Charlene Diana3


You’ve got your business idea and you’re excited about it. You can’t wait to be your own boss and spend time working on something you’re truly passionate about. But now what? Most of us would love to quit our jobs and concentrate on our exciting new enterprise, but so often finances, logistics or emotions can get in the way. But don’t let that stop you from setting up shop. Charlene Diana looks at the many advantages of juggling both day job and start-up and how it worked in her favour.

I often get asked how I managed the transition from having a ‘Day Job’ to establishing a full time role as a director of my own luxury wedding and events planning business. The answer is as follows….

The transition was paced as I had no intention of quitting my full time day job immediately after launching the planning business. For me, that would not have been prudent. I planned my strategy from the onset, outlining the vision and goals for my business, key activity and financial milestones I needed to attain in order to ‘comfortably’ phase myself out of being an employee of a corporate organisation. Initially I conducted my business on a part time basis, working evenings and on weekends, until I reached a pivotal point when I knew it was time to make that leap. This was undoubtedly the best approach for me and I am now realising my dream of being my own boss and running a growing and successful luxury wedding and event planning business.

I have outlined some useful tips that can support those of you wishing to make the same transition:

Use your current job as your business loan – One of the biggest reasons people are not quick to quit their day jobs to focus on their business full time is due to financial security.  Rather than launching your business with debt in the form of business loans, think of your job as the best way to build up your savings and to finance your start-up expenses such as website development, domain set up, marketing / advertising, branding, etc. By having a steady income and savings before launching your business full-time, you will be much better prepared for success.

Leverage all the experience you can from your current job – Without question, my former day job helped prepare me to launch my business. All the skills and experience that I amassed during the many years in the corporate industry have paid tremendous dividends in how I approach my business and ultimately its growing success. Organisational skills, project management, presentation, business strategy development and approach are all many fundamental skills that I have transferred to my business and continue to benefit from daily. These foundations truly help a business to succeed; creativity in isolation to the skills mentioned will not result in successful business. Use every opportunity awarded to you in your current job to help develop the relevant skills required to launch and manage a wedding planning business.

Use any opportunities in your current job to gain event planning and business experience – Can you help plan the next Christmas party or company retreat?   If there are upcoming conferences, can you help with the planning or logistics?  Maybe you can learn more about marketing by being on a new committee at your job? Not all jobs have opportunities like this but keep your mind open for opportunities.