Im a 29-year-old high potential in my firm, and I just cant take it anymore! I keep being asked to take on more and more work, and Im burning out. Lately Ive been daydreaming about leaving my firm to start my own practice. How do I go about this without making my partners mad?
As an entrepreneur myself, I can confide that theres no way to prevent your partners from getting mad at you for leaving. When I left the last big company I worked for to start my little outfit, the CEO told me, Theres no market for generational advice! (Kiss my ass, Art.)
Whats most important is that youre leaving and starting your own firm for the right reasons, and youve done your homework.
Some of the right reasons may be:
9. You have a big vision for how a firm could better serve clients
10. You know youll never be happy working for anyone else
11. Youre willing to do whatever it takes to be successful on your own
12. People (clients and peers) like working with you
Some of the wrong reasons are: - Youre mad at your boss. (Maybe you need a new boss instead?)
- Youre facing burnout. (Maybe you need a vacation, not a new start-up.)
- You believe youll earn a lot more on your own. (This wont happen for a couple of years, bro.)
The great news is, if you are leaving for the right reasons and youre really good at what you do, you have every tool at your disposal to build a credible website, develop referrals, and position yourself in the market. The real gut check is whether youre willing to DO IT ALL for the next several years. The closest parallel I can offer to starting your own business is building a house. When you build a house, you have to make THOUSANDS of decisions that you literally have to live with. Same with a new business
Only you know if youre leaving for the right reasons or not. I strongly recommend a four day weekend, a gigantic margarita, and a gut check (with friends, if that helps.)
And if you decide you are ready to make the move, Ill be cheering for you!
Good luck, and let me know what happens!
Rebecca Ryan is a consultant who helps firms develop and keep their top talent. http://nextgenerationconsulting.com/.
High potential burnout