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4 Websites to Help Quit Your Job and Start a Business

4 Websites to Help Quit Your Job and Start a Business

Are you feeling trapped by a hum-drum job that leaves you unsatisfied and short of cash at the end of each month? Do you love solving problems, being creative, and being a hard-working, dedicated self starter who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty?

If that sounds like you, then it’s likely that starting a new business might be just the thing to inspire you to greater heights and ultimately put you in control of your own destiny. But starting a new business is not all that easy, and often comes with substantial financial risks that can leave you penniless, or even in debt.

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    Luckily, there is plenty of great advice out there to help guide you through those all important first steps. By empowering yourself with the insights, creativity and knowledge provided by our top 5 list of sites for entrepreneurs, you’ll be able to:

    1. Reduce the amount of time it takes to find and validate a fantastic idea
    2. Research and build a top class business plan
    3. Build a cutting edge, responsive website
    4. Promote and market your business like a pro
    5. Know which software, tools & services are available to increase productivity and cut costs
    6. Understand tax, financial, legal and industry rules and regulations
    7. Work efficiently with your money

    Sound good?

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    Each of the sites listed here has a focus on at least one, sometimes more, of the above listed points. It’s important to remember that almost no single website will give you all the answers you need in one place. I suggest spending some time browsing through all of them to build up your own broad and deep understanding of the challenges that lie ahead.

    Bplans

    Bplans offers free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, How-to articles, financial calculators, and industry reports.

      Bplans offers an incredible range of business plan templates, advice about how to research and create plans, and insights into finding funding, selling, and pitching during the startup phase.

      Have it bookmarked from the time you have an idea, until the time the business is established and out of the startup phase.

      Along with their vast selection of free downloadable plans and templates for virtually any type of business imaginable, they also have a decent blog and lots of in-depth, useful guides on a range of startup related topics. In particular, you’ll find the following guides of great use:

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      ThePennyHoarder

      The world's largest personal finance blog with 5+ million monthly readers.

        ThePennyHoarder, unlike the other sites in this list, is not really focused on business per se, rather on personal finance. But, what they do bring to the table is a huge variety of creative money hacks and advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

        Ideas to stretch or save a dollar that you wouldn’t think of in a million years are part of their daily routine, which is super useful if you’re having to bootstrap a startup without funding or loans to keep things afloat.

        In addition to plenty of information focused on working from home, they also have lots of budgeting tips and even coupons available to help save money when it counts the most.

        Here’s where I recommend you start:

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        SBA

        An electronic gateway of procurement information for and about small businesses.

          The SBA (Small Business Administration) is a U.S. government run resource aimed at helping small business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the complex world of tax, finance, grants, loans, contracts, commerce, government rules, and business legislation. Basically anything you might need to know about your business and industry’s regulatory environment.

          Use this site as a companion from start to finish. It’s not only useful for learning about complex rules and regulations, it can also help you find tax breaks and incentives, make connections with other entrepreneurs and business people, and make full use of the local, state and federal resources available to you.

          For my money, the most useful aspects of this site are the following:

          Entrepreneur

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          Advice, insight, profiles and guides for established and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

            Entrepreneur is arguably the world’s leading online resource for entrepreneurs because, in addition to all the standard guides and advice you would expect from a leading business resources, they also offer something more… real-world insight. Their reach and reputation is such that they can get the inside scoop on news, developments, leaders, influencers, and trends that allow them to get valuable business related insight into your hands earlier than other sites.

            If staying on trend is vital to the survival of your business, then Entrepreneur is the site to bookmark right away.

            Entrepreneur’s site is also so massive that it likely covers every bit of information you could possibly need. The downside is that because much of their content is contributed by third parties, it isn’t always easily discovered or presented in a uniform manner. With that said, there are a few stand out pages that you definitely need to check out:

            So those are my top 5 sites that will help you realize your dreams of leaving the rat race and taking control of your own destiny by building the business of your dreams. Of course, these sites aren’t the only game in town. What resources do you find useful? Share your suggestions in the comments.

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              photo credit: Pinterest

              Featured photo credit: Christian Dembowski via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on January 13, 2020

              Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

              Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

              Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

              Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

              Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

              Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

              How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

              The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

              You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

              Physical Signs

              Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

              It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

              In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

              Mental Signs

              One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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              I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

              Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

              • The tension in your neck
              • Difficulties with sleeping
              • Unable to concentrate
              • High anxiety
              • Depression

              If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

              Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

              Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

              The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

              Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

              Desire for an Increase of Salary

              The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

              At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

              Overnight Decision

              Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

              Rejected for a Promotion

              I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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              Bored at Work

              Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

              A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

              • How long have you worked in your career?
              • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
              • Do you receive recognition?
              • Can you consider working in a new department?

              If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

              How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

              I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

              One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

              It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

              A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

              You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

              • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
              • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
              • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

              How to Make a Career Change Successfully

              The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

              1. Write a Career Plan

              A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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              You can learn how to set your career plan here.

              2. Weigh Your Options

              If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

              You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

              3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

              It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

              A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

              • Economic factors
              • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
              • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
              • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
              • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

                A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

                4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

                A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

                • What is required to be successful in the role?
                • What certification or educational development is needed?
                • What are the challenges of the role?
                • Is there potential for career advancement?

                A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

                Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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                5. Research Salary

                Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

                It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

                6. Be Realistic

                If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

                For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

                Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

                7. Volunteer First

                A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

                Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

                Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

                8. Prepare Your Career Tools

                I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

                • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
                • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
                • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
                • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

                Bottom Line

                It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

                Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

                More About Career Change

                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                Reference

                [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
                [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
                [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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