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4 "I's" That Cushioned the Leap Out of Corporate America

Some people leap because there is a passion so deeply embedded that doing anything else is not an option. The fire burns so deep that pursuing the dream rumbles loud and must be chased. For me, I went into to entrepreneurship to save myself. An intense merger had burned me out, I started having auto-immune responses, and the future flashed before my eyes... I would be that miserable mom who worked long hours, barely saw her children, with a husband who had a side chick, NOT ME! My mom worked the night shift as a nurse and sacrificed sleep to ensure that my family was taken care of. She never missed a recital or basketball game, was the "soccer mom" to my sisters & I and many others, and made dinner every night. I wanted to be able to do the same for my future family.

Upon graduating college, I saw myself as a super boss working within someone else's company. Entrepreneurship ran in my family but I had resolved that I would flex this finance degree. I took some entrepreneurship courses at a community college post-graduation while working full-time for a financial institution. A company switch and fast movement to management position took me for the ride of my life which resulted in the pursuit of entrepreneurship by any means necessary. Although I didn't have a burning desire to do one particular thing, there were a few things I did that I would suggest for anyone considering entrepreneurship to do prior to leaving that consistent check.

1. Take Inventory

As I mentioned, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed to escape corporate America, even if only for a little while. I prayed and then I started making a list. What was a good at? What were things that I could do exceptionally well compared to others? What was I the "go to" person for?

I realized that over the years, I helped plan at least 10 baby showers and a number of weddings for friends. In addition, I had become pretty great at creating step by step procedures of intricate processes for my department and had dealt with some hellish management situations. I decided that wedding planning would be a great place to start to create income. I did one wedding free and had booked a paid wedding before the free wedding actually took place!

It helped that I was creative and had some design skills. Invitation, menu design, and other wedding-related custom items were added to my business.

For you: Think; what is one thing I am known for? Ask others. Don't try to follow the trend or take on something that is going to require lots of additional education (at least to begin). Start with what you have and grow from there.

2. Protect Your Income

My awesome financial advisor helped me to create a safety net should anything happen that would result in being unable to work. I purchased Income Insurance to cover the gap between what my previous employer offered and my actual salary. Once that contract is in place, it remains valid through the move to entrepreneurship. As long as income can be proven, the income insurance would guarantee a set amount.

Yes, this is real. Do it now! Until you have more than enough in the bank to be worry free for life, insurance is a must!

3. Life Insurance

Prior to quitting my job, I got a life insurance policy outside of the one provided by my employer. Since I didn't have children, I named my sisters as the beneficiary. I knew that I would acquire some debt until my business turned a significant profit and didn't want anyone stuck with the bill should anything happen to me.

My policy was for well over the amount needed to cover any debts and funeral costs. Use insurance as leverage for those you will leave behind. Until the millions are rolling in, you can guarantee that your loved ones can get a major life upgrade as a result of you. Don't wait.

4. Designate an Investment Specifically to Fund Your Business and Cash Out

The one most significant thing that helped to cushion the leap out of corporate was creating funds via investments. An ETF that I had been studying and invested in took a huge turn for the good and I CASHED OUT! That particular funds movement served as confirmation that it was time for me to throw the deuces and start on my new journey.

Of course, you may not have the opportunity to invest and have my experience. However, setting up an investment vehicle and using only the returns to fund your business can help to avoid interest-bearing loans and loading up credit cards.

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