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Making the leap.Views: 1609
Sep 25, 2008 3:40 amMaking the leap.#

Tim Flowers
At what point do you make the leap of faith and leave a decent paying job?

I've run my own businesses successfully in the past, but for the past several years I've been comfortably, if not happily, employed. I've been involved in network marketing but I want to do something bigger. I'm working on starting a new company selling communications and technology products.

Even before the economy hit the rocks I was having "stage fright". I'm ready to launch the business, but I'm hesitant to leave my steady paycheck behind. At the same time, I feel the job is holding me back and that I'll have to make that leap soon enough.

How do you know if when the job stops being a resource and starts being a liability? When do you make the leap?

Tim Flowers
Greensboro NC

Private Reply to Tim Flowers

Sep 25, 2008 8:56 pmre: Making the leap.#

Kurt Schweitzer
How is the job a resource? I suspect it's just a source of money.

When you "make the leap" the money goes from YOU to the business, rather than the other way around. At least initially.

If you can't live without a steady income, don't make the leap!

Many people here will urge you to jump - perhaps because they want to sell you business services, or perhaps just so they have some company in their own leap. But just because self-employment or entrepreneurship is right for them doesn't make it a good choice for YOU.

How well do you deal with uncertainty? How frugal are you? How much savings do you have right now, and how much of it is invested in the stock market or mortgage backed securities? How many mouths are you feeding, and how much weight can they stand to lose? How many friends do you have, and how many of them will tolerate your hitting them up for a few bucks?

"Making the leap" isn't for the faint of heart!

Kurt Schweitzer
Urban Village Scooters

Private Reply to Kurt Schweitzer

Sep 25, 2008 11:02 pmre: re: Making the leap.#

Tom Volkar

I agree with Kurt and I'm one of those guys who would love to sell you his coaching services. :)

Seriously to each his own. Not everything works for everyone. I believe the business has to be a very good fit for "who" you are and even then the leap is scary.

The absolute sweet spot for you and the business you were meant to run exists between your deep gladness and the world's deep need. (credit to Frederich Buechner.)

Your question is excellent but it's too big for discussion here.

My blog is dedicated to making the leap to self-employment. I've put up 76 posts in the last year all related to this topic. I'm betting that something there will help you. If not post a question on the blog and I'll be sure to answer you in depth there.


best to you,


Tom Volkar ~ CoreU
Working with entrepreneurs who want the freedom
to do what they want when they want to do it


Blog http://delightfulwork.com/

Past President, Pittsburgh Coaches Association

Private Reply to Tom Volkar

Sep 25, 2008 11:54 pmre: Making the leap.#

Earl Sigmund
As I see it, REAL entrepreneurs almost always display the following characteristics:

1) You can no longer work for anyone else - you like being the boss.

2) You probably started out with very little capital to startup your business.

3) You were a workholic in past work endevors.

4) You are not a clock watcher.

5) You speak your mind - sometimes you regret it.

6) You like to prove others wrong.

7) You handle rejection well and fight on.

8) You like to run projects and controll them.

9) Being alone does not bother you.

10) You are good at time management.

11) You don't like being penned in someplace - you need your space and freedom to roam.

12) You take action rather than spend a lot of time thinking about it.

13) You don't think that you will ever retire completely.

That is what I think...what are your thoughts?


Private Reply to Earl Sigmund

Sep 26, 2008 12:00 amre: re: re: Making the leap.#

Rosie Murphy
Those are good responses. Its a big thing jumping into self employment. I was able to take the leap without too much safety netting because I dont have a family to feed, but if you do, the scenario is very different.
I really enjoyed reading the book "feel the fear... and do it anyway!" which inspired me to take the plunge.
The factors which need to be considered though are whatkind of impact will it have if it doesn't work, and who will it impact? If it's just you, and maybe a partner, you may feel it's worth the risk. Just weigh up the pros and cons and make a firm decision and go for it. If the answer is "not yet" - then go for it by dedicating yourself to getting the point where is IS ok to take the plunge. If the answer is "yes" - the give it everything you have!
Good luck!
Rosie Murphy
Virtually Yours

Private Reply to Rosie Murphy

Sep 26, 2008 12:12 amre: Making the leap.#

Jack Casarez

I like what he said and I quote: "Making the leap" isn't for the faint of heart!"

I have been working from home for over 11 years now and I took the leap way back then. I used to slave for the man also and I pretty much hated it all.

I think anytime you need to ask your boss if you can take this or that day off is a drag. I also think that waking up way too early just to get into your car with that hot cup of coffee just to drive 45 minutes to work is also not good for you.

People that say, "well I love my job and everything about it" well I seriously think they are lying to themselves just to try and cope with what they (think) they have to do.

What I have found over the years since I deal with thousands of people from all walks of life from all over the world is this; if you have some money set aside, if you are confident in yourself, if you dislike or HATE what you are currently doing, if you can think outside the box, one that is a leader but also to a certain point a follower meaning trainable, then by all means take the leap of faith or the plunge.

There really is no job security in this world right now and actually has never been.

Now about the launch you are talking about. With the above said, DO IT. My question is, why do you have to leave your current job? Does it conflict? Is it a time thing? Trying to devote all your time and energy in this new venture? Your new business will take too long before you see results mounting to your current income? Not really sure if this new business will succeed?

Can you share it with us so I can have my team analyze it for FREE? Just something I do for my fellow entrepreneurs.

I wish you all the best and if you think you are ready then do it. But please remember, like it was already mentioned, how many mouths are you feeding, bills etc. just keep that in mind.

Your friend,
Jack Casarez
253-831-6056 (11:00am - 11:00pm PST Seattle WA USA)

Private Reply to Jack Casarez

Sep 26, 2008 12:17 amre: Making the leap.#

Paula Millar
Hey Tim,
Love your picture. Nice smile.

I just want add another option. Do you have a belief? In God. I'm not meaning to convert you but I am a biblical Christian coach and what I know about this after being a secular coach for 20 years is that there is power in faith. There is a 12 years study by the Round Table Group that across the board in a comparison with Standard Blue Chip companies who did businss as usual and companies that took on biblical coaching doubled results as far as consistant increase. Or if you are a Christian with just a believe you are twice as like to make it than a secular business. This study was done by Christians, more chance of truth in these statics. I have coached small business, chiropractors, real estate agents, architect, high tech and low tech, coach investors, start ups, Internet start ups etc and it was all in truth alot of work. Oh I applied those concepts that I learned in humanistic driven transformational classes but there is more of an ease now in results and coaching people who are available for this perspective. It's doesn't matter what you denomination these are across the board simple biblical principles. Even farmers who don't believe know to use the bible and follow the directions in Leviticus to get a great crop.

I got into this business because of 20 years of seeing the corruption and lies in businesses, corporations, what ever.
There is a place to go that has nothing to do with the economy. It has every thing to do with your belief and if you believe at all- you can learn to believe him for the increase, widen your ability to build to include the perspective of the Lord. Hey, in these times? I don't know any one with a better plan. Why not have that rear guard of security.

I teach a Biblical business couse that is used by the NFL,( if you watched the super bowl for the last two years the team who won gave the Glory to God ) NBA, tons of corporations, churchs...

Just a thought

Paula Mary

Paula Mary- eWings Biblical Coaching Ministry

Private Reply to Paula Millar

Sep 26, 2008 2:42 amre: Making the leap.#

Tim Flowers
Thanks for all the good advice!

First, I have only two mouths to feed: mine, and my cat! I live rather simply, so my expenses are low. I don't have a ton of debt, not even a car payment.

I think my problem is one of confidence. Even though I've been successful in my own businesses in the past, I've worked for a paycheck for so long now that it's become the safe thing to do. The problem with my job is that I'm surrounded by people with bad attitudes or no ambition, and I fear those traits are going to rub off onto me! The longer I stay there, the more bad traits (I fear) I'll pick up, making it harder and harder to "make the leap". At the same time, I don't want to make a hasty, irresponsible decision.

Keep the advice coming!

Tim Flowers


Private Reply to Tim Flowers

Sep 26, 2008 3:35 amre: Making the leap.#

Judy Vorfeld
Lots of good ideas in response to your questions. I will go along with those who urge caution and taking things slowly. I started my business in 1992, but I had the support of my husband, and some income from his pension. Plus I had a little start-up money. No dependents.

It was and hard work, and has always been something I've had to work at, but I have indeed loved it. So it's a pleasure, and these days allows me to pay the bills.

Can you make it through six months without going bankrupt? You need to look at what kind of financed you would have, and who else you need to take into consideration.

Sure, times are changing and times are tough, but I'd recommend the same things if the economy were sizzling.

A leap of faith needs to be grounded and solid. You have to have the conviction inside yourself that this is good, exciting, and somewhat wise.

That said, you sound like a self starter and a person with focus. I wish you the very best!

Private Reply to Judy Vorfeld

Sep 26, 2008 3:49 amre: Making the leap.#

Donald A. Franklin, MBA

there are a few thing you want to consider when stepping out. Stepping out is not a bad thing but when you do, you want to step into something that going to give you the ability to earn and exceed what your current can afford you. So that said, you want an opportunity that is fresh, new, whose products are easily demonstratable and will preform consistantly during every demo, has an outstanding compensation plan, an executive team with a proven track record, and a team of upline partner who have successful background and mentor, coach, train, and partner with you in your success. Once you found all of these, then you should proceed forward and invest your HARD earned cash.

If you have any additional question, feel free to mail me: don.poisson@hotmail.com

Private Reply to Donald A. Franklin, MBA

Sep 26, 2008 1:22 pmre: Making the leap.#

Robb Zerr
Well, I don't fall into any of the stereotypes listed here.

I created CommuniCreations 15 years ago because I got tired of letting others control my destiny. Prior to that I had been fired, laid off and quit positions that just weren't fulfilling. I didn't respect the management and knew I could do better.

First, do you have a network of prospects that you can immediately target in your desired new enterprise? Made you think for a moment. Don't worry... I didn't. I didn't know the first thing about starting or running a business either.

I bought my computer on credit cards (back when a laser printer retailed for $1000). The key is to keep expenses low and look confident, even if you have to fake it.

I started my biz in a downward economy -- it actually opened doors as businesses still needed to buy but didn't want to staff up or insource things. That's actually an advantage.

I don't think you have to be a workaholic. But you should be an overachiever. I take plenty of time off in my business - I know what I have to make to make ends meet, have a little cushion for when business runs soft and I have no desire to run with the big boys. I work hard to play hard... As such I probably vacation 4 to 6 weeks a year because I don't have to keep making more and more.

So, back to your original question. Jump when you have some cushion in your bank account. Don't look back -- only forward. Use your free time now to put everything in place outside of the key in the door. Get your business cards, your website, your networking and marketing plans all in a row. Then shove off.

I tell you, nothing is more freeing than giving the heave ho to a business that doesn't really appreciate you. They never do. They can't. When time gets tough you are a number on the budget sheet.

Finally, don't think you'll be your own boss. That's crap. I have 10 to 15 bosses at any one time and they are all yelling for something at the same time. You are never truly your own boss. But that's OK -- I've fired a lot of clients who were pains in the you-know-what and not profitable.

Oh, that profitable thing. Don't let clients promise you business. None of it means anything until the check clears. I made the mistake early on of counting all the promises that were made and thinking it was money in the bank. It's not. Promises mean nothing, payables mean nothing. It's what's in the bank account that really counts. Which means you have to be a hard ass some times when it's time to collect.

That's it off the top of my head. Good luck and feel free to ask questions. I have nothing to sell ya like some others seem to be doing.

-- Robb

Private Reply to Robb Zerr

Sep 26, 2008 2:37 pmre: Making the leap.#

Suzette Flemming
Hi, Tim -

Everyone has some great insights and advice. I took the "leap" 15 years ago and never looked back. I had the help of my husband and a baby on the way. What I want to share with you, however, is my husbands "leap."

Wade had worked for Boeing as an engineer for 17 years in the Seattle area. He liked the job but didn't enjoy the big city life. Our goal was to move back to Montana were we both grew up. We got that opportunity about 2 years ago. A Boeing supplier was looking for an upper level manager. Bingo. The job and my hubby seemed a perfect match. Within six months the job was a pain in his back side. He hated it. He hated the stress. The money was good especially for this small Montana town. But he Hated it.

We started talking about him coming to work with me and build my firm to the point that it could sustain our lifestyle. Whoa! Huge reversal of thinking for him. Basically being his own boss, doing what he wanted, when he wanted. Granted he would have to learn some new skills but it could be fun and profitable.

There were several obsticles for him: (1) fear . . . fear of not bringing in a regular paycheck (2) fear . . . not knowing enough about the business (3) fear . . . that we couldn't work together and (4) more fear.

We took a close look at our budget and decided how long we could survive on what the business was bringing in at the time without going into the red or using credit cards and going into debt. We figured we had nine months at the current level before we were in trouble.

He made the leap a little over a year ago. What we discovered was that our budget was off. Our gas/fuel bill went down drastically because Wade was no longer commuting. He also wasn't eating fast food for lunch five days a week. We had to purchase a new laptop for him to work on. Our electric, home heating/cooling and grocery bills increased.

It has all worked out well. The business has grown by leaps and bounds (marketing can be fun). He is enjoying his new found freedom. There are frustrations and things to learn but that is all part of the fun (or so he is learning).

So from an accountants perspective, write down your expenses as they are now and add 10% - 15%. Make sure you include the expenses for the business. Do you have enough to live on for 9 - 12 months in a savings account or through what the business is making? If so, take the leap. If not, work a while longer until you have those funds to draw on.

Do you have a network of advisors? These are people you can turn to for advice and guidance (not necessarily paid). It is also important to have people around you that support what you are doing and can give you a pep talk or guidance when things seem to slip.


Private Reply to Suzette Flemming

Sep 26, 2008 7:38 pmre: Making the leap.#

CSea Perkins
Greetings Tim; great questions. In my experience you will know when it is the right time. You will have a minimum of 12 months savings to cover your personal expenses along with the burning desire and massive passion to make your vision profitable. You will only leave your 'comfortable income' when you know your happiness lies more in the new venture. You will be overwhelmed with conviction that it is time.

As long as it provides income, it is not a liability. Your attitude and desires will dictate if it is preventing you from expanding into your full potential. Sounds like you are listening to your gut. I'm hoping other business owners will share their pros and cons and help you make this awesome decision. When you are ready; nothing will stop you. We can't afford to allow anything to get in our way; our livelihood and retirement depend upon it.

Until then, consider doing the start-up while still employed, using whatever vaca or sick time you are eligible for, watch the economy, make certain your projections are accurate and that you have a strong market to appeal to. If, however, you've spent the last year putting the plan together and you are ready to sever one for the other; I commend you for taking the leap.

Allow your family to participate as much as feasibly possible so they understand why it will take so many hours away from them. Wishing you greatness in all you do...CSea

Private Reply to CSea Perkins

Sep 30, 2008 5:28 pmre: re: Making the leap.#

Tim Flowers
One thing that makes a difference in making the leap is age. I recall being younger I would work up a plan and just jump right in. Now, I work up a plan and hesitate.

Years of experience, surviving a few dings and outright crashes, definitely makes you more cautious in the future, but it can render you paralyzed too!

Tim Flowers


Private Reply to Tim Flowers

Oct 30, 2008 11:09 amre: re: Making the leap.#

Abhijit Roy
Excellent reply. I am going to paste this on my desktop.

Take care,

Private Reply to Abhijit Roy

Oct 30, 2008 1:38 pmre: Making the leap.#

Tim, in my younger days, I took the leap at 30 to grow my own business. I didn't have a clue but kept putting on foot in front of the other. Had I known then, what I know now, I would have saved 6 month of household expenses, would have taken more classes in the areas I'm weak and lined up a few clients before saying adios to my employer.

Your first step is to find out the source of your fear. You said you lack the confidence, then your first steps should be to increase your confidence through reading, counseling and knowledge. When your confidence is restored then make the necessary steps to be completely independent. Good luck to you and I wish you all the best in accomplishing your goals. Take care and God bless.

Gazelle Simmons, Virtual Asst/Owner of Admin Services, http://www.admnsrvcs.com
Free Book Preview - http://gazelle.simmons.googlepages.com/twdnkpreview
Melaleuca Rep, http://www.melaleuca.com

Private Reply to gazellems

Oct 31, 2008 1:22 amre: re: Making the leap.#

Shann Vander Leek

Check out this free e-book titled Is it Time for Your Transition.




Co-author of Wake Up Women BE Happy, Healthy & Wealthy
Subscribe to our Groovy LIfe Balance RSS feed today at

Private Reply to Shann Vander Leek

Oct 31, 2008 7:40 amre: re: Making the leap.#

Ashish Belagali
Let me share with you a couple of stories. I don't know why both of them are about frogs:

Some psycology students put a frog in a pan of boiling water. It kicked and jumped and somehow rescued itself quickly.

They then put a frog in a pan with normal water. It was a pretty comfortable surrounding and the frog had no reason to jump out. The temperature was increased slowly after that. The frog tried to adjust with the surroundings but did not attempt to leave. After a while the water was boiling and the frog was dead.

This is actually a Q&A.

Question: There are three small frogs sitting on three lotus leaves floating in a lake. They are all bored of just sitting there. One of them decides to leave the comfort, take a plunge into water and explore the new world. How many remain sitting on the leaves?

Answer: 3. Why? The frog just decided to take the plunge. It didn't actually do it.

These stories kept haunting me when I took the plunge. I set a goal for myself to do better than the frogs :-)

Web applications/ Software solution development http://www.acism.com

Private Reply to Ashish Belagali

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