Laurel Staples joins us to teach us how to forget the American dream and talk about her journey becoming an entrepreneur. Start living our own dreams on our own terms.
In 2007 Laurel quit her job as a mechanical engineer to launch her popular blog, Go Fire Yourself. In January she will publish her book about how to quit your day job and run your own business. She is also a business coach and a photographer.
Like many of us, Laurel followed the prescribed path, leave high school, go to college, get a job. She worked for Lex Mark designing laser printers. And she hated it. She knew she would hate it buy hey, that’s what you do in America. Fork out a fortune for college and slave away in a job you hate.
She has always been interested in things like health and the environment and planned to open an eco-friendly clothing store. After spending about a year planning it, she quit her job and opened the store in December 2007. Unfortunately around the same time the economy crashed. After all the blood, sweat and tears, Laurel soon found herself in the same 9-5 grind she had been trying to leave.
She closed the shop and started working as first a health coach and then a business coach. That change is what finally put Laurel where she wanted to be.
When coaching clients Laurel emphasized planning and doing things the right way. But there comes a point when you just have to make the leap, otherwise you’ll be stuck forever. There is no set amount of money you should have before quitting your job.
Laurel has seen people make it work with very little saved and people fail with thousands saved. In fact, the people with less may succeed more often because they don’t have the option of failing. Don’t have a Plan B because if you do, you won’t work as hard on Plan A.
I built a small ramp and then just jumped off.Tweet This
It’s a scary thing but Laurel advises us to trust our instincts and to remember, you don’t have to make “forever decisions.” She didn’t like the retail world so she moved on to something different. Working with a coach or mentor can help keep you on track or show you new ways of doing things.
It is important to get your side business set up while still working. There is a learning curve to being and entrepreneur and it’s easier to learn while a paycheck is still coming in. This is especially important if you have a family. You need to discuss your decision with them. Perhaps you can cut back enough to survive on one salary while the business is getting off the ground. If not, you will need to really ramp your side business up before jumping and show your partner that you are bringing some money in.
When deciding to jump, put things into three columns, “must have,” “nice to have,” and “don’t need.” This will show where you can trim expenses before money starts coming in. Try want Andres is going to do, before you decide anything, try a thirty day challenge to live as minimally as possible. Chances are, it won’t be as hard as you imagine. When you make it through the month, you’ll see what life will be like until your venture starts succeeding.
Money is a tool but you don't want to be a tool.Tweet This
We all hear and read about people who quit a job they hated and created their own life and wonder what they have that we don’t. The biggest difference between them and us, is that they took the leap.
Smuttynose Bouncy House IPA: an all occasion American ale.
Martini: made with Blue Coat gin and vermouth.
Go Fire Yourself: Laurel’s blog dedicated to teaching small business owners to quit there day jobs and start living life on their terms.