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It is very easy overlook the pitfalls in front of us when we are on cruise control out of paid employment. The excitement of finally being able to execute that business we’ve been dreaming about can blind us to snags ahead of us.

Here are four pitfalls you must avoid even as you plot your exit strategy from paid employment:

Don’t burn bridges, build more. As much as you are tempted to storm into your boss’ office to yell “I Quit” don’t do it. Burning bridges can come with dire consequences in the future. Who knows what opportunity exists for your new business with your former employer. Rather than burning bridges, build more.

Don’t think it will be all rosy. Well, it may be, but chances are that it won’t. Those who have gone ahead to build successfully businesses have done so by sheer determination to see their ventures succeed. Having this mental perspective will come in handy on those highly emotional days when you feel like giving up because nothing seems to be going your way.

Don’t think it will be any easier. Most of people consider work drudgery, they think exiting paid employment to run their own business would mean more relaxation time. If you are used to working 40 hours a week, get ready to do quite a lot more. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you stroll into work anytime. It actually means you are responsible for the payroll of all those working for you including yourself and so you have to be quick on your feet.

Don’t sacrifice your professional development. We are all familiar with the continuous development programs we engage in while climbing the corporate ladder. Well it doesn’t stop when you become an entrepreneur. Just because you are no longer looking for a promotion or looking to add a certificate on your resume doesn’t mean you have to quit learning. Learning becomes more important when you become an entrepreneur because it is your skill set that will guarantee the success of your business. Therefore you need to constantly upgrade them.

This article is part of a series of conversations around helping professionals in Nigeria make a seamless transition from paid employment to entrepreneurship. This subject will be discussed more extensively at the May 2017 Startit Academy, themed, Plot your Exit Strategy from Paid Employment. For more information about the event and registration, please click here.


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