How Can I Leave My Job to Start a Business?
Man, if I had a nickel for every time something like that shows up in my inbox.
I’d still be doing what I’m doing but I certainly wouldn’t need to.
But I get it…
We live in an era where it has literally never been easier to quit your day job and go off to build you own company.
The internet was the game changer.
It leveled the playing field.
A complete and total democratization of the landscape.
No longer could the big boys just merely outspend you to keep their stronghold on the market.
New industries blossomed…
Truth be told, the industry I’m in wouldn’t even exist in it’s current form prior to the world wide web.
And my guest today, Marie Forleo, can resonate with that statement.
A life coach?
At 23 years old (err…young)?
Moreover, leaving a handsomly paying job on Wall Street and turning down a sweet gig to work at Vogue in the process?
Literally, that’s what happened.
Marie has now been dubbed the Oprah of our generation…from Oprah herself, and has built a media empire on YouTube and through selling information products.
Her program, B-School (short for Business School), has now been sold to over 44,000 people.
What’s more is she only offers it for sale once per year and for ~2 weeks.
That’s bananas, right?
The program costs $2,000 for lifetime access…
I’ll let you do the math.
But when she made this plunge of a decision back in 1999, I’m sure many people thought she had committed career suicide.
Thank God she pursued her gut, right?
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Okay, But That’s Marie, Not Me!
This one is also up there on my list of “things I hear that would make me rich for only a nickel.”
It’s as if one person alone owns the entire market.
Marie Forleo is the only person on the planet that can successfully sell information products and therefore you shouldn’t even try.
What’s more is usually on the flip side of that someone is telling me about their MILLION DOLLAR idea that NOBODY is doing.
Let’s address both of these quickly so we can move on to the juicy stuff.
At the moment I’m writing this, there’s an estimated 7.53 BILLION people on planet earth.
Having sold B-School 44,000 times, as staggering as that is, that’s only .0000058% of the total addressable market.
Yes, I know NOT every human, like infant children, are prospective customers. It’s still a ridiculous number.
It’s 2019, is there really a such thing as a NEW idea?
There are new mediums, platforms and iterations of concepts but we’ve pretty much dreamed up every core business concept.
Even Facebook wasn’t TRULY a new idea…sorry, Zuck.
It was built on the concept of human interaction and engagement, which is certainly nothing new, just a new platform to execute on that premise.
And I can on and on and on…
Enhancing communication and giving you ease of access to information & entertainment.
So, my point is this…
This is a world of abundance and IT’S A BLOODY GOOD THING when other people are already selling what you want to sell.
It means they’ve quite literally validated it for you.
And what’s amazing is to see the success stories out of B-School.
Because at the end of the day, Marie continuing to sell her program heavily relies upon the results OTHERS receive.
How great would weight loss products be if NOBODY lost weight?
So then the question comes down to how and my guess is that’s why you’re here today.
It All Starts with Self-Reflection
I’ve built companies…big companies.
My tagline on social is I build and help people build big companies.
I’m involved with a Silicon Valley-based Accelerator Program for the Austin Chapter.
And our goal is certainly not to build little mom and pop’s.
That sounded like a super boastful statement so I apologize as that’s certainly not my intent.
I say those things because it’s LITERALLY my job to make you stretch.
You see, we are so conditioned to stay in our little boxes.
Think about it…
You wake up in your boxed little bedroom, talk a shower in your box little bathroom (hopefully), get in your boxed little car to go sit in a boxed little office (possibly in an even smaller box inside the boxed office) only to wake up and do it every single day.
When you were in school you were trained to help someone else build their vision.
You just didn’t know that’s what was happening to you.
Learn this by this date and then execute…
Depending on how well you execute we’re going to assess you and the person with the highest assessments “theoretically” will be more eligible to go do that for someone else.
A human factory in many ways.
And I’m not boo-booing on higher education.
So many skills I learned came from my years of schooling.
We’d all be Neanderthals running around pounding things on the ground were it not for our ability to intellectually enhance our minds.
But the trade-off is you sacrifice a bit of that child-like wonder in the process.
That part of you that said what’s possible and what’s not.
And that’s a dangerous mindset in the entrepreneurship space.
That’s the logic that leads to “Marie is selling it already, I need a market with no competition.”
It also leads to you playing it small.
And my job is to re-frame your mind.
I spend my days literally helping people do that.
Which brings me to my point on self-reflection.
If all things were possible, what would you do with your time?
Just play this game with me real quick.
ALL things are possible, how would you live out your ONE life?
Working at some place you hate for a boss that’s an asshole while barely getting paid enough to not live paycheck to paycheck?
And we haven’t even mentioned the stinky co-worker or the one that is constantly gossiping and causing silly drama.
We haven’t even talked about that crazy commute you make every single morning, fighting through traffic for 2 hours, both ways.
And truth be told, if we lost that ONE job, then what?
That’s most people’s realities and it’s what drives me to do what I do…
To show you this amazing opportunity I’ve discovered as well as my dear friend, Marie.
Because now, more than any other time in civilization, you have MORE opportunity to actually do something about it.
You CAN go beat the titans of industry.
You CAN go launch a massively successful YouTube Channel that drives thousands, if not millions, of people to your website to buy YOUR product.
And most of you are DOING THIS WORK already…
Just for someone else!
So, self-reflection is everything because you have to make a decision and then never look back.
You can leave this blog right now and just write me off as some nut ball.
But if you’re truly meant to be an entrepreneur, my guess is you are now hooked on what I’m about to tell you.
Because every entrepreneur starts with one core foundation component…
They know in their heart and soul they were not made for the 9-5.
And once they know that the thought of working for someone else, anyone else, causes a physical reaction.
Just like Marie when she left Wall Street and was trying to figure out the next moves in her life.
Ask yourself that one simple question and then make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to do whatever is necessary to pursue the road less traveled.
But What Am I Going to Sell?
I just dropped by and hung out with a buddy of mine, Ryan Levesque.
Ryan is a #1 International Best Selling Author of the book, “ASK”.
And in his book, Ryan talks about knowing your WHO before your WHAT.
What does that mean?
Who do you want to serve?
For me, it’s people like you.
People like I was before I discovered entrepreneurship.
I was depressed, aimless and hadn’t a clue in the world about where I fit in.
When I discovered entrepreneurship as a viable option for me, it changed me instantly.
So, maybe you’re super passionate about gardening and you really want to help other people get those amazing results you’ve gotten at growing your own tomatoes.
Or maybe you’re like a student of mine that had a gun pulled on him by a police officer during the middle of a routine traffic stop and now he wants to create a platform where both officer and drivers can have a safer interaction.
Your WHO is usually strongly attached to your WHY so I need you to start a journal to jot down ideas.
You can even make two lists of WHO and WHY and then see how they overlap.
Because, truthfully, we give the brain far too much credit than it deserves when it comes to recall.
We expect so much of it but sometimes the physical act alone of intention makes everything clear.
It’s why the best counselors know to probe your mind and not just sit there with a monologue of advice.
Once you’ve established WHO you want to serve and WHY, the WHAT may and probably should come fairly easily.
For example: I knew I wanted to serve should-be entrepreneurs and help them live the life they deserve to create solutions the world desperately needs.
In order to do that, I need my voice to be heard.
I started a podcast and within two weeks it was trending Top 5 on iTunes under Business, Health and Education.
So we went from idea to reaching 10’s of thousands of people in about two weeks.
Because EVERYTHING aligned and I did my research.
The next step was coaching to really learn the intricacies of who these people were and what they needed.
So I used the Podcast and the blog to build a coaching business.
At one point I then felt I knew my target audience enough to no longer offer coaching but rather to take my efforts to selling information products so that I could serve thousands rather than just a few.
And the beautiful thing is this is a very repeatable process.
In fact, this is usually how I see things work in every single business.
The last part I’d recommend is to put your investigative hat on and do some lurking.
I do a lengthy competitive analysis to see what the trends are in the industry, how people are being marketed to and on what platform plus what I deem as what’s missing or who is being underserved.
This will instantly give you a solid idea on where you fit in the marketplace.
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Now How Do You Leave That Pesky J-O-B?
This is the motherload here, right?
The entire reason you’re here.
Maybe you already had an idea and have done everything I talked about.
Good for you!
Let’s not botch the execution of this part because it’s critical to nail it.
I have two methodologies for how to transition out of a job and into entrepreneurship.
- Be an side hustler
- Be a night & weekend warrior
Let me further explain.
A side hustler is someone that wants to leave their job immediately.
They are repulsed by the idea of working for someone else and just NEED TO GET OUT!
I’m not going to tell you to stay, you and only you knows what’s best based on your financial situation.
BUT, I don’t want you living under a bridge in the meantime.
So, you’re going to need side hustles.
Apps like Uber and Airbnb provide an amazing opportnity to mae money on the side.
Live in a downtown area?
You can officially do both.
I did an entire podcast interview with Nick Loper, the side-hustle king, about people that are literally making six-figures on JUST side hustles.
The dream dies when the bank dries…
I assure you.
Protect yourself, live with margins and be prepared for this to take longer and cost more than you expected…
Because it will.
We’re going for urgency here, not desperation.
Side hustles also allow you to work on your business FAR more than you can in a full-time job AND you can do them whenever with no schedule.
Night & weekend warriors are those that I want to stay in their current job and just suck it up for a while longer.
You’re going to work for an hour here and there on your business.
I want you carving out several hours every single weekend to put real work into what you’re doing.
These people are usually bread winners, people with kids, mortgages and REAL responsibilities.
Again, live by margins.
You don’t want to give yourself six months to make it happen, or else.
Don’t lose your home over this thing.
Also don’t jeopardize your marriage due to the crazy stress you put on yourself.
Again, urgency but not desperation.
You’d be amazed how much 1-2 hours per day can do.
Once you’ve grown your business to a certain point, and you’ll know exactly when, you can exit your job or dial back on the side hustles.
I say you’ll know when because it really is a personalized thing.
If you live in Manhattan and your rent is $3,500/mo you might be doing this charade a bit longer than if you live in South Carolina and pay a fraction of that.
For a point of reference, I usually want to see AT LEAST six months of expenses covered and in the bank before you take the leap.
Live below your means, readjust your standards and make sure the entire family is in sync with your plans to exit.
If you’re single, you are really going to need to insert yourself in entrepreneurial groups because this path is a lonely one.
Which leads me to my next and final point…
Entrepreneurship is a Lifestyle, Not a Career
Look, we talked about mindset already but this is the biggest part of it.
This isn’t something you just turn off at 5:00 everyday.
You LIVE this stuff.
You obsess over increasing conversion rates…
You spend countless hours binge watching information videos like Marie TV on YouTube.
You find every group you can in your local area to support your learning and growth as an entrepreneur.
This isn’t a trade.
It’s a transformation of the human spirit.
Your entire way of life is going to change.
The way you see the world is going to be altered.
You’re going to end up with all new friends.
And your old friends are literally not going to recognize you.
Your vocabulary will change.
You’ll drive people crazy with how much you utilize the word “Value.”
So, above all else, for the love of all things holy, surround yourself with the right resources.
And that’s where programs like B-School are simply EVERYTHING.
Marie has done this before.
And she’s helped thousands do it in the process.
You don’t hop out of bed knowing how to do…well, anything.
And takes total submersion and an investment like no other.
I’m seven years in and I still learn something every single day.
I look back and think what a terrible, stupid entrepreneur I was six months ago.
And I say that every six months!
Because I’m in constant pursuit of leveling up.
Now, let me just say you don’t have to have THAT level of tenacity and borderline masochism…
But I’ve rarely seen anyone that has truly succeeded in entrepreneurship without at least a touch of it.
It’s just part of being the breed.
And that’s what we are.
A weird, peculiar, obsessive (borderline compulsive), but oh so wonderfully driven bunch, hellbent on bringing (uh-oh, here’s that word!) value to the world in meaningful ways.
Welcome to the tribe, my friend…
Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!
Marie Forleo, Founder of MarieForleo.com and host of Marie TV, drops by the pod to talk about her amazing journey from leaving Wall Street to seven years of hustling and finding her true calling + when to quit your day job to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.
Today’s Sponsor: 99 Designs
To learn more about Marie, visit Marieforleo.com