5 Steps to Consider Before Leaving Your Job to Pursue a Socially Conscious Business

This is a dream that many people have; to one day leave full-time employment to focus on business or a worthy social cause. Perhaps you wondered what the best time to leave was. Or whether you would succeed or not.

Leaving your job should not be an overnight decision.  Plenty of time and energy must be spent on it. Begin by identifying your passion or drive. Before you consider making your move, explore the following steps carefully.

1.   Don’t just decide alone, consult widely

Leaving a full-time job, where you have been working for an extended period, can be a major decision. It’s not a decision to be rushed and may not be ideal for everyone.

While we’d love to tell you to go out and follow your social good passion, this can be a really big decision. One that you should only make this after wide consultation, especially with those who care about you. Also feel free to include some professionals in your consultations list. Make a list of everyone you know that is already doing what you need to do, then reach out to them first with your plans.

Talking to people helps you understand what to prepare for. Discuss your ideas with your mentors to obtain advice. Find out if your friends believe in your idea. Is your spouse or partner willing to take this major risk with you? Put out a wide net to figure out what resources you’ll have if you do decide to leave and go out it alone. This is the first step in your plan to make your dreams a reality.

Not sure how to find social entrepreneur opportunities? Read our in-depth article on How to Find Social Entrepreneur Opportunities to get started if you don’t know where to start. 

2.   Ensure you have a feasible idea

Spend time examining your idea to establish whether it is viable. Within a day, numerous ideas cross your mind. Although many of them are good, not each is sustainable. The theory is very different from actuality and what may seem excellent in theory, may not work in real life.

Check carefully your idea’s viability. This includes a lot of market research.

Identify any potential competitors involved in a similar business or cause. How did they start? What made them succeed? Why? What made others fail? Find out how consumer-ready your solution is before implementing it. Again, we’re telling you to do your homework. It can take a few weeks of hard-core market research to figure out if you have a viable idea.

Sometimes the best way to test out an idea is just to get out there with it. We’ve talked to many social entrepreneurs that had to test out their ideas on the front line — sometimes that’s the best way!

You also might want to figure out your business model at this stage. Don’t worry, we have you covered! We talked to Tim Berry about lean business planning last month and he set out 4 steps that you can do today! Read the full article on Lean Business Planning and get started! Get to know your business before you make the big leap to do it full time. It could save you a ton of money and time!

3.   Outline a Detailed Financial Plan

You knew we’d talk about money, right.

It costs money to start a business. It costs even more to grow a business.

It’s up to you to make sure your finances are in order if you want to make that leap from employee to powerful change creator! It can be done, but you need to be strategic and smart if you want to succeed.

Remember this. Leaving your job means losing a source of sustainable income. You need to have counter measures in place to help you transition to your business or cause becomes profitable.  Your financial plan needs to be perfectly orchestrated to help you avoid financial challenges.

Evaluate how much money you have and what amount is needed to fund your current lifestyle. How long can your savings last? In case money runs out, what backup options are available? How can you lower your fixed expenses? How will you deal with debt? Begin now to accumulate cash reserves that will cover your future expenses and offer a constant income stream.

We won’t leave you stranded. We’ve got lots of content on our funding, investments, budgets for you here! It’s our number one question we get from you — How do I get funding for my social enterprise?

Here are some amazing resources for you to check out:

  1. How to know what type of investment to seek out — This article quickly explains the various ways you can get funded. Start here to figure out your options.
  2. You’ll have to do some serious number crunching in your own life. Here are 5 tips for managing your own finances as well.
  3. For more on funding, you should read this article on everything you’ll need to know to get considered for funding and growth!

4.    Success is not guaranteed

Branching out on your own doesn’t guarantee automatic success. Be prepared for the reality that the first few months (or years) may involve a lot of struggle with few rewards. Refuse to be discouraged and commit to keeping it no matter what. Change how you measure success and make fulfillment a big part of that.

Being a change creator is not for the faint of heart, but you know that.

Bear in mind that many successful individuals failed several times before they finally succeeded. Leaving your full-time job is very challenging but can be rewarding in the end if done right. Preserve your relationships and don’t burn your bridges as you leave. You might either need to get back to working or connect with employers as part of your business.

As stated, success is still not guaranteed, therefore establish multiple income sources. In fact, you can start working on your new cause while still employed, then only leave when you see some form of sustainable success. Whatever you decide to do, always have an open mind.

We have already shared a lot of stories of people who stuck with it and built successful social enterprises. It can be tough in the beginning stages, but that’s why we learn from these amazing examples — it’s motivating to hear other’s stories of how they got started.

Here’s what you need to do when you are getting discouraged. Listen to some of our amazing Podcasts! Here are a few of our fave pics to keep you focused on what really matters:

  1. How to Overcome Life Challenges and Pursue Your Mission — In this podcast, Adam sits down to talk to Iffit Qureshi who had overcome personal and professional challenges to pursue her mission.
  2. How to take your side hustle into your full-time hustle. This podcast with Nick Loper will give you valuable insights on how to make your side project your main mission. Isn’t that what we are all here to do.
  3. Creating a responsible food system with Tom McDougall. In this podcast, we learned how to quickly get an idea on the table. You’ll be more motivated to get moving on your mission after hearing what Tom has to say!

You can spend so long preparing to prepare that you never launch.” ~Tom McDougall

5.   Stay motivated and learn from others

Fear and doubt are expected as you consider leaving full-time employment. When you are committed, staying motivated becomes critical. Design in detail how the new life will be and review this daily. Identify and connect to people that will build you towards your goal and teach you more. Communicate regularly with them.

Stay positive and place yourself in a position where the only option is to keep going. Read about people who made the transition and thrived. Learn from their mistakes and embrace their advice. Listen to encouraging podcasts and don’t be afraid to ask for help because this will bring success faster.

After going through these steps and you feel confident about leaving, go ahead. At least you will be more prepared to make the move.

Of course, we’ve talked about motivation a lot on the site. All of us at Change Creator magazine get discouraged at times. There are so many variables in growing a business — money, time, risk, reward… it can be overwhelming at times. That’s why I wrote this blog: How to Be Motivated – 5 Ways to Find Motivation Before You Hit the Big Time.

If you don’t want to be working for ‘the man’ anymore and you have the fire in your belly to do something meaningful in your life, stick with us here at Change Creator magazine. We help people like you break free from the norm every, single day through informative articles, insights you won’t find anywhere else, and interviews with people on the front line of change. It isn’t easy to leave the safety and security of a full-time job, but with a lot of determination, some planning, and a lot of hard work — it can be done.

Top 10 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30 That You’ll Love Too!

change creator

Social entrepreneurs recognize that traditional approaches to solving social problems may not offer the creative goals they are meant to rip out by the roots. They consistently invent new ways through sustainable business models to change our world. As more startups align to make social connections and help more communities around the world, these social entrepreneurs are leading the charge.

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Top 7 Socially Aware Clothing Companies to Watch Out For

The clothing industry can be fraught with waste and slave labor. Choose differently.

Business is mostly done for profit. But sadly some companies use barbaric measures to meet their goals. They treat their workers badly, almost at slave labor levels. They also don’t care about the environment. To them, it’s all about the money.

Such bad practices contributed to one of the worst occurrences of our time, the Rana Plaza tragedy. Here, a building that contained clothing factories, shops a bank and apartments collapsed, killing 1,134 people. That number included factory workers who were forced to go to work despite concerns that the building had major cracks. This made people start thinking carefully about where they get their clothes from.

Below are the top 6 social aware clothing companies you need to watch out for:

1. Everlane

Everlane thrives in full transparency and integrity. It has stringent workplace compliance requirements. It carefully selects the factories to work with and builds powerful personal relationships with the factory owners.

Something unique about Everlane is that it is transparent about its costs and markups. It doesn’t use the traditional markup where the price is increased 8 times before it reaches you. Instead, it reveals true costs and is transparent about its markup.

Twitter handle: @Everlane

2. People Tree

Do you want to wear unique garments that value both you and the planet? People Tree is a renowned UK company that can take care of these needs. It boasts of over 25 years of environmentally sustainable and ethical fashion.

It stands against fast fashion, thus it is against family separation, exploitation, pollution and slum cities. All its garments are made of organic cotton and other sustainable materials. This is done using traditional skills, supporting rural communities.

Twitter: @peopletree

3. Slumlove Sweater Company

Slumlove believes that fashion can also be a force for good. All Slumlove products and packaging are made using 100% natural, recycled and organic material, excellent for the environment.

Its employees are paid fair wages and treated with respect. They’re given lots the resources and opportunities they need to better their lives and that of their families.

All Slumlove clothing is made in Kenya by hand. In addition to fashion, Slumlove gives back to a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for high school children living in Kibera, one of the largest slums in the world.

Twitter: @Slumlove

4. Alternative Apparel

Alternative Apparel ranks well as an ethical and sustainable brand.

This company based in Los Angeles, USA, respects values and rights of workers, regardless of where in the world they come from. More than 80% of its garments are made using sustainable processes and materials.

Alternative Apparel is a certified Green Business in Los Angeles. Its partner factories comply with FLA (Fair Labor Association) Workplace Code of Conduct. Many of them are also WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified. It uses G2 wash that consumes 60% less water, eco fabrics, non-toxic dyes and recycled poly materials.

We really like this super comfy sweatshirt, or this slouchy pullover rocks too!

Twitter: @alternativeapp


Founded by Bono of U2 and his wife Ali Hewson, EDUN is a socially aware brand that aims to promote trade in Africa.

It sources production throughout Africa and mixes designer vision with a burning desire to positively impact this rich and fast-growing continent.

One social initiative run by EDUN is (CCIU) Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda. This is run in partnership with Invisible Children. CCIU provides business support, training and funding to help Northern Ugandan farmers to build sustainable businesses.

We couldn’t help but love their Edun Women’s Crepe De Chine Cargo Pants that will take you on all your adventures!

Twitter: @EDUN_NY

6. Abury

Abury aims to make people look and feel good as it also does good. This company based in Morocco creates exclusive handmade designs that retain social impact, investing love, time and money with the communities it works with.

It does not only provide employment and fair salaries to the locals, it also gives back the time it takes to produce each product in hours of education to the community.

Abury produces bags, jewelry, scarves and pouches among other fashion items.

Twitter: @aburycollection

7. Tonlé

Tonlé clothing does not only look good and fashionable, the company supports its local community in Cambodia giving women real work that pays the bills. But that’s not all, Tonlé creates clothing with zero waste. The company relies on two strategies for zero-waste fashion: creative pattern making that uses 100% of a given material, and producing garments from remnant materials.

You can learn more about their approach here:


Twitter: @tonledesign

Rachel Faller is at the helm of this operation and guess what?

She’s featured in our Top 10 best articles! You can learn more about that here:

Environmental pollution and poor working conditions are messing up people in the world. However, the socially aware companies above decided to bring forth positive change.

To them, it’s not only about profit, but also making the world a better place for all.

Don’t miss our incredible interview with Rachel Faller here!