How To Create A Game Changer To Leave Your Job
“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” Toni Morrison
Entrepreneurship courses through my blood.
The black woman, through her struggle, has learned how to make her natural talents the gateway to her mainstay.
The opportunity to care for her home and to help provide lies in her ability to provide services from her talents for hire.
From making food and selling plates, to styling hair, sewing dresses and making wigs, cleaning, organizing, you name it, the black woman has capitalized on the ability to hustle and make things happen for herself and her family.
My hustle is super-budgeting, identity theft recovery, credit development toward specific goals, and quick plans to get back on financial track! I could do all of this blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back! But how do I focus on your talents and dreams when you have mouths to feed?
There are 3 things a black woman entrepreneur can do to make her dreams come true and make her business her full-time focus:
1. To make my business my focus, I “did” the numbers.
When you “do the numbers” you look at your job income compared to your job expenses and what you actually get to take home and put in your pocket to cover other needs.
Many of us end up in debt because the deficit between what we make at a job and the job expenses is too substantial. It just isn’t enough to sustain working and our other expenses at the same time.
Gas, child care, food, maintenance on our car, any work related expenses that we may or may not get reimbursed for, our ability to clock the amount of hours needed for that job etc. can really add up!
If my job is 29 hours per week, but the majority of the time I am clocking 25 hours, that reduces my job income.
We end up living on the brink of disaster because we don’t appropriately scale this deficit.
When I was working, I was in debt with my childcare over $500 because my childcare expenses were about 2/3 of what I brought in – and that was with adjustments to make it “affordable.”
I didn’t qualify for childcare assistance because I made too much money on my job and I wasn’t in school. I finished my masters degree in 2013 and wasn’t about to do that again.
Was this really the best way I could support my family?
My payments for childcare were always late because I was paid biweekly and naturally couldn’t pay for care on weeks I wasn’t getting paid.
To get ahead, I would have to pay them what was past due, currently due and two weeks ahead – an entire check from my job.
I also had to find a way to cover gas, maintenance for my old car that had oil leaks, food for while I was at work, and I was also expected to pay for and get reimbursed for events. The problem with getting reimbursements is that you have to have money to pay out in order to get reimbursed!
What was I to do? Get another job? I barely saw my children as it was.
I asked myself, “Is staying at this job really doing as great a job for me as I thought?”
I wrote down the following formula to determine if my job expenses were really helping me out as much as I thought:
Job Income/Job Expense Deficit Formula
$/mo = Job Income
– childcare expenses
-funds to reimburse
My first expense looked like this:
$1,600.00/mo – Job income
Then I added up the $200 per week from the childcare that I had to pay.
$200.00 X 4.3 weeks in a month = $860
Plus $25 per my older two children, let’s say 4 days per month to account for any holiday or day that they can’t be in school (my children had excellent attendance in school, by the way)
$860 + $100 = $960
Wow, what I was paying out was already more than half of what I made in a month and didn’t include late fees, pizza on thursdays, field trips, or any other weekly expenses!
Before I knew it, my costs for childcare alone had added up to $1,100 per month!
2. Recognize the problem.
The numbers either make sense or they don’t.
What would it take for you to leave your job and work the business you have been hammering away at full-time?
I know I certainly had a decision to make once I saw the numbers on paper, but I wasn’t bringing in that $1,600.00 from anywhere else.
When you do things wrong for a long time, it feels comfortable, and although it isn’t the best plan, it’s the sure plan.
The possibility of having nothing was scary, but I didn’t realize I was really functioning with nothing as it was. After all was said and done, I only brought in about $50 per month of actual profit and a whole lot of debt. I was always struggling to get ahead, robbing Peter to pay Paul!
I still borrowed money to make ends meet and I would often put off paying something else, like my energy bill, for something else that was past due, like the money I borrowed for gas. Bad debt makes you feel like you’re functioning even though you’re functioning badly.
3. Create financial goals for your business and solve the problem.
I had to look at my business in a new way. How many clients would I need to have each month to equal what I was bringing in from the job on a monthly basis?
I could work my business from home, so the $1,100 for childcare would be a distant memory. I may have occasional meetings, but no more 40+ hour work weeks! No gas expenses to and from work. No long commutes. I could conduct business by video and conference call.
Entrepreneurs are people who would rather put hard work in on their own dreams and goals than work for someone else. So ultimately, I needed to put that full-time investment in myself.
It doesn’t mean that working a job is bad or negative – it is just different from the mindset that person has who works for themselves.
Going back to work was a huge decision for me in the first place.
You don’t just decide to go back to work, you also have to decide to let strangers watch your children. To drive for long hours. To have a commute that requires more resources such as more gas. You agree to increase your burden for the hope that the money you bring home will balance out your trouble.
I was looking forward to going back to my family. I just needed the right justification to do it.
Then something happened, a game changer, that made it all clear.
I received a royalty payment
I went to an out-of-town conference for my job and something happened that changed my life.
My book, Better Than Credit Repair: The Handbook of Credit Mastery became a best-seller earlier in the year on Amazon, and my first substantial royalty payment hit my account while I was at the conference.
Amazon notifies you that the payment is on the way, and it gives you a date that it should hit your bank account, but because I had become accustomed to disappointment, I wasn’t expecting the date to be accurate.
As entrepreneurs, we get used to some level of disappointment, so I found some peace knowing it was on its way, but not knowing when it would arrive.
I was trying to figure out if I should spend the few dollars I had allotted for bills on dinner while I was out, or if I should just wait until I went home to eat which was about 6 hours away…
…when the payment came through the morning I was supposed to head home.
It was half of what my check would be from work.
Suddenly, the decision was clear.
I had subconsciously created a solution for my problem before I realized how big my problem actually was.
I had made money, and I could do other things while the money was being made.
Sure, it took some hard work in the beginning, but I had a strategy and a plan. After the hard work was done, I had established a method that would make money for me without my having to attend to it.
I put in my two weeks notice to resign from my job the following week after coming back from the conference. It was time to continue to invest in myself.
“Do” the numbers. What kind of game changer do you need to create for yourself? What game changers do you have in place now?