You won’t always know the right time to leave your corporate job, but there are some signs it’s time to leave. Education entrepreneur Jay Veal shares how his professional journey lead him to start INC Tutoring.
One afternoon while working at my IT job at a healthcare firm in North Dallas, I kept receiving emails from Dallas ISD about Alternative Certification. My vision at the time was to be a Chief Information Officer at a Fortune 500 company, but something kept telling me, “Be in Education.” After receiving the alternative certification email for the third time in a row, I decided to check out the opportunity. After years in the corporate world, I decided to be a math teacher.
My first year out of corporate, I started teaching at my alma mater. I felt nostalgic walking the halls of my old school, and enjoyed the energy gained from being around students. It was a big contrast to my previous job, but not as hard as I hoped. After 100 percent of my students passed the state test, I moved to another school district to teach Algebra 1. Over the next four years, district hopping became my norm as I sought the challenge I knew and enjoyed in the corporate world.
In 2013, I started seeing signs that it was time for a change. Feeling discouraged by the methods some teachers used, I became an Instructional Coach hoping to teach teachers how to teach math and mentor students. At the same time, another teaching opportunity fell in my lap. After seeing my success at the high school level, Strayer University invited me to become an Adjunct Professor. As I balanced the two roles for years, I finally realized why I kept feeling unsettled and not fully fulfilled in each role. I needed a way to combine my passion for education and energy for helping large organizations. I need to start my own company.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
But I knew I couldn’t just quit my job and start my company right away. While being a fulltime educator, I learned a lot about public education and knew what challenges students and educators faced. I came up with a business plan, business name, logo, website, and more before I decided to leave my 9-5 job. All the stars had finally aligned for me to work in my purpose and impact the community.
Making the Jump
If you’re trying to moving from the corporate world to full-time entrepreneur, here are a few things to remember:
- Be patient. Nothing is an overnight success.
- Do your Research. Research in your current job/industry or learn from others.
- Save up. You do not want to struggle during the startup days.
- Fill all your medical needs before jumping. You have to take care of yourself.
- Build your business in stages. Start with a team, marketing plan, and brand identity.
- Network. Treat your clients and your team well.
- Deliver results consistently.
- Build relationships to GIVE, not to GET. Share more than you take.
The road to becoming an entrepreneur is tough. Do NOT give up on your corporate job right away. You can stay the course and eventually find success.
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