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4 Ways To Escape Your Corporate Role & Become An Entrepreneur

Lessons from network marketing expert Cliff Walker 4 Ways To Escape Your Corporate Role & Become An Entrepreneur

I thought about it every day for 19 years - and then I finally did it.

Within two years I had quadrupled my corporate salary to the astonishment of both my wife and I. Today I’m proud to say I’m on a seven-figure annual income, but only because I took that crucial first step.

The key question remains: why didn’t I do it sooner? Surely there are others just like me who are frustrated in their roles, despite the seemingly good salary, yet too time poor and stressed to enjoy life.

Here’s how to change your thinking and leave the corporate rat race:

Job security? Ditch the notion

Entrepreneurship is seen as heady and risky. I disagree and find salaried jobs far more volatile.

My experience of having been an international corporate executive for what was then United Distillers (now Diageo) for almost a decade taught me such roles are subject to flux, ever changing sales volumes, economic calamities and office HR disputes.

None of these should ever put you out of a job, but they can. As can mergers, takeovers and downsizing.

Having a means to generate income passively or to a greater degree than a salary teaches you to save and spend differently. The mindshift of this process is responsible money management.

When starting out you might get to a position where you can afford a Mercedes or a Porsche on lease, but paying cash for it when the money allows is far more sensible. This is typical of the mindshift that occurs when you become wholly responsible for your income from every aspect.

My personal decision was to become a network marketing entrepreneur, because it’s based on a model that didn’t require reinventing the wheel, yet I was able to employ the skills I had in sales, marketing and relationship building - all things I enjoy.

Getting a head start: before you quit your salary

HR directors won’t like me for suggesting this, but there are certain roles in sales, consultancy or service delivery where the output can be done while in your current job.

To be on the safe side, we’re talking about utilising general free time, evenings and weekends.

The stress of starting with a cleared deck and no momentum can be too much for some. Starting off small gives you the confidence to see the potential.

Short on time? Commute on the train for a month, rather than drive and do research then. Can you run home from work and use your evening fitness hour to work on your new business?

How about adding an extra month to your year by simply getting up 30 minutes earlier each day for six days per week? Over a year you would have created 156 hours of additional time.

Copycat your journey: even Tony Robbins does

Someone you already know has done exactly what you’re trying to do. The top leadership gurus all encourage modelling your journey on someone who has gone through the process and succeeded.

Want to pick someone’s brain who has done it, but who you have no connection to? Try approaching them with: “I’m so inspired by what you’ve done and would be so grateful for a few minutes of your time.”

Reading, learning and talking to those who have made the journey and succeeded in whatever you’re aiming for might save significant amounts of time, heartache and unnecessary trial and error.

Shhh…the biggest secret of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is not just about finding another way to earn money - getting it right can make you into a better person. Why? You realise that to gain you have to give. But that doesn’t go far enough.

When starting out, certain individuals will give you opportunities that will pivot your life in directions you would never have thought possible. Even the bad experiences will give you the gift of a good lesson. Learn to value the spirit of generosity, which requires nothing more than an open and trusting heart.

Help people who can potentially help you one day, or not - where it doesn’t hurt or cost you to assist them. And then expect nothing in return.

Paying-it-forward has proven to pay time and again. The act of generosity leaves deep imprints on others to think of you when the right time might come, even if it’s years off.

This is my favourite point to embarking on a journey of self empowerment through the vehicle of entrepreneurship, because I see it working consistently for those who embrace it.

Congratulations for making it this far with your corporate career. You will no doubt have the smarts to follow the entrepreneurial business plan that suits you.

Let the motivation of the new life it can afford you - by freeing up time out of the confines of a job - drive forward your journey to success.

Having risen to the top of three global network marketing companies and currently on a seven-figure income as a result, Cliff Walker is an internationally renowned trainer, sales expert, speaker and author on all aspects of best practice around network marketing.

Cliff is also the creator of the Climbers Club - the academy that helps frustrated managers or executives escape the glass ceiling of corporate life. Read more like this

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