Leaving my full-time job that had a nice benefit package in order to start up my own entrepreneurship was a nerve-wrecking decision. Your family and friends give you that look like “are you sure you’re doing the right thing?” but are congratulating you on taking the leap. You try to confidently talk to everyone about your plans while at the same time trying to convince yourself that you made the right move.
I had worked for a home building company as their online community marketer/designer/coordinator/everything for a year before I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted. There wasn’t enough challenge or motivation for me to continue my work there. The company was also going through a large company change and I was not ready to be part of it so my manager and I decided that it was best for me to leave. I was a wide-eyed girl ready to concur the marketing world. I had a few freelance clients and was busy for a bit working on projects. I was motivated and determined with meeting after meeting. But what happens when it all ends?
Going through this downfall of not having a steady pay cheque every other week was a difficult process for me. It was something I knew would happen to me but I was convinced that I was able to manage through it. So how did I manage? I was a 20 something year old with a basic salary base that was a bit higher then my age group who thought was ready for what the world of Entrepreneurship had to offer. This seems like a no brainer but it is surprisingly how many people are not prepared for a sudden loss of cash flow.
Although clients should ideally pay you right after their service – that’s not what always happens. I had to make sure I always had enough in my bank to be able to pay all my bills, food and have fun for social events. Never calculate money that your client is supposed to pay you.
Before leaving my fulltime job, I had a fairly good habit of putting money away into an investment fund for one of those rainy days. I was determined not to make my start into entrepreneurship a reason to dip into my savings. So I only allowed myself to budget money that I had not yet stored away, which was difficult for me.
Another difficult thing about entrepreneurship is keeping busy. Since a lot of the work is contract work that is a few months at a time what happens when it all comes to an end? That “what if” happened to me. I was on cloud nine and was working on a handful of projects and then the projects all came to an end. I sat there dwindling my thumbs waiting for the next to start. That was my first mistake.
You can’t wait for projects to come to you; you have to go get them. It sounds very cliché but it’s true. You hear all these success stories on how someone was able to land their first major client and their company skyrocketed but that story doesn’t happen to everyone. Most people have to scratch and claw their way to the top before able to land a comfortable job.
With keeping my head treading above water I was able to land a contract job with great perks and a few other clients that keeps busy but most importantly challenged. I like to take on opportunities that I am able to learn from so it can help me broaden my perspective in marketing. It’s not an easy road to go down or the most glamorous but once you get into the swing of things life starts to look pretty good.
How do you handle money and startup life, tell me, I’d love to hear your story or ideas on how to keep a float while starting out.