3. Planning & Executing your Exit Strategy

Part 3: Test the waters

Its time for the rubber to meet the road.

This is the place of decision that all those questions were leading to. Hence my advise to you to be honest with yourself.

Part 1 and Part 2 were about planning the exit strategy. Part 3 and Part 4 are about executing.

As a new mother, I was introduced to the process of bathing my newborn by my mother. She taught me two things. One, you always check the water in the basin with your elbow. The elbow is quite sensitive and it will help tell if the water is too hot or too cold or just right. Two, when you add water to cool the water further, you need to put your palm in and spread the water to make sure that the temperature is the same all over.

Elbow Test

For me to resign from my job, I did my Elbow Test for about 5 years. Translated to business, the Elbow Test is about gauging your readiness for the transition. Tabulated below are some of the ways you can apply the Elbow Test:

If you are going to another job If you are venturing into business
Put out feelers within and outside of the organization.

Remember the networks we talked about in the previous article, get to know what is happening in the industry. Who are the new entrants? What is the skill set that recruiters are looking for? What opportunities are opening up?

Update and refine your CV

In this highly competitive world of job cuts and fresh graduates getting high value jobs, you don’t sell who you have worked for more than you sell what you achieved for your employer and the mark you have made over the years.

Talk to some career experts

They know what is landing that big and job and what is not. They know if the industry is still attracted to your kind of CV or they are looking for something else.

Review the industry you want to go into

We’ve said it in a previous article. You don’t venture into a war unprepared. No matter how many years you have been in the industry, there are some things that you do not have a complete grip on. You have been a mechanic for 20 years, yes, but do you know the dynamics of clearing and forwarding to get the good spare parts on time to fix the car? Learn the business afresh

Put out feelers in your social networks and the industry

Let people know what freshness you are bringing into the industry, it might open doors that have been closed to you because you were employed.


Palm Test

This is work. Without a doubt. It’s about laying the foundation for your business or for the new job. The Palm Test can also be applied to your current situation is some of the following ways:

If you are going to another job If you are venturing into business
Go for interviews

Beyond talking to recruiters, secure a few interviews to see what is in the market. Be the interviewee and see what you have to say about yourself. On the other hand, if you can, be part of the interviewing panel for your organization if they are interviewing internally. It will enable you to know what other job seekers are going through and what you might face when going for your own interview.

Evaluate offers made against your life goals

Don’t take everything that is presented to you. Know your value and you will know what to take and what to leave behind.

Build your knowledge

With the technology expansion we have in this age, this does not have to be an expensive process. There are online course about everything, Sign up to teams like Coursera, Udemy, edX and many other. They have free courses and paid courses that you can choose from. Read widely, watch videos and programs that will fill you with new ideas and expand your imagination for the business you want to start


Where possible, you can start your business alongside your job to build traction until it gets to a place where you cannot do the two together anymore.

Boot Strapping

Finance your business out of your salary for a little while to deal with the issue of capital. I love what Peter Thiel shares in his book Zero to One, that sometimes we think we need a humongous working prototype for us to hit the market. Sometimes it takes less than half of what we are thinking we need.

Please note that the two tests are an excerpt of a toolkit in our 12 week class on whether to resign or not which will be starting soon and you can pre-register via e-mail. For more details on the toolkit, please contact us with a brief explanation of your transition phase.


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