5 Elements to Have If You Want To Move To Self-Employment

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People in employment have the relative safety of a salary while people in self-employment have the relative freedom of choice.

Trading a salary for choice (i.e moving from employment to self-employment) requires a clear vision, enough information, community support and the courage to jump.

In some cases, having only one of these is enough to take the exit. However, to sustain for the long term, the other 3 are absolutely necessary.

Personally, I shall add a fifth, which is faith in Allah, which helps me round off the four.

1. A clear vision is crucial to know the general direction in which you are heading. How do you know you're going to Pulau Pinang if you don't even know what it's called or where it is or what signs to look out for to indicate that you have arrived?

2. Enough information gives you the ability to simulate experience by learning from others' successess and setbacks. Engage people who can train, mentor, coach and advise you along your path. You will recognise and avoid mistakes they made while making your own unique ones.

3. Community support is essential in providing the emotional, physical and financial backing to carry you through the ups and downs. Nobody goes it alone. Neither should you.

4. Having the courage to take risks that feel worthwhile is usually the difference between a seller and an entrepreneur. The ability to trust your gut and jump will get you there first and fast, but it might also get you rock bottom. Choose your jumps and be responsible for them.

5. Finally, all of your efforts are nothing more than that. YOUR efforts. Having faith in Allah allows you to realise that you are a small cog in a larger universe.

When your courage is gone, and you stand alone, when everything you know is wrong and you've lost your way, Return it all to Him and He will provide from His bounty.

Yes, I don't get stuck in traffic daily anymore. Yes, I get to go for Jumaat with my boy. Yes, I get to have breakfast and lunch and dinner at home. Yes, I choose when and where I want to work. Those are the good days.

But when the bad days come and I'm like a train through a tunnel, and I feel trapped, cold and scared in the dark, that's when the five elements become the torch to guide me back to the light.