Transitioning from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur can happen several ways – you retire from your job, you plan it and resign or you are laid off. The first two ways are the preferred ways; however, sometimes you are thrown into full-time entrepreneurship. That is what happened to me on October 8, 2015. I received notice from my boss at approximately 3 PM. I had just finished a very challenging program that lasted for almost 14 months. There were a lot of long hours and even more stress. When the project ended on September 30th, I left the next day to attend Connie Ragen Green’s Incubator Live event. I felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off of me.
I was much more focused than previous events and was enjoying the company of my fellow online marketers. I did a presentation on Google Analytics that was well received. I was thinking about all of the things that I wanted to do when I returned home. I returned home on Monday, October 5th and went back to work on Tuesday, October 6th. There were many things that needed to be done to close out the program so that is what I started doing. I had no idea what would happen in just two short days.
My first reaction was panic. I was not financially ready to take this leap yet. I wanted to have 4th quarter to prepare. I was going to go hard with Amazon in Q4 and had already started researching potential products and accumulating inventory. In fact, I went shopping on Tuesday. I had a lot of other emotions as well such as sadness, anger and embarrassment. In my almost 30 years of working, I had never been laid off. I was only given 2 weeks of severance so I had to brush myself off and figure out what would be my next course of action.
Some things you need to think about if this ever happens to you is insurance and unnecessary expenses. You need to decide if you are going to continue your health, dental and vison insurance using COBRA or look into some of the new health plans that are available through the Affordable Care Act. COBRA is very expensive but you won’t have any changes in what you are used to. In my case I have a Health Care Reimbursement account which allowed me to save pre-tax money for expenses that were not covered by insurance. You need to find out if you will still have access to that money or not. If you have life insurance, short term or long term disability, or long-term care insurance through your employer, you need to either replace it or see if you can pay for it yourself.
Take a good look at your budget and determine which expenses you can cut. Do you really need 200+ cable channels? Are you paying for services monthly that you do not use? It is very easy to sign up for a monthly service that automatically comes out of your bank account or PayPal account. Look at all of these automatic payments and cancel the ones you are not using. You can always sign up later. Be very mindful of the new courses and training you buy. Do you really need it and are you really going to use it?
Lastly, figure out how you can make money right away. Online marketing is an excellent way to replace your income but think of the ways that will generate cash immediately. Can you provide a service? This may not be your ultimate goal, but it can provide cash right away. The other thing that I recommend is selling products on Amazon. You receive a deposit into your bank account every two weeks with Amazon. Look for things that are brand new that you have never used. Scan your books to see if any of them are profitable. You can even start with the Dollar Store. Listen to the podcast that I did with Donna Cali. She started her Amazon business with $2.87.
The main thing is to establish a routine. You had a routine when you had a full-time job, so treat your business like a job. Determine what you need to get done every week and schedule the items for each day. The one thing that I am still working on is trying to do too much in one day. I am so used to working 12+ hours a day that I can easily fall into that pattern. I also need to prioritize money making activities over busy work. I have just started this journey but I have a lot of people pulling for me. I know with hard work that I can make it.
If you would like to learn more about selling physical products on Amazon, check out these 3 free videos. Remember with a game plan, you can successfully transition from a full-time employee to a full-time entrepreneur. I welcome your comments.