Becoming a Boss and Ditching the 9-to-5: A Guide

Becoming a Boss and Ditching the 9-to-5: A Guide

Imagine not having to clock in and out during your workday, or not having to wait when your next break’s going to be. Imagine taking charge of what you do in a day.

Let’s face it. You’re here because you’ve already imagined these yourself.

If you feel like your daily 9-to-5 is keeping you from enjoying life and you wish you took charge over your day more, you’re probably already considering becoming your own boss.

Surveys say that you are not alone!

More than 70% of workers feel dissatisfied with their jobs. As a result, over 4.37 million people in the UK quit the traditional path of employment and became their own bosses. With this overwhelming number, it’s not impossible to start your own journey!

A Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss

Becoming your own boss and starting your own business sounds attractive, but it can be tough!

Here’s a guide we’ve created for those who wish to trade in their day job for a life they can own:

Decide what you want to do.

Start with a vision.

Knowing your end goal helps you plan the entire journey. Do some research and ask yourself some questions about your plan. What business are you going to build? What services are you going to offer?

Many people start their self-employment journey with an idea — a hobby they’ve been enjoying and wanting to monetize, for example. If you already have an idea you want to work on, awesome! If not, spend more time thinking about what business to do or what service you have to offer.

Enjoy the brainstorming process and pick out an idea that best suits your strengths and skills.

Develop your business plan

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to lay down your plan.

Evaluate your idea and see how it can grow into an actual business.

A business plan is the summary of the operational and financial objectives of your business — how you are to operate and how you can measure your success. Think of it as your guide throughout the entire process. Once you see how your business is supposed to unfold, taking the first few steps won’t be as intimidating as it appears to be.

Not sure if you have a promising business idea? We wrote an article on how to stress-test your small business idea.

Plan your transition

Set a timeframe.

If you’re transitioning to self-employment from your 9-to-5, do so gradually. You don't want to jump out of employment without warning, or wait until you get laid off. This could lead to poor relationships and a bad reputation.

The thought of leaving your 9-to-5 job may sound exciting, but if you can manage to wait until you’re ready, the benefits you can reap are worth it. You can start by working an additional 2 to 3 hours a day on your new venture, or you can spend your days off working on your business.

Secure your finances as well. Do you have enough funds to sustain your bills for a couple of months while you take the leap? A useful rule of thumb is to save enough to cover your personal expenses for at least 6 months.

Find a mentor

Network or connect with an expert in your industry,

Not all self-employed workers have mentors or advisors, but having someone with experience give you advice and feedback can definitely help speed up your progress. Most successful people had mentors behind their great work. Bill Gates, for example, had Warren Buffet as his mentor, and Steve Jobs had Bill Campbell.

Don’t be afraid to pivot

You’ll never know what you can achieve by becoming your own boss unless you try! Register your business, make it legal, and start offering your products or services.

Not sure how to start? We wrote an article on how to take your service-based business online to help you out.


Network with purpose and surround yourself with people with similar goals.

Networking can lead you to people who you can take tips and ideas from. It can also be a great way to market your products or services.

Becoming your own boss may mean you no longer have a supervisor to answer to or officemates to work with, but that doesn’t mean you have to tread this path alone!

Just Do It

Taking charge sounds amazing, but becoming your own boss doesn’t mean you no longer have to work hard. On the contrary, once you decide to take the reins and control your own time and efforts, you also acknowledge that your income only depends on how much work you’re actually putting in your business.

Transitioning to self-employment from your day job can require your time and best efforts. It’s intimidating and maybe even scary, but the good news is, there is no right or wrong way to transition. The resources and networks available are vast. If you’re itching to trade your 9-to-5 for a life that you are in charge of, there’s no reason why you can’t take the leap today.