Sometimes I think there should be a halfway house for ex-corporate employees to help you adjust to life “on the outside”.

When I started my first business after a 20-year career working for other people, the hardest change I had to make was in my own mind.

I remember alternating from feeling totally and intoxicatingly free to completely overwhelmed and panic-stricken.

As excited as I was, my first and last waking thought many days was “What have I done and what if this just doesn't work?”
Let’s face it, there is just no preparing for a feeling you have never felt before.

My immersion into self-employment was sudden. I had thought about it for years, but I literally became “sick” from work and realized that something had to change.
Knowing what to expect when you quit a corporate job to start a businesses can help you get there with less sleepless nights and second thoughts, and more action and conviction.

So here are a few common signs of an aspiring entrepreneur in transition.
To feel unqualified – Valerie Young calls this The Imposter Syndrome. Despite all of your outward accomplishments, you may feel completely inept. Especially if you left a lucrative career behind, being an ex-employee but not yet a thriving entrepreneur can be very disconcerting. No one is going to proclaim you an expert, so you’ll have to claim your expert status yourself!

To feel like you don’t know yourself – When you are in that neutral, no-man’s land, you feel a loss of identity. This is very uncomfortable especially when our society focuses on occupation as a sign of social status. The best approach is to embrace your new status wholeheartedly. Introduce yourself with boldness and confidence, and don’t make conditional statements like “I’m just starting” or “I haven’t been in business that long.”

To feel unmotivated or paralyzed – When you go from a highly structured environment to the freedom and blank slate of working on your own, it can be disorienting. Many new entrepreneurs are unable to cope with a lack of routine and, combined with the detox of letting go of their employment, find themselves completely unmotivated. When this happens, you need to listen to your inner voice, be compassionate to yourself and take the time you need to recharge.
To feel like you’re running out of time – The flip side to feeling unmotivated, is feeling completely rushed. For some people, especially those who left high level corporate positions, the pressure to achieve and succeed quickly becomes almost an obsession. This can feel literally like a race against the clock.

To feel like you won’t measure up – Many business owners spend time focusing on what others are doing rather than on their own business. While monitoring the landscape is prudent, it does not substitute for making your own goals and plans. Many new entrepreneurs are quick to change courses just because someone else is.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, take heart. Every leap begins with a step and all successful entrepreneurs began just as you are. The same drive that allowed you to make this big life decision can take you to your own thriving business.

Author's Bio: 

Sherri Garrity is the Chief Corporate Fugitive and creator of the Five Keys Success System™ for ex-corporate employees and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to break free from the confines of their corporate experience and unlock their business potential for greater personal freedom and prosperity. The Corporate Fugitive system demystifies the business of setting up, managing, marketing and growing a successful entrepreneurial adventure. Visit for free tips on how to unlock the business in you.