Q&A: Taking the Leap From My Salary Job

Hi guys! Since my coffee shop post the other day, I’ve received a ton of messages from you all with questions about how I took the leap from my comfortable salary position to doing what I’m doing now! It seems like there are a ton of you out there thinking of doing the same thing and I am here to share my experience to empower you to do the same.

I’ll run through the most commonly asked questions and if you have any more, feel free to drop a comment. Here we go!

Q1 – What were you doing before? 

I’ll start right out of college. I graduated from Salisbury University in 2015 with a degree in Marketing and Business. I started at a Marketing Agency where I managed campaigns. While I did enjoy it, I felt like I had no room to grow. An ex-coworker reached out to me, asking if I’d like to handle the marketing for a real estate team in Baltimore. It was cool because I was in control of all the marketing for this team. (Well, I did the marketing but turned out I didn’t have much control over decisions for the direction of marketing.)

Q2 – What made you want to leave your previous job? 

I’m an anxious person and I learned pretty quickly I am not necessarily capable of sitting in front of a computer from 8 to 6. I studied for and received my real estate license while working at the company and began to help agents on the team with showings. Turns out, it was something I could see myself doing, especially considering I got to get away from my desk and move around.

Now while I don’t want to talk bad about my previous employer, the tipping point was when I was summoned to my boss’ home office to help her with bills. It was then I realized I did not want to answer to someone else. I wanted to be my own boss.

Q2 – Did you know what you wanted to do before quitting? 

The day I quit, I had two opportunities on the table, but wasn’t sure which direction I would go in. One was to help my high performance coach grow his business in New York. Wanting to live in New York City at some point in my 20’s, this was extremely tempting, however again, I learned from my previous job that freedom and wanting to be my own boss was important in this next position.

The other option was to become a full time Real Estate Agent. Because I already had my real estate license, I was leaning that direction, it just scared the crap out of me considering I would be leaving a steady paycheck into the world of 100% commission. I had initially wanted to help with marketing, showings, etc. for my now team, but they had recently hired and it wasn’t a necessity. It kind of forced me to dive in head first being an agent.

Q3 – How did you prepare financially for the jump?

So the most ironic thing about my switch was that I was in the process of buying a house. I was pre-approved, looking at houses, and simply waiting for the right one to come along to pull the trigger on. I am SO thankful I hadn’t found the house yet, because switching to 100% commission after buying a house would have been extremely risky, especially with Conor being 100% commission as well. The way I had figured it, I had saved up to buy a house and if there were a time I was financially prepared for the jump, it was then!

Q4 – How did the transition into your new position go? 

The few weeks of transitioning from one position to another was extremely hectic. Because I was ready to move out of my parents house (frankly, I was overdue), I used my salary at my previous job to secure an apartment with Conor. The day I got the call that we were approved was the day I quit.

When I quit, I still hadn’t decided between the two positions. I took 4 or 5 days to just relax, think it out, and be free. Then, I made the decision to become a real estate agent because I felt like developing my people and sales skills was the next step for me professionally. It also helped that my long term goal being to invest in real estate, it felt like it aligned since I intended to focus on renovations and working with builders.

The team that I joined (Shout out to The Sure Group of Remax) welcomed me with open arms and because I already had my license, I just needed to transfer that to the new brokerage, and I was ready to roll. I focused my first week setting up systems and admin stuff, then I took whatever leads I was given and volunteered to do as many open houses I could fit into my schedule. Because I joined in June, the market was exploding, so the timing was perfect. I focused on rental leads from my team because that would pay the bills. The open houses would be where I generated my first clients. To be honest, it was a pretty seamless transition.

Q5 – What does a typical day look like for you now? 

Coming from a 9-5 position, the biggest transition has been a lack of routine. Every day is different and quite often I find myself adding or subtracting things from my day as it goes. My day typically starts around 7, I make breakfast or go workout (depending on what my day looks like) and by 9, I’m on my computer diving into to-do’s (checking and responding to email and searching for potential renovations). I typically have an appointment or two every day, so I sandwich my time in the office around them. At least a couple days a week, my morning time on my computer is focused on creating content for my blog or learning about the technical behind developing my blog.

Q6 – How does it feel to be your own boss?

It’s the best feeling. Waking up on my own time. Not having to answer to anyone but myself. With that feeling comes a whole new level of responsibility and discipline. I may be able to take a nap at 2 pm in the afternoon (I’m convinced Conor thinks I nap daily… which is not the case), but if I don’t work on generating new business, I won’t be able to pay my bills. There are days where I have no desire to work one bit, but I have to give myself a pep talk to at least put in some time. It also forces me to make sure I’m focusing my time on the right things and I’ve become much more protective of my time. Overall, it’s an empowering feeling and sometimes I don’t feel like it’s real that I AM my own boss.

Q7 – What advice do you have to those perhaps looking to make the jump too? 

Trust your intuition. If you feel like you’re destined to do something other than what you’re doing, follow that feeling. Also, if you’re scared to do it, that’s even more of a reason to do it. It will push you out of your comfort zone. Just know that whatever is meant to happen will happen, trust the journey and stay positive.

Logistically speaking, make sure you’re prepared financially so you don’t put yourself in a bad situation. Save up 3-6 months bills and expenses and whatever you’re starting, you’ll have that amount of time to make it work.  Have a plan of attack and know what you need to be focusing on to make $$ QUICK.

That’s all folks! I hope you found this blog post interesting and helpful! Switching from my 9-5 to becoming my own boss has to date been the best decision I’ve made in my short 24 years being here on Earth. 🙂 If you have any more questions, feel free to drop a comment below!