This post and episode was created with the help of Evan Tarver. Click here to check out Evan’s site and download your FREE guide, Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur: How to quit your job in 6 months or less!
The title of this post was the subject line of the email I received from Evan Tarver, a Fire Nation faithful who is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs get their “house in order” so they can take their own entrepreneurial leap.
Evan is in the middle of building a successful side business while working with a Series-A funded startup, and what he had to share with me in terms of a process for going from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur really resonated with me.
In fact, a lot of the steps he talks about are the same ones I took when preparing for my first entrepreneurial leap.
What I loved most about Evan’s email is that he was sending it purely to give Fire Nation a “peek behind the curtains” of someone’s life who is in the middle of taking massive action: Evan himself!
Great news for those of you looking to ditch the 9 to 5: by the end of the post, you’ll be able to systematically prepare to leave your job and take your finances and your life into your own hands.
Sound like a plan?… Let’s do this!
*Before you start: Mindset*
It all starts with mindset.
If you don’t believe you are capable of becoming an entrepreneur, then you are not capable of becoming an entrepreneur.
Listen in to hear the specifics around mindset that Evan and I cover. This step is absolutely critical!
From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur: A Process
Step 1: Debt-free is the way to be!
Evan dives deep into his strategy for paying off debts and starting his $1,000 emergency fund (thanks, Dave Ramsey!)
How to become 100% debt free via the Debt Snowball Approach:
- Build up a $1k emergency fund;
- Make minimum payments on all of your debts;
- Put all of your excess cash flow toward the debt with the smallest principle first;
- After that debt is paid off, pay off the next smallest debt, and so-on-and-so-forth until all debts are paid.
Step 2: Create your monetary runway
Start saving up at least 3 – 6 months of your expenses to ensure you’re able to stay afloat.
Step 3: Content! Start learning
Now that you believe entrepreneurship is attainable – that it’s something you can do – start learning how you can make it happen.
Start by consuming broad content on entrepreneurship, like entrepreneurial podcasts, books, audio books, and magazines. Don’t try and deep dive into the intricacies of specific industries or niches; soak in overarching themes that make up entrepreneurship.
Some recommended listening / reading:
- EntrepreneurOnFire’s Top 10 Podcasts :)
- Zig Ziglar
- Tropical MBA Podcast
- Smart Passive Income Podcast
- Fast Company
- Screw The Nine to Five Blog
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
- The Lean Startup by Eric Reis
Get yourself fully into the mindset of “I can do this – it is possible” by consuming content that covers the overarching idea of entrepreneurship.
Then you can start getting more granular: start consuming content that relates more specifically to actually creating and growing your own business: tips, tactics, and specific steps you need to take.
Finally, dive deep into the specific niche you’re interested in focusing on.
Ask yourself: “What are you interested in focusing on?” “Where do your passions and expertise intersect?” … Fiction, biographies, travel, gardening, fishing, hiking, podcasting, systems and planning?
You want to consume content in three categories, in this order:
1. Self Improvement – This category will help you to continue to grow and help your mindset shift around the idea that it is possible
2. Business – Learn the business concepts that will help you create and grow a successful business.
3. Content outside of self improvement or business – Uncover your passion or the niche in which you’ll build a business.
Step 4: Define your passion, skill, pain point… Enter: Digital Cork Screw
Evan tells a story of how he discovered his niche: how he saw a specific pain point in a specific industry, then found a solution that resonated with his passion (for wine – not necessarily for marketing).
During our conversation, Evan and I cover the following points:
- Define your passion, skill, or niche.
- Translate the content you’ve read into an idea, or niche vertically to attack.
- It’s imperative that you combine content with experience during this step!
- It’s only by testing the content you have in the real world that you’ll know whether or not it’s helpful.
Step 5: Start off small
Presell your product or service
Make sure your idea is validated in the real world prior to building a business around it: Build a landing page, use Google Adwords, pre-sell to people via presentations…
Listen in to hear the specifics me and Evan discuss around this point! You can also check out some tactics for gaining proof of concept here.
It’s at this point where your journey can become really challenging. Up until now you’ve been powered by optimism and an intense motivation to get started; it’s only after trying to presell your product/service that you realize how much is involved in growing a successful business.
Seeking community gives you a support system as well as advice from those who have already been there.
Recommended reading: The Dip
Step 6: Set a date, follow the plan, put in the work!
This is currently where Evan finds himself – in Step 6 – so the insights he shares here are happening to him in REAL TIME!
Evan has started generating revenue, is in the process of building his sales pipeline, and is looking for ways to automate and outsource parts of the overall process.
He has also outlined a plan based on the date he’d like to quit his job (reverse engineering at its finest!) He has also laid out what he needs to do daily, weekly, and monthly to be self-sustaining by that date. Planning is HUGE here!
Evan’s real-world experience that he graciously and openly shares during this episode on what it takes to go from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur are spot on with what I’ve experienced. If you’re looking to put a plan in place to help support your own entrepreneurial leap, then this is your guide.
Step 7: See the boat before you jump off the dock
Wise words from Evan here… Once you pick up momentum, the itch to leave your job almost becomes unbearable (I know you’ve felt this before!) Before you jump ship, think about the following:
- Retirement – Ensure you (at least) have a Roth IRA setup with your financial institution to aid in ongoing savings;
- Health Care – Make sure you do your research on obtaining health care once you’re no longer covered by your job!
Step 8: Make the leap!
This is the final stage of taking your life into your own hands – treat it as such, and ENJOY the journey.
This can be the scariest part of becoming an entrepreneur: the moment you take the leap.
Trust that if you put a plan in place (outlined above) and follow through with each step, then taking the leap is just another step towards creating the life and freedom you’ve always wanted!
Don’t forget to check out Evan’s site and download your FREE guide, Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur: How to quit your job in 6 months or less!
Evan Tarver is a business development specialist with dynamic experience in the technology industry, and is a self-proclaimed “business nerd.” He believes that entrepreneurship is the key to massive self improvement, incredible self-growth, and lasting change. By drawing on his own triumphs and failures, Evan helps people live a meaningful life through a collection of experiences that truly matter.
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