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12 things to do before quitting a job to be Self-Employed

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So, you want to escape the 9-to-5 and become your own boss? I have been self-employed and an online entrepreneur for around 7 years now. At that time I was in a predicament and the offer to work online was my saving grace. Looking back, I wish I had a backup career plan- after all, there really are no guarantees in life.

It is disheartening to lose your job and equally scary to leave one for the unknown but having a plan in advance will prepare you for unforeseen circumstances and will help with the transition so you can finally work for yourself full-time.

Quitting your job to be self-employed or to be an entrepreneur can be a daunting thought. A secure plan will help ensure your chances for success.

Self-Employed – Working for oneself as a freelancer or the owner of a business rather than for an employer.

Entrepreneur – A person who organizes and operates a business or business, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

If this is your goal then here are several things you need to prepare for the switch.

Things to do before you quit your job

1. Clear your Mind

This is a smart first step.

  • See where you are at, don’t make decisions if your thoughts and emotions are polluted by negativity
  • Choose your mentors,
  • Look at the bigger picture- the pros and cons.
  • Check your strengths and weaknesses
  • Don’t be swayed by the get rich quick schemes

2. Find your ‘Why’

According to Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Right now, you want to leave your job to start a business. But do you know why you want to do it? Having a powerful why gives you a clear sense of purpose. It inspires you. It motivates you. It compels you to break through barriers and overcome obstacles. And when you feel like giving up, it gives you the boost to get right back on track.

3. Write down your Goals

We all have dreams and aspirations that shape our vision of the perfect life. Having that great body, Owning your dream home, Vacationing in exotic places, Living in another country, Being financially free and the list goes on.

creative market

Having a goal gives you something to work towards, it’s your target, your end goal. It’s the reason why you do the things you need to do in order to get what you want.

4. Determine what you’ll do without your Day Job Benefits

One of the major perks of full-time employment is the benefits- health insurance, retirement, and so on. Benefits are something many people rely on, and you will most likely lose them when you start working for yourself full-time. This is the reason why many people struggle to leave their day jobs because the benefits are so valuable.

5. Build a Savings Fund for Personal Needs

The standard advice given to those considering taking the leap is to save up to six months’ worth of living expenses before calling it quits. Starting a business or working for yourself is naturally a feast-and-famine cycle, as you’re still building and expanding your client base, and projects or orders can fluctuate from month to month.

You can become self-employed in a split second, but succeeding while self-employed generally takes far longer. While overnight successes do exist, it’s more common for self-employed individuals to wait months before they begin seeing consistent profits. Having a little something in reserve can carry you through the leaner months.

6. Have a Clear Understanding of your Finances

Everyone who pursues self-employment has to face their emotional relationship with money at some point. 

A paycheck from full-time employment is a steady month-to-month payment for services rendered as an employee. However, in self-employment, you shift away from this arrangement and instead get paid for work you find, things you sell, or projects you complete.

7. Decide what you want to do

You need to know what kind of business you’re going to start. You probably already have one in mind. But there’s a good chance it might change as you go along and that’s okay. You don’t want to do something you’re not sure about.

Consider starting a business that adds value to other people’s lives. It’s one of the greatest skills needed to be an entrepreneur. If you focus on doing that, you’ll never have to worry about making money.

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8. Create your Detailed Action Plan

List down all the actionable and relevant tasks you must complete in order to be successful. Your detailed action plan is basically a to-do list of items that you can check off daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

The plan must include how you will establish yourself, what marketing techniques you’ll employ, what clients or customers you will target, where you plan to conduct your business and how much your business operations will cost each month.

9. Start your Business as a Side Hustle

If you have the option, I highly recommend starting your business on the side of your day job. This is because you’ll still be able to rely on the income from your day job, meaning there is less risk if your business doesn’t turn out to be what you thought it would be.

Starting your business on the side will allow you to see if it’s:

  • Something you want to do full-time?
  • Is this a business idea you will actually like once you’ve started it?
  • A realistic way to make an income?
  • Will you be able to live on your side hustle or business income alone?
  • A business that will work out or not?
  • Is this a business idea that will succeed?

Whether running an Etsy store, an eCommerce business, or working as a freelancer, many entrepreneurs start their businesses as a “side hustle” while still working full- or part-time. It’s a smart way to test the waters before pursuing entrepreneurship full-time.

10. Set Up Your Business Website, Social Media, and Bank Accounts

Make sure you can hit the ground running by getting everything set up for your new business long before you ever leave your job. Have your website ready, have all your social media accounts and pages set up, get your business license, open business accounts at your bank, source your suppliers, and so on. In short, be proactive. The sooner you do this, the more confident you are to take the plunge.

11. Don’t Burn Bridges

Your network will always be one of your biggest assets, so make sure that you leave your job with as many connections as possible still intact. And of course, having those friendly contacts won’t hurt if you ever want to get your old job back, just in case the venture didn’t work out. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody.

12. It’s time to Quit your Day Job

This is the step you’ve been waiting for! The point in learning how to become self-employed is to one day finally leave your day job.

If your Side hustle works out and you love what you’re doing then financial success and freedom are within your reach.




  • Reply Meghan January 31, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    These are great reminders of things we need to do before leaving our 9-5 and diving into our own business. This is extremely helpful for me, as I have started to take steps to begin to transition out of my 9-5. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Lani February 5, 2022 at 12:05 am

      Hi Meghan,

      I’m glad my post is on par with your journey through transition. I hope you achieve your goals soon.

  • Reply Jeannie January 31, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    Helpful tips! Its important to really have extra fund first before quitting a regular job.

    • Reply Lani February 5, 2022 at 12:08 am

      Hi Jeannie,

      Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you, having some funds to back you up in case it takes a while to prosper in the new business is a must.

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