Taking the Jump

By Susan Kavanaugh

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The numbers don’t lie. There are increasing numbers of people who are choosing to drop out of the corporate world to start businesses on their own.

Many choose to work from home, or for more interaction these solopreneurs opt for co-working spaces and entrepreneurial hubs. According to MBO Partners, 31 percent of the total US workforce is self-employed. That’s a whopping 41 million Americans.

People who dropped out of the corporate culture

  • Brian Hart is the founder of Flackable. Brian left his corporate job after he received an online inquiry from a firm in need of new PR representation. When he discovered that the firm had the same vision he wanted, he quit his corporate job to grow his own financial PR agency.
  • Stephanie Abrams Cartin and Courtney Sprintzer are the co-founders of Socialfly. Both of them were working at their corporate jobs when they started to create a social media agency as a side project. After 10 months, they would eventually quit their jobs to work full time on their social media agency.
  • Jessica is the president and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Company. In October 2015, she made the decision to quit her corporate job and work for herself. She had been feeling “scattered” and stressed. When she called a friend to vent, she heard what she had already heard several times, “quit your job, and take your business full time.” At that moment, she made the decision to work on her blog and pursue side projects like teaching yoga.

Why people drop out of the corporate culture to start startups

There are several reasons why people choose to leave their day jobs to lunge into the adventure of starting a business of their own.

 Frustration

Some people are frustrated with the rigid structure of their corporate jobs. Some want more than robotic in the approach to business and seek more creativity and flexibility.

Adventure

According to Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, “staring a business is an adventure in problem solving.” Many people, especially millennials, seek the thrill of venturing into the unknown.

Networking

Some of entrepreneurs who left their corporate jobs did it to have more time to grow their circle of friends and acquaintances. They want to meet others, exchange stories and share each other’s experiences.

Privacy

In sharp contrast to those seeking networking opportunities, some go into entrepreneurship and start their own businesses in order to keep their privacy. There are several online businesses that do no not require personal connection.

Skillset

When a person’s skillset and education do not align with their job roles, they are more inclined to start a business of their own.

The challenges of those who dropped out of the corporate culture to start their own businesses

Deciding to quit your job to start your business on your own while working from home, co-working spaces, or entrepreneurial hubs, can be challenging. Here are 3 common challenges that people face when they venture out on their own:

1.) Leaving your existing career

One of the toughest challenge to overcome as a new business founder is abandoning your existing career. Although many people try to work on businesses as a side hustle while they maintain their 9-to-5 jobs by working at night and on the weekends, eventually they have to accept the essential fact that they need to focus fully on their startups for the businesses to be sustainable. This is tough for people to handle because when they drop their existing corporate jobs, they leave behind their financial security and job benefits like vacations and insurance.

2.) Choosing the right team

When an individual has spent a substantial part of their lives in the corporate world, being in the position of leadership can be daunting. The importance of choosing the right team that are experienced, knowledgeable and vision-oriented can be overwhelming. New business owners often find it challenging finding experienced and diligent employees who work well with the rest of the team.

3.) Startup costs

Building a business can be exciting, especially for people leaving the corporate world to work full time on their ideas. However, the weight of financing one’s enterprise can create neck-breaking stress. This has been the cause of many business failures in their first 5 years.

The rewards of starting your own business

There are various rewards of dropping out of corporate and starting businesses on your own while working from home or co-working spaces.

Workplace independence

Many business founders consider themselves as Type-A personalities, people who like to have control and make decisions. The corporate world is known for his autonomy and routines. However, when people go on to start their own businesses, they are able to direct the culture of their companies.

Work/life balance

When people leave their corporate jobs to work on their own businesses, there is a flexibility that comes with it. You set your working hours, working clothes and working conditions. Despite the tenacity that founding a business requires, the ability to own your schedule, allowing you more time to set your priorities, can be hugely rewarding.

Connection with clients

Rather than hiding behind a series of mechanical greetings, small business owners can connect with clients by dealing one-on-one with their best clients. Unlike when they were behind their desks in their corporate jobs, they can connect with their best clients and let go frustrating clients.

Conscious company

Starting a small business, entrepreneurs are able to give back to their community. They do this by building their businesses with the notion of giving back to the community where they operate in the form of environmental-friendly products and services. In the process, they create more jobs in the community and donate to charities.

The pride of creation

One of the distinct differences that people who leave the corporate world feel is the sense of pride established in building something that they are passionate about. There is a huge pride and sense of fulfilment when you are able to succeed through your own abilities, leadership, efforts and ideas.

Leaving a corporate job to work full time on one’s business can be a huge “adventure in problem solving.” There are interesting pros as well as many reasons why people would rather stay in their corporate jobs.

Are you working full-time or part-time on business idea? I would be glad to listen to your story.

Contact Susan at: susan@kavcomcc.com.

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