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Do not quit your job until

Making the shift from being traditionally employed to becoming a self-made entrepreneur is the dream of many Rwandans, and people around the world.

It’s alluring – the idea of being your boss, setting your work pace, and potentially raking in more earnings than you could in your 9-5.

But such a shift requires strategic planning and preparation. Do not quit your job until these six conditions are met:

Your side income covers twice your monthly expenses

Before taking that life-changing step, ensure that your side hustle can cover twice your monthly expenses. In Rwanda, this would include rent or bank loans, transportation, groceries, school fees, and healthcare, water and electricity bills, and the isuku n’umutekano among other costs.

Essentially, you’re not just surviving on your side income, but thriving. The reason behind having this buffer is that it provides room to navigate the inevitable ebb and flow of business earnings, especially in the early days. Research by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2019) shows that most successful business transitions occur when entrepreneurs can cover at least twice their living costs from their side hustle.

Your emergency fund can cover at least six months of expenses

While pursuing your dream, it’s critical to have a safety net. The recommendation is to have at least six months of living expenses saved up. This cushion can cover unexpected business costs or a downturn in sales, without the added stress of living expenses.

According to a survey by Bankrate, around 40% of individuals cannot cover a $400 equivalent to 476,800Frw for emergency expenses. This lack of an emergency fund can be the difference between a minor setback and complete financial ruin. Therefore, having a substantial emergency fund is essential before quitting your job.

You are skilled enough to make your side hustle your main business

Becoming your boss means that you’re not just responsible for your craft; you’re also responsible for running a business. This includes marketing, financial management, and customer service.

The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) reported in 2022 that the lack of relevant business skills contributed significantly to business failure. So, before you quit your job, equip yourself with essential business skills through mentorships, workshops, or online courses. This will ensure that you’re adequately prepared to handle the business side of your side hustle.

You are determined to work hard to succeed

Transitioning from a side hustle to a full-time job demands a significant increase in time and effort. You will face challenges, and there will be moments of self-doubt. It requires relentless determination, hard work, and resilience to succeed.

A study by Thomas A. Edison highlighted that “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” It’s this sheer grit and tenacity that will transform your side hustle into a successful full-time venture.

You are ready to work 12-17 hours a day

Entrepreneurship is not a typical 8-hour workday; it’s a lifestyle. Be prepared to put in long hours, especially during the startup phase. According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, most entrepreneurs work between 60 to 80 hours per week, equivalent to 12-17 hours a day, at the onset of their businesses. But remember, the aim should also be to achieve a work-life balance eventually. Otherwise, burnout could jeopardize your business and your health.

You don’t make any excuses

The transition to entrepreneurship requires a change of mindset. The culture of entrepreneurship involves taking responsibility for your actions and outcomes. Making excuses, blaming circumstances, or procrastinating will only delay your progress. Studies show that successful entrepreneurs possess a high degree of self-efficacy and internal locus of control, believing they can influence their outcomes through their actions.

Quitting your job to pursue your side hustle is a significant decision, one that should not be taken lightly. It’s essential to meet the above conditions to increase your chances of success and reduce the risk of failure.

Straight out of Twitter