The Work Starts Today

Why you should do these things before quitting.

In recent months, I’ve chatted with some people who feel stuck in their current full-time jobs, dreaming of a better life outside the window. They ask about my flexibility, the ability to quote clients what I believe I am worth, and the joy and pain of hunting for my own business.

I am sure to tell them that can be extremely difficult out here, and they should really understand the pros and cons of going off on their own. I am much happier in my current position than any recent salaried job, but it took a layoff to get me here.

As my recent “The Plunge” interviews have demonstrated, few entrepreneurs “choose” to go into business for themselves. Usually, a layoff or another closed down forces them to open up that new door of self-employment.

I had the chance to work with Grace McCarrick on a short project, and I greatly appreciate her candor and respect her view of the world. She’s a culture coach who has taken her talents to TikTok, where she dispenses wisdom to employees and executives alike. I may have slightly differing opinions on some of her takes - but only because she’s so prolific and has a strong POV. In the below video, she is spot on.

If you truly want to go into business on your own, you have a fantastic opportunity today to build that pathway before quitting.


Get a Revenge Career 🔥 #howtogetahead #companyculture #careeradvice #careertok

Working for a company is a value exchange. Right now, you are providing your labor in turn for salary and professional development. While you collect the former, utilize the latter to its maximum effect.

The three things you need to know:

Your company holds weight. When you’re on your own, your brand and reputation is what gets you in the door. When you’re VP of Best Buy, the prestige and potential of a relationship with your company make you alluring to a lot more people. People will take your calls, invite you in to speak with them, and introduce you to other people because they want to be in business with Best Buy.

But then it’s about you. You won’t be able to hold onto the power of “former Best Buy” employee if you didn’t impress when meeting with people at that time. The employer gets you in the door; what you do with that is up to you.

Be memorable and create memories. The corporate world is a haze of random connections. Create a mechanism so this person remembers you when you reach out 6 months to a year - or even five years - later when you’ve finally started your company.

Three areas in which to focus:

Learning and Development: Does your company have a training budget? Use it for a new skillset you could use in your own, eventually launched company. Take any online courses your company offers and earn badges.

Network: Go to events - both free and ones your company will pay for. Use the nametag to get more conversations. Reach out to people asking to talk, especially those in your company. Flatter an executive in another department by asking them questions about their job. Building

Processes: Absorb what your business does well and where it underachieves. Is the customer onboarding process great? Figure out what makes it tick and keep that in mind for your future business. Did you like the creative vendor your company used to make your presentations? Introduce yourself to them and keep them in your Rolodex for when you need help (if it doesn’t violate your contract - see below).

What not to do:

Openly discuss your plans to leave one day with a new contact: Obviously if you have a rapport with someone and you feel comfortable, you can start discussing your future hopes and dreams. But don’t talk about your future plans to leave the company with someone you just met.

Violate your contract: Don’t download sensitive documents. Don’t poach employees. Know what you’re allowed to do and what you’re prohibited from doing and follow that explicitly.

Scorch the earth with anyone: I personally have worked again with people I swore off completely. Either they or I changed, the sands of time changed us both, or I better understood how to work with them. I try my very best to not let my emotions cloud any formed relationships. I also believe being helpful is my biggest calling, and that help can be extended to anyone. In addition to keeping future relationships open, you don’t poison the well with people influenced by someone with whom you may have not had the best relationship.