CORPRENEUR

Columnist . Amy Jauman  

CORPRENEUR

Don’t Quit Your Day Job? If You’re an Entrepreneur-In-Waiting,
Today Might Not Be the Right Time. Tomorrow Is Another Story.

What started it all?
Eight years ago I accepted a position that was both the most challenging and rewarding job of my life…until the day it suddenly wasn’t. Actually, it wasn’t that sudden. Over the course of two years in a traditional role in Corporate America, I slowly realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

The Leap.
Unwilling to remain in a corporate job for another year or two while honing my skills for the open market, I considered consulting as a way to broaden my experience base. I told myself I’d take the first long-term gig I was offered…and I did. A 6-month opportunity came up and I accepted it. With equal parts excitement and angst, I quite my corporate job. And two days later, my contract job was cancelled.

My First 90 Days.
I had already arranged to stay a bit longer with my former employer as a remote employee, so my future wasn’t as terrifying as you might think. But I was definitely motivated to network…and network I did. I met more people, attended more events, asked and answered more questions in my first 3 months as an entrepreneur than I ever had in my life. 51 weeks later my biggest challenge is knowing what projects to turn down.

I’ve worked on multi-million dollar grants, supported teams working on high-profile projects in my community, coached Fortune 100 leaders and joined advisory boards supporting Minnesota businesses and educational endeavors. I didn’t find any one of those projects the same way, but as a result of connections and conversations, I’m doing meaningful work every day.

My Advice.
If possible, make sure you can live for a year without an income before you leap.

Decide when you want to start. Decide how long you’ll commit to this process before returning to a traditional role.

Meet as many people as you can. You never know where a connection will lead.

And Finally,
If you aren’t excited to go to work anymore, take the leap…and don’t look back.