Here is a great post by Jennifer Graham, one of NEW’s founding members and Chief Cloning Officer at Cuddle Clones

A lot of people talk about leaving their full-time job to pursue entrepreneurship but why is it that many of us just can’t seem to make the leap? In February, I quit my six-figure job as a pension actuary to make stuffed animals. Literally. Crazy? Maybe. Leaving my position at PricewaterhouseCoopers wasn’t an easy decision but I knew that it was the right one and haven’t looked back. Here are some of my practical tips to consider while you are on the fence.

1)      Make a spreadsheet.

A spreadsheet will help you see where you are and where you need to be. I created forecasts of my income statements and balance sheets for my current status and for after I quit my job. Tracking your expenses gets you on the right track because many of us don’t know what we’re spending. Just cutting out Starbucks (I do have one once in awhile) alone saved me about $900 per year. Yes, you will have to make some sacrifices!

2)      Sell your car.

Okay, maybe this one is a little extreme but I have been carless since December and I actually love it. I ride TARC everywhere for free with my University of Louisville ID and while it’s not as convenient as a big city like Chicago, I’ve found that I can get most everywhere with a little planning. Just think…no car payment, no insurance, no gas, no filling your tires when they get low…it’s all quite wonderful.

3)      Plan to get a part-time job to pay your bills.

Reach out to your personal network and let them know what you’re up to. I emailed all of my MBA professors and people I had met in the business community. I let them know that I was quitting my job and that I wanted to work about three days a week on my company and needed a part-time job to take up 10-20 hours per week to pay some bills. I had an overwhelming response and while that is great, I’m probably a little overextended now with the number of part-time jobs I have.

4)      Flexibility is key.

Remember all these part-time jobs I have? Well I work as a contractor and am not an employee of any of the companies. I am in charge of the hours I work and days that I come into the office. If I need to step out to a meeting for Cuddle Clones or plan to be out of town, I just let the company know. The flexibility is wonderful and each of the companies know that when our business picks up, that I will be reducing my hours and eventually leaving the part-time work to pursue Cuddle Clones full-time.

5)      Remember, you are investing in yourself.

And finally, remember that quitting your job to become an entrepreneur and to follow your passion may be the best investment you could ever make. If you had $50,000 right now, would you rather put it into the very volatile stock market or invest it in your dream?