You finally quit and now what?
You are excited, nervous and free! What are you going to do next?
I am going to share some specifics on what I did after I quit my job. I know a few of you just took this leap. I am not going to leave you guys hanging here. You and I are in this together. So let’s begin…
1. Create a Business Plan
Yes. You need a business plan. Suppose you are about to take a road trip starting from
2. Take Charge of Your Retirement Fund
If your 401(k) plan is greater than $5,000, you can choose to do nothing and leave it with your previous employer. Or, you can do a 401(k) rollover into an IRA or a solo 401(k) (if you are planning to open your own one person business). Please make sure you do your research and take charge of your retirement fund!
I have my 401(k) rollover in an IRA account at . Its commission is one dollar per trade. You must learn and understand what you are doing. The online interface is very basic, i.e. not very user friendly. This site has a direct link to the stock market. There is no human involved in executing your trade. Absolutely efficient!
If you decide to leave your retirement in your existing account because it is performing great, fine. If you think you should move it to IRA, fine. You must review and take care of your retirement fund. This is a must. Note: Once you decide to do a rollover, IRA assets in this account may not later be transferred from this account back to a 401(k) or other employee sponsored retirement plan.
3. Review Your Stock Options
For those of you who were given company stock or option, don’t forget that most options expire within 90 days of the termination of your employment. The stock option will be forfeited if the employee leaves before vesting. Please DO NOT forget about this and leave money on the table.
4. Cell Phone & Usage
You will talk a lot more now that you are on your own. Make sure you review your calling plan and monitor your cell phone usage closely to avoid expensive usage charges. You can always upgrade to a different calling plan during the month without additional charges.
5. Health & Dental Insurance
COBRA is extremely expensive. It is stupid to keep paying $400 – 500 per month. I used and found a Blue Shield health plan paying about $110 a month with $40 deducible per visit. This is an absolutely great deal!
6. Budget, budget, budget!
How much money do you need to survive? How much money do you need to run your business? While you are building your dream you need to calculate and be very clear about your cash flow.
7. Write Down Your Daily, Weekly and Monthly Goal
Plan and write down your daily, weekly and monthly goal. The execution of your business plan is the key. You should do at least one thing everyday towards your goal.
8. Learn and Grow!
Life is about learning and growing. If you are not growing, you are dying.
Exercise everyday! If you can’t manage your own health, how can you manage your business?
10. Find New Friends & Mentors
Entrepreneurship is a not an easy journey. Some of your old friends may discourage you and burden you with doubt. Remember that your work is now your passion. You will get paid because of the value you bring, not the time you spend. This is a new concept that your friends may not understand. I am not telling you to get rid of your friends, but you need to be choosy about whose advice you are listening to. Meet new friends and mentors who are successful as entrepreneurs.
11. Write Down Your Experiences
This is the beginning of the best time of your life. Write down your experiences each day. You will be proud and be amazed with your new experiences, new friends and new accomplishments that you are about to achieve.
In the corporate world you are encouraged to focus on different tasks and projects. Corporations want to get the most out of you by giving you as many projects as possible. You were trained to multi-task. It was almost wrong to do just one thing. However, in the entrepreneurial world, you need to stay focused. As you bootstrap your way through, you will be tempted to make some quick cash in order to survive. I don’t want you to sleep on the street, but I want you make a conscious decision about how to spend your time and energy each and every day. Don’t get sidetracked. Stay on course and achieve your new goal as an entrepreneur.
Uncle Ben once said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” As a first time entrepreneur, you now have claimed your power to control your own time and freedom. The new responsibilities that come with these powers are simply new habits that you need to form in order to successfully transition to your new life.
I want to congratulate that you have taken this amazing step.
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