Do you want to quit your job and start your own business? Here’s how.
In the turmoil of pandemic life, I told my husband I wanted to start an online media training course. The next day, Amy Porterfield’s ads surfaced on Instagram. That’s how I landed in Porterfield’s mighty orbit – and joined millions of followers who turn to her for her business advice and products. Countless courses, newsletter emails, podcast episodes, and clubhouse sessions later, I had a binder full of their workbooks, worksheets, and downloads, and started my course a year later.
Porterfield has been transforming the lives of entrepreneurs and business owners for more than a decade. For 14 years, the online marketing expert has been providing valuable insights, strategies and guidance with her engaging and informative content. Now she’s taking her expertise to the next level with the release of her highly anticipated book. Two weeks notice: Find the courage to quit your job, make more money, work where you want and change the world.
In each chapter, Porterfield provides readers with practical tools and actionable steps to help them start a business from scratch. Yes, that could mean creating an online course later, but for now, Porterfield’s focus is on helping people who dream of quitting their jobs, stepping out of the corporate door, and finding financial freedom. She joined me from her home in Nashville to talk about her eight-figure business, going from employee to entrepreneur, and what she does for fun. Click on the video above to watch the full interview.
Jessica Abo: Amy, you quit your own nine-to-five job more than 10 years ago and built an $85 million company. Take us back to the time when you were preparing to hand in your resignation.
My most recent nine-to-five job was working with top performance coach Tony Robbins. One day he was conducting a focus group and brought along a couple of online business owners. I was the content director, but I was brought in to take notes that day. So here I was at a side table listening to all these guys around a big oak table talking about the companies they had built. They talked about working when they wanted, where they wanted, how they wanted. They talked about living life on their terms. They talked about making a lot of money and making a lot of impact. At that moment, I thought, “I don’t even know who these guys are or what they do, but I want a piece of it.”
It was the first time in my life that I realized I had never been free. I’m not in charge. I wasn’t my own boss. I didn’t work when I wanted, where I wanted, or how I wanted. So at that moment I was like, “I want a piece of this and I’m going to find out.”
How long did it take from the moment you attended that meeting until you actually quit?
It was about a year from that moment to the day I pulled out of those San Diego offices in my little white car, with all the boxes in the back, and drove off to start my own business.
But this year I created a catwalk, how can I quit this job with dignity and integrity but also prepare to start my own business and find out all of this?
What did this runway look like? What are some of the steps people need to take to build their own airstrip?
There are very specific things that I have done and I have outlined them in my book Two weeks notice. The first thing I had to do was figure out my why. Because when you have a good reason to quit your job and start your own business, your why will pick you up when your worries are overwhelming.
My Why was that I didn’t want a boss. I wanted freedom. I wanted to break through that glass ceiling. I wanted to be in charge. Once I understood my why, I had to choose my exit date. I wrote my exit date on a post-it note and looked at it every single day and asked myself, “What do I need to do today to bring myself closer to that date?” Do I have to get a book? Do I need to listen to a specific podcast? Do I need to ask for advice? Do I need support?” Every day I worked towards that date and started developing my ideas for the business I wanted to start. That exit date is everything because you won’t quit if you don’t have a plan.
The next thing I did was I really got my finances straight. I had to look at my finances and say, “How much do I really need to make each month to make ends meet?”
Then I started a side job. That way I was able to bring in a little extra cash by working on it mornings, evenings, and weekends. I started a part-time job to gain some courage and earn some money in the meantime. My side hustle was really important because it was a startup idea that gave me momentum.
I ended up telling three people: my husband, my mother and my best friend. In my book, I encourage you to do so only tell three people Most people will not understand your dream of quitting a job and starting your own business. Most people, including your co-workers, will give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Be careful who you tell.
What obstacles did you encounter at the beginning?
I really struggled with imposter syndrome. From the day I left my job to start my own business, the thought was, ‘Who am I to do this? I’m not smart enough.” I couldn’t even use the word entrepreneur. That was too fancy and too big for someone who always had a nine-to-five job.
But every time I thought of it again, I went back to my why. Why do I want this? i want freedom I want to be in charge. I want to build something amazing. I want to make a lot more money. On the days when my worries and doubts overwhelmed me, my why caught up with me.
Let’s talk about the person who is unhappy in their job. Where do you get the courage to quit and how do you know when it’s time to leave?
It’s really turning inward and asking, “What do I want?” When you look around your job and think, “Okay, I’m underpaid and undervalued,” or sometimes people say, “I feel simply ignored here. People don’t even take my ideas seriously,” or if you’re just looking around and you’re thinking, “I don’t want my boss’ job. I have desires to do bigger things with my life,” you need to listen to those thoughts. The question you want to ask yourself is, “Okay, if I’m not happy here, if I want something bigger, then what am I waiting for?”
So it will take courage, but you should also know that there are steps you can take. Two weeks notice is your guide to creating a plan together.
What steps do people need to take so they know they are building a solid foundation for the next chapter?
We’ll start scratchy. We won’t have all the answers. You will just go ahead with your starter idea. Whatever that might be, here are a few things to think about.
In Two weeks notice, I will teach you how to create an offer based on your startup idea, show you how much to charge and how many clients you need to reach your goals. We’ll break down the tools you’ll need such as: B. Your website. There are so many resources today that you can create a website in a day or two. I put a lot of resources into the book, especially if you’re on a budget.
Of course, you’re going to use social media to start building this business, and I’ll show you how to do it on your terms.
We’ll also talk about growing an email list, your messaging, appearing confident on videos, and being genuinely committed to finding your ideal customer.
Amy, give us an overview of your company today. You have 20 employees and a product list.
After 14 years, my business looks very different from the days when I was doing social media for small businesses. That is the point. Your business will evolve.
But today I built a team that I’m very proud of and here’s the funny thing. I teach people how to quit their job and start their own business. A question I’m often asked is, “How do you keep employees if you teach people how to do it?” I’ve built a business that doesn’t feel like a corporation and I feel that way important. Any of you who are watching right now and want to start a business surely don’t want your business to feel like a nine to five job.
So we do a four day work week that is so incredibly powerful. We work from Monday to Thursday, eight hours a day. We take Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. I want people to have balance in their lives and I want them to enjoy their time outside of work, so I make a point of starting a business that way. You also have unlimited free time. I have perks in my business to make it feel very different than a nine-to-five job.
We also do great projects and build really cool things, but we also make sure that we have fun doing it. We do in person retreats as we work virtually just to make sure we have time close to each other. The culture in my team is just as important as the students I support.
What do you think young Amy Porterfield would say or think about anything you’ve created?
She would say, “There’s no way this is our life!” Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have such a successful company or have a team as amazing as they are or work with the people I work with. My life is beyond my wildest dreams and that’s why I do what I do.
I know I’m nothing special. I want to help other people quit their nine-to-five job, start their own business, and one day say to myself, “Amy, my life is beyond my wildest dreams.” A whole different world awaits you beyond Nine-to-Five, and I want to help more people realize that.