Your Own Biz
Dear Dr. Terri K: I have finally decided that I must leave the corporate world to pursue my dream of having my own business. Currently, I am a marketing executive for a large media company. I’ve done well, but my heart is not in it anymore. My passion has always been baking. I want to start a line of healthy snacks. I have been cooking on the side, and everyone always enjoys what I make. I just don’t know how to make the transition. Where should I start? – JULIE, Los Angeles, CA
Julie: First, congratulations on having the desire to pursue your passion! Here are some basic guidelines to ease your transition:
Write down your vision. The first step in turning your dream into reality is to write it down. A plan allows you to hone in on your direction and the specific steps that will get you there. Know what you are doing and whom you are targeting. Make sure there is a real need. The great thing about your passion is that out society needs more healthy food choices. Look at what is already out there and then find your niche.
Create a realistic budget. Know that it will always take longer and cost more than you originally planned, so add some buffer. Understand your personal “burn rate” – what you need to live, as well as what it will take to operate the business. Start saving investment money right now (which is different than your retirement dollars, etc.). Plan on keeping your overhead low, and living below your means.
Test the waters. If possible, build clientele before you leave your job. Gauge the market. See what will sell and what will not. Once you leave, you should already have a base of consumers who can cover your basic expenses.
Maximize your corporate benefits. If you can take classes to further your credentials and have the company pay for them, go for it. Use all possible benefits. Also, if you are looking to buy property, do it before you leave your steady income.
Prepare yourself and loved ones. Your lifestyle is going to change drastically. Make sure you are ready to spend a large percent of your energy on your new business, and that your family is aware of the upcoming change.
Leave gracefully. Once you are ready to leave you corporate job, say goodbye gracefully. Keep close contact with colleagues. See if you can turn your soon-to-be former employer into a client.
It all starts with the Power of Choice. Make a choice today to Live on Purpose, not just simply with purpose. That will be your path to prosperity. You can make it happen. Start Power Living® Today!
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA. Part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series.
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