When you hear about someone making an escape — from captivity, or wherever — there was always a plan, right? These escapees are genuinely strategic thinkers who anticipate opportunity and make preparations to grasp that opportunity at the right time. They surely must experience both an ecstasy of freedom and a panic over the risk when they do get on the “outside”. They are not so different from those of us who plan an escape from a corporate career into the exciting — and terrifying — world of self-employment.
If you are still employed but yearning to break out on your own, plot and plan like those jailbirds do. Pamela Slim offers an excellent set of tips on how to prepare for your own escape in her post Is starting a business impossible when you are the sole income earner in your family?. In addition to getting your financial life in order and writing a business plan, she suggests starting work on the side. I know a number of successful business people who got their start in exactly this way.
She says, “I know it is challenging to work full-time and do work on the side, but if you are truly committed to being an entrepreneur, you better make sure that it is what you want to do and you have the skills to do it. One of my clients took vacation time to do an independent project and he said it was well-worth the sacrifice since it absolutely validated all his assumptions about his nascent consulting business. There will be a point where your business grows so much that you will need to quit your day job. This is a good thing!”