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How to know you’re ready to quit employment for entrepreneurship


NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 9 – Have you been flirting with the idea of quitting your current job so as to make your side hustle a full time job?

Does the idea of becoming your own boss through entrepreneurship seem like a fairy tale that you cannot wait to make a reality? Is Dr Chris Kirubi’s Twitter handle your favourite spot to land on for the entrepreneurship motivation you seek for the life you hope for?

Worry not. I want to be an entrepreneur. So does half of the rest of the office from where I’m typing this from. Heck, every millennial wants to be an entrepreneur, do not feel guilty about it.

On its own, entrepreneurship is an amazing journey to undertake because of its several perks. But before diving into it, most people are forced to leave the comfort of employment in order to pursue it. So when is the right time to quit employment in favour of becoming your own boss?

Quit employment if your idea is brilliant and well researched

World famous business magazine, Fortune, advises that before quitting employment to go start your own business, you should research on it and ask yourself some hard questions. For instance, find out if someone else has done what you want to do, find out who are your competitors, the status of your SWOT analysis and if the business solves a problem. If so, then you could consider quitting employment and starting out on your own.

Quit employment if you have a sizeable savings account

Before quitting your current job, ensure that you have enough money to make your ends meet at a personal level while also meeting the expenses of your business.

According to Perminus Wainaina, CEO of Career Point Kenya, a person should have enough money saved up to live comfortably for at least six months without a job. Broken down, do the math of your monthly expenses such as rent, food supplies, transport costs and so on, and then multiply them by at least six times. Then do the same for your business. If your business premises require rent, save up its rent for the first six months and any other recurrent expense. If all these are met, then you can quit employment.

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Quit employment if you have ready clientele for your business

For entrepreneurship to thrive, customers are at the core. Upon identifying which need your product is meeting, identify potential customers and convert them into your repeated clients.

This notion is also echoed by Time magazine which advises people to find clients before quitting their jobs as this will help in building the cash flow needed to make the leap.

Quit employment if your side ‘hustle’ gives you more joy than your full time job

Wainaina further explains that before he started Career Point, he used to do an accounting job that left him gravely miserable. However, pursuing activities that made Career Point what it is today gave him more joy. This ultimately led to him quitting his full time job to pursue the business.

This should also be applicable to people debating whether to call it quits with their employer in order to go out on their own.

Quit employment if your start-up can support you fully

You may have started a side business that has quickly turned out to be successful. However, you are afraid of losing all the perks that employment is currently giving you such as paid gym memberships, company healthcare and insurance and so on.

But it is time for you to go despite all those perks if your business is already established, has a decent turnover and shows potential to do better if you concentrated on it fully.

Fast Company advises aspiring entrepreneurs to use the ‘Tarzan’ technique of determining whether it is time to quit your current job. Simply explained, do not let go of your old job until your start-up is supporting you; just like Tarzan would not let go of the vine that holds him without getting a hold of another one when in the jungle.

Quit employment if you’ve tested your idea and it seems to work

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I previously spoke about doing your research and testing your start-up idea to see if it works. But there is another equally important technique that all aspiring entrepreneurs should do before taking a final bow as far as employment is concerned; testing the idea.

Fast Company also recommends the idea of testing the idea before quitting your job. A great way of doing this is taking your leave days and using them to test the idea. If you have twenty one leave days, you could apply for extra ones that would enable you to test the idea. During these leave days, you should put the plan to test. Although a bit short, this duration will give you an idea of whether or not the idea is bound to work.

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