There is always a question about the necessity to have an exit plan when you decide to go into business. Is it a requirement of just proper business planning.
If you said yes, then you are more than likely someone who is fantastic at planning and flexibility. If you said “I don’t even know what you mean,” then let me explain. An exit strategy is something that you put into place long before you need it.
Prepare for your Next Move
Before I left my corporate job, I knew I was not going to another job but to start my own coaching business. So my exit strategy included saving as much money as I could. I had to grow my bank account to where I would feel comfortable paying the bills without having the consistent income coming in that I had with a job. I saved enough money to be able to live my life as I began building my business.
I also paid off any credit card balances, my car, and any other financial obligations that I had. I made sure that I was solvent before I jumped ship. I knew exactly what I needed to have and to do in order to leave my job. I had to prepare myself for taking the leap of faith into being an entrepreneur. Oh and that included knowing that I needed training in order to embark on my great big adventure of being a coach and helping others live really fabulous lives. I had my ducks in a row (you may have heard the saying). That is what I mean by an exit strategy.
We all need an Exit Strategy
Gone are the days of security. One never knows what will happen around the corner. You might work for a company for a long time and then one day BAM, you get laid off and you learn the company is bankrupt. You didn’t have anything to do with that but you are, nonetheless, the victim of someone else’s choices. But do you have to be?
Not if you have an exit strategy. If you are always looking to take care of yourself and your livelihood, and making sure that you are on top of what it is you will do next, then you are never a victim.
Plan Your Life in Advance
I use an amazing Energy Level Assessment with my clients and find that many are constantly living in a Level 1 which is that of a victim. They are living by the effect of what goes on in their lives, not the cause. No wonder they feel depressed, sad, and think “Why bother?” They are like a rock at the shore, being pulled out and pushed back in again. That is no way to live and you don’t have to.
The best time to make your exit strategy is before the exit. So here are several steps for you to begin planning your own exit strategy – no matter what you are exiting.
- Know that you are great and wiser than you think. Take a moment and think of a time when you felt like you were down and out. Maybe it was at the beginning of your business or a new job. Now think about an experience that had you feeling pretty amazing about yourself. Maybe you spoke up for yourself or what you believed in. See, there it is, your greatness.
- Trust that you will always know what is best for you. This one is a leap of faith for some. But you truly do know what is best for you. Stop asking other people what you should do and start asking yourself. Once you do, listen to what you hear back. There is no other you because there doesn’t need to be, you are the best of you.
- Create a plan for your future. Do a few ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I needed money today? What if you were to lose your job today? What if you had to take a pay cut? What if… you fill in the blanks because it’s your exercise. I focused on money but the ‘what ifs’ are endless.
Have a Roadmap
The idea of the exit strategy is so that you have a prepared roadmap of what you will do IF ____ happens. You are in the driver seat and you get to say the direction you will go. You’re not leaving it up to chance or hope. You are stating this is what you will do so that you are not caught off guard and the victim. You will be the victor of your life and that gives you both feelings of control and confidence.
An Exit Strategy Gives You Back The Power. So if you do get laid off or whatever happens to you, you’ll be able to say, “Okay, NEXT.”