The four stages of transitioning from day job to starting an online business full time

Starting an online business can be completely overwhelming - so much to think about, so many balls to juggle and keep up in the air.

And because you are probably the sole engine driver of your business and trying to do everything, you are not focusing on anything.

That’s why new entrepreneurs starting an online business hit overwhelm very quickly.

How can you make one part of your business work when so many other parts of it need your attention too?

It’s like trying to be Prime minister or President, and head of every other department at the same time.

And that’s only the start, but actually it’s not, as everyone who has already made the jump, taken the blue pill etc. will testify…

Stage 1 - The Spark!

Starts with a dream, an idea, or an entrepreneurial spark (as Michael Gerber author of the e-myth revisited would describe it) and that begins years beforehand…

So, you have a dream or an idea…

You nurture that idea and it grows inside you like a business baby…

If you’re serious about it, you take it to the next level and start educating yourself more deeply on the niche you dream of moving into…

If you want to buy and sell products perhaps you research where you can buy them, and where you can sell them.

Unless you have knowledge from your day job, it’s a world you know nothing about right now. DO you source from China, India? How do you find and negotiate with sellers on Alibaba? How do you Import?

If you have something to teach, you start writing a book, or creating course materials. That’s the exciting part by the way. Later on, you begin thinking where you could possibly sell them.

As with buying and selling, it’s a new world to be learnt from the ground up, and it’s a world populated by shiny pennies, trap doors, and distractions.

And you are trying to absorb all this whilst also:

  1. holding down a day job
  2. travelling to and from work
  3. preparing, meals
  4. giving loved ones your time
  5. a multitude of other little distractions 

You mine a few hours out of each day to learn about starting an online business whilst tired after the day job and attending your other obligations.

Its overwhelming even then because the deeper you get into it, the more layers you peel back, the more conflicting advice you receive, the more that comes to the surface (just like cleaning the house)

Stage 2 - Are You There Yet?

Over a period of years, you nurture your dream, your idea, your goal, you read more books, watch webinars and youtube videos, attend free seminars and events …

But the day of quitting your day job doesn’t seem to be getting any nearer. Without realising it, you have been sucked into the biggest sales funnel of them all – the Internet sales funnel…  

Upsells and shiny pennies fly past your head at a dizzying rate. You become convinced you now need to take a course on mindset, another on removing money blockages, another on selling, giving presentations, sales etc.

Your leaving day gets delayed and delayed as the internet shrouds your dream with layers of fear about lack of knowledge, inadequacy, failure.

  • You don’t know enough
  • You don’t have enough money
  • Your fear of failure (and its consequences are too great) 

Frustration begins to creep in, when are you actually going to do this?

Your loved ones already know what you dream to do, and perhaps you have already told people at work of your plans too (hard to keep it in right?)

Finally you set yourself a definite date for giving notice and quitting your job to go full time building your online business, but as the date approaches, something else happens:

  • a big expense comes along
  • Somebody else suddenly has a higher priority thing
  • You receive some bad news or relationship change 

And now your mindset has changed and you feel yourself being pulled away from the trigger. Its almost like you are trying to sabotage yourself.

And quite possibly you are if, deep down, your subconscious is too addicted to the security that pay check brings you. Perhaps you did need the mindset and money blockage courses after all…

Stage 3 - Ground Zero!

The day has arrived, you handed your resignation letter, worked out your notice period and now you have quit.

Next month there will be no pay check but there WILL be the usual collection of bills.

You have done all you can to prepare and minimise your outgoings and its day one…

You are sitting in front of your laptop at five am, prepared to work sixteen-hour days… having had adrenaline for breakfast.

Over the next few weeks you make progress like you could never have done before but you are also starting to discover your education is only just beginning.

Building an online business is like learning a foreign language you realise - you can learn the grammar in a classroom, you can pick up some conversational language listening to audio as you drive…

but its only when you move to the native country of that language, does all the stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know (that’s not a grammatical error by the way!) come to the surface.

You are in the deep end now and its do or die, become fluent or fail to communicate, build your network, and get customers.

You discover that even though you just bought yourself a whole lot of extra hours in a day by quitting your day job, there are all still not nearly enough of them to do all the stuff that needs doing.

Not even scratching the surface of enough…

Stage 4 - Focus!

The reality you are experiencing here will be nothing like the established business leaders, big online influencers, entrepreneurs and authors of books have described it.

You don’t just make loads of phone calls, make a handful of sales at two thousand each, and magically have enough money and a smile on your face to pay your bills and buy more educational courses or tools to help you expand.

Right now you have to prioritise every penny so you don’t have a mentor to steer you through the choppy waters ahead either…

First take stock of what you do have, both internal and external resources


  1. You have your burning determination,
  2. High motivation
  3. Your sweat equity.
  4. Your accumulated knowledge and knowhow


  • Sixteen hours per day to work
  • Your tools and resources
  • your business assets (books, courses, if you have created them)


Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that focus was one major key to their success. This also means sacrificing nights out for socialising (at least for the first year or so), Telly, Alcohol. Remember the saying:

Live a few years now like most people wouldn't, so you can live the rest of your life like most people couldn't.

You have a massive learning curve ahead of you at this stage and still not enough time to fit everything in. That's why you must grow as quickly as possible so you can bring others in.

Let’s say you wrote a book, now you need a cover design, banners for your social media etc. It takes TIME to learn how and where to go get these things done (assuming my example here doesn’t fall into your wheelhouse of knowledge).

You do a google search, now you have options, get an agency to do it for a few hundred. But what’s this, a website that will invite designers to compete for your design for only a hundred. Oh wait, what are these micro gig website where I can get a design for ten or twenty.

Where do you turn? who do you trust? You are now just scratching the surface of just one single task sitting in your overflowing in-tray.

That is why you will be glad you discovered the Businessleuth and invited me to be the first member of your power team. I can do the sort of professional work you need doing, for sweat equity prices that I cannot possibly pay my bills or subscriptions, what possible motivation could I have for helping you?

Whether you are a new or long-time established entrepreneur, you need to continually be building and expanding your network. Helping you now when you need it most and have the least, I am getting in at the ground level and making a connection with a future champion.

Remember this quote - Your Network equals your Net worth.

Whether you decide to visit my website, message me, comment on this blog, or just surf on to the next one, I wish you, my fellow driven entrepreneur, all the best on reaching stage five.


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