The recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic had many of us considering whether or not to go into business for ourselves, leaving behind the day-to-day hustle and bustle of working for someone else’s dream. If you are one of those individuals considering transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, it would be important to understand the journey that you are about to embark upon. Entrepreneurship can be a long, tiresome yet rewarding journey that some people fully don’t understand. Most people see the glitz and the glam side of generating one’s own revenue, setting your own schedule or simply being “the boss”.  There is another side to it all that causes bumps and bruises that most don’t consider when leaving the traditional workplace model.  To help alleviate some of the bumps and bruises of this journey, it’s important that before stepping away from your 9-5, you MUST develop a strategy to transition into your own business venture.

Things to consider before leaving your job:

  1. Determine how much money it will take for you to simply break-even by replacing your paycheck for profits in your business.
  2. Consult with a tax professional first to know what tax laws will now be applicable to you in your newly formed business entity.
  3. Identify what business industry you will enter into and be clear on the target audience who needs what you’re now selling.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on writing a business plan.
  5. Seek advice from a financial advisor on how to best use the funds from your company’s retirement fund.

Once considering the above list, you can then begin preparing a solid plan of action on transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.  When entering the world of entrepreneurship, it is critically important that something within you changes.  Not just a change of titles or labels but an actual mental shift.  If you are a person who does not like to read, research or network, then you may not be ready for what it takes to be your own boss.  What is so important about reading, researching and networking? Well, reading supports the need to continually be a student to the game of business, thus ensuring you don’t get flat, complacent or boring.  Researching ensures you stay up to speed on the changes within your industry making certain you don’t leave any money on the table from the customer base you aren’t securing. Networking makes sure you actively seek out new business relationships, refreshes your pipeline of contacts and keeps you hungry. Remember this:  People will do business with you if they like you, know you and can trust you. Stay hungry and stay humble.  If you do, you’ll go far.

JaCoi James Pugh is a co-founder and President of Black Women’s Wall Street, Inc, which focuses on empowering Black women who aspire to become business owners by providing start-up business training, financial literacy and financial education so they can impact local and global communities. She also maintains a small business consulting practice, J&K Solutions, based in Mansfield, TX, which focuses on the design and development stages of the budding entrepreneur.