From Employee to Entrepreneur: Top Tips for Making a Successful Switch
Becoming an entrepreneur is both exhilarating and and intimidating. Thankfully, there are a few tricks to make the transition much easier. Check out these practical tips from Jennifer Tierney — founder of Parker Neurofeedback and COO of Full Velocity Consulting.
In 2018, I was diagnosed with PTSD after working in a highly demanding corporate job setting for the majority of my career. It was then that I decided to leave corporate America and become an entrepreneur in the health and wellness space. Although this decision was crucial for my well-being in the long run, transitioning from the corporate world was not without many trials and tribulations.
Transitioning from corporate life to entrepreneurship is a big change, both mentally and emotionally, and it can be tough to adjust to a new way of life. But there are some things you can do to make the transition smoother, help ensure your long-term mental health and run a successful business. Here are some top tips for successfully making the switch.
Know When the Time is Right
First, it’s important to take some time to reflect on why you’re making the switch. Are you looking for more creative freedom? More control over your work-life balance? Or are you simply tired of the high-pressure environment of corporate America? Whatever your reasons, it’s important to be clear about them before you make the transition. This will help you stay focused and motivated when things get tough.
Ensure Financial Stability
Before starting any new business, the first step is always to consult your personal finances. After all, a business is a huge investment, and you want to make sure you’re in a good position to take on the project. Even the smallest business will require a sizable initial investment, and most new businesses take months (if not years) to start making a profit.
Unfortunately, this is often where people get tripped up. They get caught up in the excitement of starting a new venture and forget to do their financial due diligence. As a result, they find themselves in over their heads and quickly sink into debt. In Colorado, you’ll also need to register with the IRS to get an Employer Identification Number for separate banking. So, if you’re thinking about starting a new business, be sure to take a long, hard look at your personal finances first. It might not be the most exciting part of starting a new venture, but it’s definitely the most important.
Make a Plan
Now that you’ve determined financial stability, a successful career transition requires careful planning and execution. Before making any drastic changes, take the time to assess your goals and develop a solid plan of action. Define what you want to achieve and identify the steps needed to get there. Research your new industry or field and make sure you have the necessary skills and experience. If possible, connect with professionals who are already working in your desired field. They can provide valuable insights and guidance as you make the transition.
In Colorado, there is no general business license or permit required, but depending on your business, you may need a special license to operate legally. In addition, don’t forget to register your business with the Secretary of State and find insurance from a local provider. Once you have a clear plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career change.
Remember Why You Made the Transition
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of mental health during this time. The transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically–which is likely why you made this transition in the first place. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and exercising regularly. And if you start to feel overwhelmed or find yourself struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from a mental health professional.
Making the switch from employee to entrepreneur can be scary but it is also incredibly exhilarating and liberating. It’s important to make sure you are transitioning for the right reasons and that you have your finances in order before taking the leap. Once you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur, craft a plan and stick to it while keeping your mental health at the forefront of your mind. The challenges you will face as an entrepreneur will test you in ways you never thought possible but they are so worth it when you get to see your business succeed–and feel happy while doing it.
Having worked in operational management for 15+ years, Jennifer Tierney, COO at Full Velocity Consulting, possesses a distinct skill set and is known for complex analysis of operations, finance, and technology to improve core business strategies. Jen is also the founder and CEO of Parker Neurofeedback, a Colorado-based Neurotherapy office and provider. She believes in using technological advances to improve daily functions, along with overall company direction and growth. She is trained in project management and process improvements having participated in several Six Sigma projects and is an adjunct professor at Red Rocks College.