How to overcome your fears and finally let go of your "stable" job


I recently shared a success story on social media about one of my coaching clients who officially gave notice to her employer and launched her own consulting business.


I told the story of how E. joined my coaching program in November to learn how to leverage her skills and experience to launch her own consulting business. She was tired of working for someone else and ready to earn significantly more while working fewer hours.


After completing the coaching program, she established the foundation of her business, started taking on consulting clients on the side, and officially gave her notice to her boss on Friday! This was a huge win, and we celebrated with champagne over zoom.


What I didn't share on social media was E.'s self-professed "freak out" on Thursday night. She sent me a panicked email full of fearful questions along the lines of "Am I ready?" and "What if I fail?". She was concerned because she only had 3 months of client work booked and was worried about whether that was enough.


I wasn't surprised to see her email. Making plans to quit a "stable" job with a salary and benefits causes all kinds of mind trash and imposter syndrome to float up. E. was questioning whether she had sold enough consulting work to replace her income and was allowing her brain to run ahead to absolute worst-case scenarios.


My response to her was the following:


"Ok. Take a couple of deep breaths. These are super normal feelings! Your fear is rearing up because our brains like stability and predictability.


Questions to ask yourself:

  1. In addition to the 3 months of income ahead of you, how much in savings do you have? i.e. can you cover your living expenses for another 3 months? Then you really have six months of runway. Think of how much business development you can do in six months, especially without the full time job! The worst case scenario, if everything goes to hell, is you could take out a small line of credit to tide you over, or you could go back to another employee job as a last resort.


  1. How likely is it that any one of your new clients would extend you or add budget or ask you to take on a new project once the first piece of work completes? My guess = pretty likely.


For my own business, sometimes I have a contract that spans a full fiscal year, which lets me breathe easy. Other times I only have sold work for the next month or two.


I usually just trust that other opportunities will present themselves when I need them. I don’t really believe in “the universe” but I’ve found that things have a way of working out when you leave space for them. I only really let myself get anxious if I have less than 4 weeks left with a client and nothing lined up yet, but that almost never happens.


In time, you will build up your financial cushion to the point where slower periods don’t stress you out, and experience will show you that another client or another project is just around the corner.


Is this hard? YES

Does it require bravery? YES

Can you do it? YES!!!!!


 I hope that helps!"


Apparently this was what E. needed to hear, and she went forward with her plans to give notice the following day. Woo hoo!


I share this story with you in case you're also someone who is worried about leaving the safety and security of your job. Yes, going out on your own as an independent consultant feels scary, but with the right planning, support, and mindset work, you can launch your business in a way that minimizes risks.


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