I've always been a highly schedule-oriented individual. I need to have an organized list of tasks that direct me toward an ultimate goal. With that, I knew that if I was ever going to leave my full-time job, I had to sit down and map out my direction. Of course, I had no idea which direction I was going, so I had to figure that out as well.
This chapter provides an overview of the steps I went through in developing my plan of attack. I had to determine what I wanted, where I wanted to go, and how I had to get there. This information is detailed in the following chapters and is very important in helping you prepare your map to success.
Preparing Your Plan
The plan is the most important part of starting out on your new endeavor. It is essential to map out your direction so that you can know how to get to where you want to go. Additionally, the plan helps you know when you get there. It can be used for motivation, direction, ideas, and helping to keep you on track when your brain starts down a tangent.
The plan itself is based on three important items:
- the Mission,
- the Vision, and
- your Goals.
The Mission is a short statement about your overall direction-what it is that you do or plan to do. The Vision identifies where you might see yourself in five years-your long term objective and direction. The Goals identify short-term objectives-the stepping stones to achieve your Mission and reach your Vision.
Set Yourself Up
There are two ways to make it happen for you: quit your job now or set yourself up to be able to step off into a comfortable opportunity. I would suggest the latter as life is much easier when you make it happen your way instead of having to claw and pray that you can pay your bills.
Prepare Your Business
Depending on the direction you choose to go, you will probably have to start a small business. Of course, if you're working in a telecommuting situation under another company, then you really don't have to worry about the information presented in this chapter.
For those that do go independent, the type of business entity and direction you select is important for professional presentation and for tax purposes. It's important to research your direction and match it against a business entity that will best meet your needs.
Market Your Product or Service
Selecting your market is very important for success. You want to make sure that the market you select suits your product or service. You don't want to have to wrestle with potential clients to make a sale-you want your product or service to be accepted. You can storm the walls later, just make it happen for now.
Pack Away the Money
While you're working full-time, make sure to pack away that extra money for when you make your leap. There are various ways to determine when you are financially ready for the leap and ways to make sure you don't go broke in the process.
Easy Does It
Make sure that everyone in your family is prepared for the change. Also, make sure that you've established yourself so that you can walk into your new endeavor with confidence. This is just as important as finances! Your new work environment and lifestyle will affect everyone differently.
Quit Your Job
We reach that glorious day when you quit your full-time job. Do it with dignity and style. You never know, your former employer could be your first, full-time client and your best reference for other clients.