Quitting your job to start a business

Date: 23rd November 2015

Quitting a secure, well-paid corporate or professional job to start your own business is a big, gutsy step, possibly one of the most life-changing decisions you’ll ever make in your life. So if you do make the decision to go out own your own, what are the realities?

Wendy Kerr, Director of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has extensive experience in this area. She has worked as a business coach and speaker, and is the author of two books: Corporate Crossovers and My New Business. The following is an extract from an interview with Wendy Kerr.

When I wrote my two books, and before I started my business, I interviewed over a hundred women about why they left their jobs to start their own business. What I discovered is that there was a really strong pattern that emerged from all of them. It starts like this: A woman starts to feel unhappy in her work. Over time this leads to a higher feeling of frustration and… then she moves on to say I’m worth more than this.

Typically, when this dissatisfaction starts to grow a life event has happened – either they get very sick, a partner or parent gets ill or dies, they get divorced, or they have a birthday (which, interestingly, is typically 40), or they might have a child… They then start to look at options, and one option is that they just get a new job. But they start to think that they want more control and more freedom and flexibility over their lives. That is when they think about starting their own business.

When you leave your job to start your own business it is a huge transition… through the interviews and the work I had done with my clients I started to see that there were a lot of similarities between their transitions and the stages of grief.

The Corporate Crossover Transition stages

I devised a model for the corporate crossover transition:

Infographic: The Corporate Crossover Tranisition

How do you make the journey less painful?

What can make that journey less painful, shallower, and much easier?

  1. Network. Have a network comprised of people who are also running their own businesses, because they will get what you are going through, unlike your friends and family. They will also be your cheerleaders, because running your own business is like the most intense personal development course you will ever do.
  2. Vision. You need a clear, strong, compelling vision of what you are creating. Because when you can really picture what it is you are going to bring to the world, and you feel motivated and passionate about it, that is what is going to fuel you though that journey.
  3. Reason. A really strong reason why you are doing what you are doing. Because to have the passion, motivation, tenacity, and resilience you need to build a business you have to feel it in your heart.

Watch the video interview

Watch the full interview of Wendy Kerr talking about quitting your job to start a business (8:08)

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If you would like to chat through the process of setting up your own business, get in touch, we’re here to help.

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