From Laid-off to Entrepreneur in 7 Steps
Layoffs. Layoffs. And even more, lays offs! The news about layoffs is receiving more media attention than the Kar-Jenners.
It’s just the beginning, guys!
No one wants to say the R word, but we’re definitely entering a recession!
The writing is on the wall!
Global tech giants such as Google, Meta, Amazon, and Spotify, once considered dream companies to work for, showed with their recent impetuous and unceremonious layoffs that even your dream job can lead to a living nightmare.
But first, let’s acknowledge the mental and emotional toll layoffs can have on one’s psyche.
Being laid off feels so personal, as if you weren’t good enough to be retained or “saved” from such an event.
It’s never personal. Layoffs are seldom isolated. They usually signal the state of the global industry and the dramatic profit losses and lack of growth in a particular industry.
Everything has a domino effect. Those who once had the purchasing power to buy real estate, take luxury vacations, or dine out at restaurants near their employers’ headquarters will be conservative with their spending, thus impacting the industries mentioned above.
Again, layoffs are something we as a global economy must weather together!
10 years ago, I got laid off from my crappy marketing gig. And you know what? It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
It gave me just the right amount of ammo and kick in the butt I needed to start my first business, Glam Seamless Hair Extensions, and eventually sell it for 8 figures.
Today, I’m going to show you that there’s nothing “special” or out of the ordinary about my story. As cliche as it might sound, if I can do it, then you and you can do it!
Meet Stella Alexandrova, the owner of Mave, a travel app she founded after her role at Shopify, a mammoth leader in ecommerce, was eliminated in
According to Mave’s LinkedIn business page, the company has gotten coverage on its upcoming launch from media heavy-weights such as Business Insider, Global News, and BNN Bloomberg.
Need some inspiration? Read Stella’s story here:
How a Laid-Off Shopify Employee Started Her Own Business (businessinsider.com)
Even if you haven’t been laid off, don’t get too comfortable. Prepare for your exit on your own terms by finally starting your own small business.
Here are 7 Steps to go from laid off to entrepreneur:
Shift Your Mindset from Employee to Entrepreneur
Shifting our mindsets from employee to entrepreneur in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..
We’re not going to languish on how things used to be as an employee. We’re going into full entrepreneur mode.
Think about it, entrepreneurs are creators and problem observers who LOVE to create solutions.
Also, entrepreneurs are people who are passionate and obsessed about their work. Either way, an entrepreneur is self-aware and confident about what they bring to the proverbial table.
Oh, I’m sure there are tasks or responsibilities that you carry out better than your coworkers and even bosses.
In my time in Corporate America, I heard enough, “my boss doesn’t even know what he’s doing.”
Well, isn’t it time to show everyone how it is done like the true boss you are?
Check your finances
Entrepreneurship always feels doable when you live in a two-income household. However, if you’re the primary or only breadwinner, now you have to manage your money wisely.
If you received a severance package of any size, make sure you apply that to your primary bills, such as rent, insurance, and food.
Also, if you’re eligible for unemployment, apply for it ASAP. After your bills are paid, you can use your disposable cash to fund your business. Remember, sofa surfing or sleeping in your car doesn’t have to be part of your entrepreneurship story.
Now, if downsizing from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom or studio apartment is a good lifestyle and financial choice you want to make, then go for it!
If you want to return to mom and dad’s and you don’t mind them opening your mail all in the name of saving money, then go for that, too!
Learn to Take Risks
Now, entrepreneurship does come with sacrifices and risks. You may have to sacrifice weekend brunches, a new luxury handbag, and trips with your girls. It all pays off in the end :).
The risks you have to take may involve borrowing against your IRA or 401K.
When you borrow funds from these retirement accounts to start a business, the government eliminates certain penalties related to removal before age 65, the retirement age.
Please consult your financial institution or financial advisor to get full guidance.
Look at the skills, experience, and talents you can monetize
Creating a business is simply finding a problem and being the person or business entity to solve it.
You may have worked at a company such as Google, and the same problems would arise among users. Noncompete-clause aside, you could create solutions to solve these problems you know already exist.
Also, with your skills, work experience, and knowledge, you can become a consultant for startups looking for your expertise.
Perhaps, the type of business you want to start has nothing to do with your previous employer. Hey, maybe you’re going from handling gigabytes to creating mini bites of empanadas as a chef!
This might be a time to explore a passion that you were always too scared or time-constrained to visit.
Seek business coaching or mentoring
When you decide to go from employee to entrepreneur, you’re embarking on often choppy and unchartered waters.
I don’t recommend you do this alone, especially if you don’t have a single entrepreneur bone in your body.
Ultimately, becoming an entrepreneur is your responsibility, but you may need training and guidance, so you’re not making costly and frivolous mistakes.
Do your research on a business coach or a particular program.
Has your business coach amassed success outside of business coaching?
Does your business coach have verifiable success stories?
Also, what have people said about a particular business coach or mentoring program?
But, remember, whomever you choose as a business mentor, make sure that they’re not selling a dream but giving you actionable and proven steps to help with a seamless transition from employee to entrepreneur.
When I started my first business with $1,500 from my tax return, I sought free business advice from SCORE, a mentorship program filled with business experts from different industries.
Later in my entrepreneurship journey, I was able to afford personal business coaches and mentors who created blueprints specifically for me and my businesses.
Hire a virtual assistant early on in your journey
Even though it might be tempting to do everything yourself because you don’t log into Microsoft Teams or clock in somewhere, please get assistance early on in your journey.
In the days of Fiverr and Upwork, freelance marketplaces that connect buyers and freelancers, there are no excuses not to find help within your price point.
Virtual assistants can help you with administrative things such as sending emails, following up with customers, running your social media, and keeping an eye on the competition.
I became pregnant with my first child early in my entrepreneurial journey. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t hire a nanny to help me manage motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Doing it all by yourself shouldn’t be a bragging right. As entrepreneurs, you won’t see any growth if you’re the only one doing the marketing, social media, payroll, human resources, and customer service.
Hire help ASAP!
Look at the big picture
One thing about me, my first company, Glam Seamless, might have started as a small business, but it was never meant to stay as such!
Yes, I wanted it to be bi-coastal, which it became with two physical hair salons.
And I wanted it to become global, which it did accomplish with customers from Paris to Milan rocking Glam Seamless hair extensions.
Again, it’s all about looking at the growth potential of your business, even if you’re starting small.
If you believe that your recent layoff was a blessing in disguise or was the exact thing you needed to finally start your business, then join the Self Made Boss Babe community, where you’ll learn how to control your next career move and business trajectory!