1. It’s a lifestyle change not just a job change
When you become an entrepreneur it’s a lifestyle change – not just a job change.
If you're coming from a traditional job, your entire relationship with your work is going to change. In fact, your entire life is going to change.
You'll have the opportunity to create the ultimate work life balance and take control of your destiny, perhaps for the first time in your life.
But you’ll also be strapping yourself into a roller coaster that doesn’t have a charted path, other than going constantly upstream. It's both exhilarating and exhausting but for many people it's the only way.
2. Carefully design your “on ramp”
When you’re thinking about changing careers from a traditional 9 to 5 job to something entrepreneurial, it’s extremely important that you have a carefully designed on ramp.
If you’ve ever merged on the highway and had to deal with a short on ramp you know how much more stressful that can be compared to easing on via a longer, more gradual on ramp.
It’s the same way when you’re switching careers to an entrepreneur route. Both entries can lead to an epic crash if you’re not careful.
The good news is that a lot of times you can start off as a part-time entrepreneur and do it at your own pace and on your own time.
I’ve had friends go part time on their business endeavors for over a year before committing full-time.
And whenever I made my transition, it was over the span of about 24 to 36 months. So everyone will have their own timeline that works for them.
The key here is patience and realistic expectations.
Remember, most new businesses need 18 to 24 months to reach profitability. Your business might be ahead of the curve but it also might be behind it.
3. Properly deal with your current employer
You need to think about how to approach your current employer about your upcoming career change.
In some cases, you may have to keep quiet about it in order to avoid turning off your current employer.
This “in the closet” approach may not be as easy as you think, especially if you’re going to be relying on things like social media and easily searchable Google reviews to help promote your new business.
In other situations, you may have to disclose what you’re doing.
The biggest risk here is that your employer will see the writing on the wall and will preemptively fire you so that they don’t have to put off the situation.
Of course, if your side hustle is not interfering with your work product this is probably less of a worry, especially if you have a good relationship with your supervisor.
But you’ll have to use your best judgment and make sure that you are aware of any legal implications regarding any contracts you may have signed.
If your new business is going to be a competitor to your current employer that might get you into legal trouble so be careful and make sure you are aware of any noncompete clauses.
And regardless how you feel about your current job, don't burn any bridges when you depart. You never know if you might need to turn back even if it is only temporarily.
So navigate this part of your transition very carefully. And remember, once the word is out, there is no going back.