Thinking of quitting your job for a startup?

Five Things you need to do before you write your resignation

As rewarding as it has been for few people that have left their job to start a dream venture of themselves, transitioning from a job-holder to a founder is not easy. For hundreds of stories of successful transitions, thousands probably millions of such transitions have failed. Even then, becoming your own boss, working on your dream that probably can change the world has its own lure in it. So if you are done with your job, and are anyway planning to quit your job for your own startup, be mindful of following things. 

Don’t quit your job right away.

I once quit my job to start and I know. Quitting your job to work on your dream full-time is lucrative. I know the high of an idea. The adrenaline rush you feel when you think of your idea, even an idea as simple as selling panipuri. But, the reality is that if you think of your idea and quit your job tomorrow, the idea will face bigger hurdles during execution. So prepare, plan, and work on your prototype or product in your time-off from the office. I am sure you are thinking we are occupied full-time in a job, how is it possible to work on other things while working full-time. But trust me this is probably the best test of your passion, of your love for your idea. If you can come home jaded and then work on your idea, one hour a day for the next three months, then your passion is proven.

You will actually manage to go through any hardships if you are really passionate about your idea, otherwise you probably aren’t cut for this particular startup.

Talk/observe (to) the right people first.

Be mindful of the word “right” in front of the people. While you can always talk to one or the other person in front of you, your family members, your closest friends and possibly your mentors as well, the right people are always one or two steps further than these. People closest to you are just there to pat your back and feed your “ego” while on the high which you will need for later struggles not now.

The right people are always your direct potential customers. And your potential customers, barring some, will often be people you do not know right away. Trying to find out who those people are, and spending a major chunk of your time with them or just observing them is the best way to understand them. You just need a few weekends to observe some of them. Yeah people have come up with many different exercises and many different terms like “immersion” and “empathy” building among others. But simply put, it’s just trying to find the people that you will sell your products to and observing their behavior when they are trying out the product you are trying to serve. And either talking to them or observing them should be done when you are getting those regular checks while working on your idea. 

Get your own support system ready. 

Even when you think you are prepared, you are not just prepared. Your brilliant product that has come out, possibly starts picking up to pay you back only after some time. And this “some time” might start from a few months to a few years. And well, these are testing times. Making sure you have a support system, be it in the form of your own savings, your someone helping you out during those times, or your freelance once in a while work paying for you to survive these early phases is important. These support systems can come in all forms but having a clear support system that enables you to move forward with your idea while it is just about setting its footsteps is really important. 

Besides the strictly financial support system, living with your family that provides for your food and accomodation, having a mentor that meets you on a weekly basis to pat your back or pull your ears, and/or a friend that is just there to drink your missed targets down can help you greatly to keep the fight going. 

Be ready to fail but don’t go after failure

You might have heard it too often. A lot of entrepreneurship guru’s say be ready to fail, and more often than not first time founders understand and go after failure itself. Well, while failing after giving your everything can probably be good, going after ways that fail is a direct way towards doom. Go after success, however small those are, be it being known by 100 people in the first week or just being able to receive rave reviews from one customer, just try zooming in down to measures of success and give your hundred percent and more to become successful. Develop a “here for success” mindset before you go onto the startup drive, so that you do everything possible to get your startup going. A mantra that helps is probably, “I will fall but not fail”. Failing is giving up. You are not trying to change your passion to a startup to “FAIL” or “GIVE UP”, you are there to fall and get up and try a different way. 

Check your unit economics again. 

The basic of every business is ensuring that your selling price is higher than your cost price i.e. Profit= Selling Price- Cost Price. As simple as it sounds, you will have a hard time finding out what exactly makes up your cost price. If you think raw materials plus the labor it takes to produce, well you have to think again. You might just miss out on evaluating your own work on getting materials together, remember your bike rides buying all the things or your restaurant bill to convince your first customer. Accounting for these small things is a lot more important than you might consider. For the start, while you are at your lucrative job be sure to think about Margin in terms of the Selling Price – Cost Price with at least one third of your seen costs added to the final cost price before you get your so called margin. If you still get just a positive margin then, get ahead you have a good product at least in terms of potential profit. 

Even after this and a lot more chances that your startup succeeds is slim but the adrenaline rush thinking about an idea is more than anything else. So go for your dream, people, only more cautiously.

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