Thinking about starting your own business can be overwhelming - just google "start your own business" and you'll find hundreds of pages telling you a million things you "should" do. Combine that with the idea of juggling raising your family and your job while starting your business and you can soon find yourself heading into a tailspin where you feel like giving up before you have even started.
One of the very first questions I ask my clients is to determine which route they want to take to ditch the 9-5 job and launch their own business. It is different for each person, depending on their own personal situation and what will work best for them and their family. Here are 3 popular routes working moms choose to transition out of the 9-5 and into their own business. There are many variations on these and only you can decide which will work best for you and your family.
Route 1. Dip Your Toes In
Do you want to fully test out your business idea to see that it will be successful before handing in your notice? If so this is the route you can take. Working moms who take this route become experts at adjusting their schedules to find those pieces of times they can devote to business start-up tasks. It's amazing what you can get done during the 10 minutes a 3 year old is amusing themselves with legos. Taking this route also requires becoming effective at setting priorities and staying focused. Having a clear plan in place of steps to take is essential so when you find yourself with those 10 minutes you know exactly what to work on. This can be a popular route for working moms who are the main or sole income earners in the house, may have little if any cushion to fall back on, or little room to scale back their budget. However, even if you do fit into these categories it does not mean that the next 2 routes aren't possible for you - it is amazing what you can achieve with your business when bringing in income fast is essential to your family.
Route 2. Wade In Waist Deep
This is the middle ground between dipping your toes in and leaping with both feet. Working moms that take this route make the decision to scale back their current position to create more space to work on developing their business. They may be able to negotiate less hours at their current job, or transition into a part-time position. Some decide to leave their job and take on part-time consulting or contract work that will be less demanding and give them more freedom and time to build their business, while still providing income to cover the basic living expenses of their family. Taking this route may require some scaling back and juggling of the family budget. It will often require good negotiation and sales skills with the family. You need to convince them that having to hold off on the latest and greatest toys or gadgets - albeit temporarily - will pay off for the whole family in the not too distant future - both financially and by having a happier mom around. One of the main benefits working moms find taking this route is feeling more secure that they can still provide the basic income for their family until their business starts to bring in the profits.
Route 3. Leap with Both Feet
This is the quit your 9-5 job cold turkey and launch full throttle into starting your own business. It is generally the fastest route to getting your business off the ground due to more time dedicated to your business as well as the pressure of needing to bring in income fast. This is the route I took - where I made the decision to say no to returning to the 9-5 job waiting for me and decide to just go all in on starting my own business. The reality for me at the time was that even if I did return to my 9-5 job the income was not going to cut it anyway for my family for long - so I decided to take the risk with the hope that it would pay off in the end - which it did. Had my circumstance been different I may have made a different decision - but I do tend to be an all in kind of person.
Things to consider when taking this route include how soon and how much income you will need to start bringing in from your business to cover - at least initially - your basic living needs. Maybe you have a nest egg you are willing to tap into to cover expenses during the intial start-up stage. If you have a spouse maybe the family can get by on their income for a while until your business starts bringing in the cash. Or maybe you feel like I did, that the risk is worth it and you are willing to just jump in with both feet, hit the ground running and do what it takes to make it work.
There is no perfect or best route to starting your own business and the decision you make is entirely personal based on your own unique situation. No matter which one you choose to take the great news is that just be starting to take action you will be one step closer to creating that life you dream of for you and your family.
In success & happiness,
Karen Steele is Founder of The Entrepreneurial Working Mom where she teaches overwhelmed working moms the confidence, courage and skills to ditch the 9-5 and leap into their own thriving business so they can create the life they want for their family. Karen is a Certified Professional Life Coach, mom and entrepreneur. Download her FREE 5-part audio series “Top 5 Mindset Secrets of Savvy & Successful Entrepreneurial Wo...: So You Can Ditch the 9-5 and Create the Life You Want for Your Family.”