of the country more.
And always remember, whatever your business is, regardless of the amount of money you have, don’t be afraid to start doing business in other countries. It can get your startup to success escaping high competitive market of your home country. It can also bring you high yields. You can evolve your small business to large scale in no time if you will deliberately plan everything that you do and put your soul into your small startup idea.
Check out our related article about how to grow a successful business.