Imagine waking up every morning to a relaxing cup of coffee or tea in a beautiful place that you love. Imagine making money on your own terms, playing by your own rules, and being your own boss. Imagine spending more time with your friends and family and traveling the world without having to count vacation days. Sounds great, right? But…if you’re like I was, your reality looks more like this:
- wake up to the sound of a blaring alarm that you really want to slam against the wall
- trudge through traffic to get to work
- sit in your cubicle, slaving away for someone else’s profit
- rush home to make sure the family is fed and taken care of
- go to bed drained and exhausted, all so that you can rinse and repeat…forever
Believe me when I say I understand. To turn things around for myself and my family, I knew I had to make a change. And, like any big change, there was a lot of fear involved. So how did I overcome this fear and move forward? I made a solid exit strategy. And I’m going to share that strategy with you, so your transition can go as smoothly as possible too!
1 | Discover Your WHY
To help you spot your WHY, consider how you feel about the major parts of your life (your family, your current job, where you live, etc). Ask yourself “WHY is this important to me? Do I feel strongly about it and if so, why?”
Once you discover your WHY, hold onto it and remind yourself often! Your WHY will be the underlying inspiration and motivation for everything you do.
2 | Create a Vision of Your Future
Having a clear idea of what your future is supposed to look like will help you map out your goals. A fun exercise for this is to imagine what your perfect day would look like from the moment you wake up, until the moment your head hits the pillow and you go to sleep. In your ideal day, what would your morning look like? How would you pass the time? Who would you spend your time with? What are your priorities? Hint: your vision should include your WHY.
3 | Count Your Coins
The not so fun part of an exit strategy involves budgeting. You need to calculate the absolute bare minimum you need to survive per month. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to make the same amount of money as my current salary?” Figure out the things you can do without and identify the non-negotiables in your life.
4 | Find New Coins
How are you going to make money after you leave your 9 to 5? Do you have a current side gig you can scale? Or do you want to start a new business from scratch? Maybe you plan on looking for another job that offers more flexibility? You need to find work that will fund the lifestyle in your vision. Obviously, some lifestyles are easier to fund than others.
5 | Set Your Quit Date
This is where all of the pieces of the puzzle come together. Schedule your plan over a period time and set your quit date! When you can quit is determined by the size of the gap between how long you can support yourself without a job and how long it’ll take to be viable in your new work. For example, if it’ll take a year to scale your business but you only have enough savings to cover your bare minimum for 3 months, you’ll need to stay in your 9 to 5 until you can fill the gap.
Pro tip: pay for any high-ticket items before you quit your 9 to 5, otherwise you’ll have to save that much extra!
There you have it; the nuts and bolts of my exit strategy. Go forth and prosper. You deserve it!