In our last post we covered WHY I quit my cushy six-figure job, so in this post we’ll cover HOW I quit that cushy six-figure job and entered into entrepreneurship full-time.
Welcome back, fam!
Another couple of weeks have passed in this crazy small bizz life. I can’t believe how fast the time goes now that I’m helping people money full-time.
And honestly? It just keeps getting better and better.
In our last post I talked about WHY I quit my job, but in this post I wanted to cover exactly how I did it, knowing I’d be diving into entrepreneurship full time.
But first… some background.
When I first started working on Clo Bare full-time, I took on way too many clients and felt completely overwhelmed. Financial coaching is kind of like therapy in that I sit down with clients and get to know them deeply over a 1-2 hour session .
While I love what I do, taking on 60 clients in one month really drained me. Like I lost my voice daily for about two months.
By December, I had started to cut down on how many clients I was taking, but I was still working hard on launching the Finance Creators Mastermind, creating The Lazy Investors Course, and managing the clients I did take on.
And now that we’re in March, I’m actually not taking on any new clients for the foreseeable future.
Why I Quit My Job
Part of the motivation behind quitting my job was that I realized that there was no better time for me to do it. I’m 30-years-old, and the only financial responsibilities I have are supporting myself and my dog, Logan.
Also, I adopted Logan in March of 2020 right as the pandemic began and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. She’s my sweet corn chip lady and the best thing that has ever happened to me. Since she’s a pandemic baby, she wasn’t exactly opposed to having me home full-time. Those long office days were not her favorite.
Ok, I’ll be honest– I quit my job to spend all day, every day with Logan.
I wish I could go back and tell 2020 Chloé that I’d be working for myself and absolutely loving it. Heck, I’d love to tell any version of Chloé’s from my past, tbh. They would all be so proud of me and so relieved that I found my purpose. None of this would have been possible without those past versions of myself working hard to get to where I am. And none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t taken careful steps to prepare for entrepreneurship.
So, let’s talk about the HOW. I’ll give you all of the details.
Now that I’ve told you all WHY I quit my fancy, schmancy, six-figure consulting job, it’s time to talk about HOW I made it happen and what the process looked like for me.
Quitting a stable, high-earning job is truly terrifying and as an anxious person, I needed to make sure that I would be one hundred percent totally fine if I no longer received those paychecks.
So, how did I actually prepare to quit my job?
Here are a Few Steps I Took to Quit my Job:
1) I made sure I had made about $5k a month on average for 6 months before quitting.
Why? Cause I wanted to make sure my business could actually support my lifestyle long-term.
And $5k is about what it takes to run Clo Bare headquarters every month. So if I could bring that in?
I’d be able to at the very least get by.
I started earning $5k a month in March 2021, and did this for 6 months so by October 2021? It was time.
What I’d recommend to new entrepreneurs is the same thing– don’t quit your job until you’ve proven to yourself that your business is a viable business that can actually make you money.
Cause if not?
You’re chancing a lot. I felt way more confident quitting my job when I knew there was generally a minimum number I could expect to make every month.
2) I saved up a year emergency fund.
Before I quit my job, I made sure I had an entire year’s worth of cash saved up in my emergency fund.
Cause I know how hard it is to go out on your own full time. I wanted to make sure that even if I didn’t have any money coming in at all, I’d be covered (hello Imposter Syndrome, my dear old friend).
I had proved to myself that I could earn a living doing Clo Bare full-time, but for me, that wasn’t enough. I needed the security of having that nest egg to support me through the worst case scenarios.
It took me a few months to knock out this step, but I got it done and I’m so glad I did.
Get out of here, anxiety brain.
Now, because it’s such a large amount, I decided to invest a portion of my emergency fund. So while a good chunk of that is still available to me in cash, a good chunk is locked up in some investments that I can sell if I need to access.
I don’t recommend this for everyone but in my case, it just made sense since I had such a large emergency fund.
Generally for entrepreneurs I do think a six-month to one-year emergency fund is reasonable.
Small business life can be tough! Every month will be different, and some months are far more profitable than others. It is what is it, and all we can do is prepare for those slow months.
So, I recommend preparing for those downturns by having at LEAST 6 months, if not a full 12 months saved up. You won’t regret it.
3) Checked out my 401k.
You might be like… Chloe.. What does this have to do with anything??
Actually, a lot.
The reason I checked it is because I wanted to make sure I knew how much of my 401k I was leaving behind!
There’s something called vesting in 401ks that essentially means the employer match is only partially yours until you are fully vested. Bummer, right?
For me, I had worked there for 3 years so my employer match was only 40% vested. That meant I was leaving about $13k on the table when I left.
And you know what?
I had to ask myself… Would I be willing to pay $13k to quit my job?
And the answer was– yes, I would happily do that.
So if you’re thinking about leaving your job– definitely make sure you know how much you stand to lose.
4) I checked out private health insurance rates.
Dun dun dun… Health insurance! The thing that prevents so many aspiring business owners from quitting their jobs.
I decided to start calling around to see what I would realistically be paying for health insurance and I was able to find insurance through United Healthcare. It’s about $300/month and it’s got everything I need: preventative care and catastrophic care.
The unfortunate part is the deductible is $5,000 every six months, which is super high, but not far off from what I was paying at my corporate job.
For me, being a single woman with no health issues (knock on wood), it wasn’t that expensive to go ahead and switch to my own insurance. I’m super grateful for that because I expected it to be way more expensive.
5) I ran my numbers.
I looked at my bare minimum expenses and determined what I would need to make each month to pay my bills and have a nice ramen noodle dinner on the table for myself and Logan.
Kidding, only the best for my nipple queen.
This is what led me to that $5,000 a month number. If you want to quit your job, run your numbers and make sure you know what your ramen noodle number is. What is the number that you need to have if you aren’t making any money that month?
6) I switched up my living situation.
After I made a plan to quit my job, I realized that I’m no longer tied to Chicago and honestly? I wanted to GTFO. It’s cold, expensive, and it’s not very easy to get around without a car.
I know that I want to move, but I need to figure out where exactly I want to move to. So, I decided to pack up my apartment and move home with my parents for a bit while Logan and I take a road trip around western USA to check out all my options.
The way I budgeted for that was I assumed that I would likely be paying about the same amount on Airbnb’s that I would pay for rent in Chicago. If by chance I have a really tight month and don’t make any money, I can always go home to my parents house for a while and get back on the road when I’m ready.
I am SO blessed to have a good relationship with my parents and be able to crash with them while I figure out where the heck I want to move to.
All of these steps have really paid off for me and I would recommend them to anyone who is thinking about quitting their full-time gig.
Luckily, since quitting, things have been going really good. I haven’t had to worry too much about my ramen noodle number, and I feel pretty grateful for that. Over the course of the first 5 months of doing Clo Bare full-time, I made about $100k. WHICH IS INSANE.
But for those of you who are bad at math, that is a lot more than $5,000 a month.
I think that really goes to show that this was the right decision for me. This allowed me to dive deeper into my business and focus on the 80/20. What are the 20% of my efforts that are creating 80% of my income, and what can I do to continue to streamline this? That has resulted in some high-earning months for me.
I feel very fortunate that this is how my story is being written. It has been a wild ride over the last 5 months– I was featured on multiple finance platforms, I started a new business with my friend Marc, I launched my Lazy Investors Course, and I coached over 100 clients.
I’m excited to see what’s to come in the next few months.
And if you’re thinking about quitting your job too? Don’t skimp out on these steps.