It was just like any other workday.
I donned my blazer and pearls, grabbed a latte, and stepped out of the elevator to my office as usual.
Only today wasn’t the same as the thousands that had come before it. After 18 months of working 12-16 hours a week on the side on my life coaching business, I asked my boss for a meeting. As soon as we sat down, I handed in my notice.
I had been a sales director for a Fortune 500 company and on the outside, I was doing great. But I just wasn’t satisfied (even though I really tried to be).
That was at the end of 2014 years ago and I haven’t looked back.
Is exchanging a corporate career for a life of entrepreneurship a goal of yours one day, too? If so, here are some traits you might identify within yourself.
1. You have so much more to give
And you’re just not fulfilled by your 9-5, right? There’s nothing more soul-destroying than being an idea machine or a creative person but being limited to the box you’re in (called a job title).
My side hustle coaching clients include a Google executive who performs as a singer at the weekends, an accountant with a spiritual life coaching practice, and a lawyer who’s completing a historical fiction novel.
2. You don’t dig repetition and routine
No matter how flexible a work place is or how cool the perks provided are, over time, many entrepreneurs at heart simply can’t handle the structure of a corporation that sets your rules, hours, and performance expectations.
One entrepreneur I coach likened it to feeling like a kid at school. With set times and days of the week plus supervision and reviews, it kinda does feel a bit like that, doesn’t it?
It’s not surprising that freedom over our schedule has been proven to make us happier than money. Entrepreneurs know this better than anyone.
3. You find face time unnecessary
And not the Facebook kind.
As an entrepreneur, you work whenever a project needs to be completed around hours of your choosing. Sitting around doing nothing just for face time at the office doesn’t make common sense, does it?
Some people also naturally work better from home, quiet spaces, and outside of teams who can be distracting. Many consultants I know work 100% remotely and have a great income (and lifestyle) doing it.
4. You are self-motivated
Have you always considered yourself a bit of a boss? People who like to lead, who have a vision and a desire to make it real can make great business owners.
When I was running my side hustle and juggling my full time job, I’d write before work in bed and coach in the evenings from my sofa. It felt great! I loved the ownership and security of the business being mine. It wasn’t even about the extra money at all.
5. You might think you’re smarter than your boss
This comes up a lot in my coaching sessions. One of my recent clients shared with me that she constantly holds back at work to avoid treading on her boss’ toes and upstaging him. When you’re in control, you can play at your highest level and reap the rewards (sans the politics).
It’s naturally frustrating and sometimes totally unfair when you can see better ways of doing things that you aren’t allowed to implement. But when you’re an employee — you have no choice but to roll with it.
One client of mine left a great job at a large TV network to create her own small production firm for this reason. She’s never been happier or wealthier (no income caps for the self-employed)! To start, all you need is one or two solid, paying clients. It really can be that simple.
6. You enjoy solving problems
Problem solving is the cornerstone of all good business.
Are you a natural problem solver who helps people with your advice, skill set, creativity, knowledge, network, smarts?
7. You don’t fit into a box
I loved my former career in technology sales but I also knew I was a writer. I was natural adviser to others and I knew I was a good motivator, teacher, leader, and connector of people.
There were no jobs out there for people with my particular skill set that would let me encompass them all. So I had to create my own.
It was a practical decision, too.
A study from Intuit found that by 2020, 40% of ALL jobs will be freelance. The gig economy will become the economy. There’s no such thing as job security anymore. So the smartest thing you can do is reconsider your current career box and get a side gig going.
You can keep that pay-check and launch your dream project. Not only is doing so totally low-risk, but the upside is only limited by your thinking.