No 5 Pre-Exit Checklist Essential

Hi there,

How are you? Well finally here is the last of the checklist pieces for you. My sincere apologies for the delay. Not surprisingly a new tot to the family has meant a lot of change and so my work has taken less of a prominent seat for the last few weeks.

To properly recharge my batteries I am going to dial out for the next 6 weeks or so and start back in earnest to my blog the beginning of July after some sun holidays and time with family. I am going to take the next few weeks to do some reflecting myself and how I can make my business work for me with my new family life.

Do as always feel free to continue to email me with any queries in this time and I will respond to your email as soon as I can.

So the last checklist element…….
Do I understand that my escape plan needs to be flexible?

While it is very reassuring to have a good plan in place, the best plans need to be flexible. As we all know, life can happen, stuff pops up that we had not anticipated etc – so the best stance to have is an open mind which will allow to re-jiggle your plan. Go easy on yourself and understand it will all come together for you.
One key plan to be flexible with is your childcare plan. You may come into this planning on looking after your kids yourself full time. However as the weeks, months unfold you may decide for whatever reason you could do with a bit of a break and so decide to drop the kids to a minder 1/2morning a week etc or have a family member look after them for you for a few hours per week.

It is very difficult to foresee how you will feel in X number of weeks/months time – so keep that mind open and readjust your plan based on your new circumstances and feelings.
The other plan you need to keep flexible is your undercover escape plan – a first draft may point you one way. A simple change of circumstances or a single event may put you off course and see you needing to move things around a bit to realise your plan. So while it’s great to have a plan, keeping it flexible is essential.

And here’s an extra one on your checklist which makes a massive difference to your effectiveness when you get it humming!

Can you plan your time like a military drill sergeant?
What you are about to read will probably contradict all that you have read about time. When it comes to working from home – LESS TIME IS MORE. This realisation took me a while to realise…but when it clicked I was the happiest and most productive I have ever been. Working just four hours per week at a job I LOVE and in this time being able to generate the income I need for my family is very satisfying and very baffling for those who know me who work full time and have no great love for their jobs.

Picture this, you are in your job and it’s Friday and you are going on holidays with your family for two weeks to somewhere fabulous. You have a to-do list as long as your arm but you are determined, focused and motivated to drill through that list as fast as your little legs will carry you and are undisturbed by any distraction that pops up. You fly through that list at a rat of knots and get more work done in that one day than you have in the last month. Why? Simply because you are determined, focused and motivated and nothing is going to prevent you from getting that stuff done and going on hols with your family.

So how about if you know every week that you have 4 hours to work on your ‘job’ at something you LOVE – imagine the speed you would cut through that to-do list – like you were on speed! This is how I work most weeks – yes I have slow weeks, where I drag my heels – then my coach/mentor steps in and politely and every so nicely nudges me back into action cutting through whatever it was that was holding me back.

So there you have it – the 5 (6) Essentials you need to know BEFORE cutting loose your job. PLEASE make sure you are happy with ALL of these before you go any further. Proceeding to the next step without these in place may result in you getting a setback later – so trust me, as someone who has walked in your shoes already, these 5(6) things really are essential before you go any further.

So to recap, here are your essentials to check before escaping…..
Do I have the support of my spouse to make my escape?
Do I know what my risk tolerance is and my spouse’s?
Am I clear on what my own life values are?
Do I believe that my current skill set is all I need to start plotting my escape route?
Do I understand that my escape plan needs to be flexible?
Can you plan your time like a military drill sergeant?

So what’s next……where do I go from here? Well once you have your checklist in place, you are now ready to start plotting your undercover escape. So you have 3 options;

1) You can go it alone from here, best of luck and bon voyage. Remember there will be good days and not so good days but you are on this path for one BIG reason, to make it possible to be home with your family. So hold tight on the tough days and sail through the wonderful ones. Enjoy it all and keep focused on that end goal, it will happen with your total commitment. We’d love to hear how you go, so keep us posted on how you go – through Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. Best of luck!
2) You feel like you could do with a bit of a further steer in the right direction. Good for you. Check out our e-book ‘Work from Home for Moms & Mums in 7 Easy Steps’. This outlines step-by-step how you can plot your escape route – incorporating all the key elements to a successful escape. The ebook costs just $2.99 on Amazon. Pick up your copy here by clicking on the link below. http://bit.ly/amazon7stepsebook
3) You want out of your job asap and want to take the express lane. Rightyho, then drop me an email and lets arrange a chat to see how we can best make this happen for you. We will go as fast or slow as you want and it will be tailormade to your family’s circumstances.

As usual, please feel free to drop me an email to; caitriona@undercoverescape.com if you want to simply share anything with me or if you want my advice or help on anything you are encountering in your escape plan.

Have a wonderful week.

To Your Successful Undercover Escape,

Caitriona

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No 4 Pre-Exit Checklist Essential

Hi there,

How are you doing this week? From those of you I have heard from, there has been mixed reaction to your skills. Some of you believe you have enough to get going right now whilst others have serious doubts. Trust that you really do have what you need to get you going. If you are still doubting, then message me privately and we can arrange a call to talk through resolving this block for you.

This week I am looking at the fourth element on the Pre-Exit Checklist which is….

Am I clear on what my own life values are?

There is a lot of talk about life values etc and there are many different ways to do it etc. I like to keep things simple – Moms don’t have time to complicate things. So simply put, what are things that you value most highly in your life? It is also helpful to know what your spouse’s life values are too. Don’t over think this – grab a piece of paper and jot down your top 3 life values – to give you an idea as what they might be e.g. family, health, fun, adventure, challenge, travel, honesty, integrity etc.
It is important to get clear on these upfront as once you are clear on these, it will make any future decisions you have to make MUCH simpler.

To give you an example, you are at work and your boss asks you to stay late to finish a piece of work – what do you decide? Yes you’ll stay and rearrange someone else to pick-up your kids and you’ll see them tomorrow morning when they get up. Or do you say no, you have to go pick your kids up and deal with any potential backlash from your boss. Now if upfront you know that one of your top life values is your family and your work is way down the list – then it is a simple decision to make. You value your family more than anything else and so you will always choose them first. However if you are unclear as to what your life values are you will feel a lot of conflict in making this decision.

Now granted it is not always that black and white – there are situations where even though you are aware that family is top of your list, you make an informed decision to stay at work because….it may result in you getting a raise in salary which will ultimately benefit your family etc….

So get clear on what your life values are – top 3 – and I guarantee that it will make any future decisions much easier to make. Do note here also that your values can change over time.

As usual, please feel free to drop me an email to; caitriona@undercoverescape.com if you want to simply share anything with me or if you want my advice or help on anything you are encountering in your escape plan.

Have a wonderful week.

To Your Successful Undercover Escape,

Caitriona

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No 3 Pre-Exit Checklist Essential

Hi there,
What did you figure out as your risk tolerance? Did you identify where the boundaries are for you, your partner and your family? Whilst right now you may not see the logic of doing this, I can assure you that definitely before you make your escape, you really do need to understand this and especially have agreement on this with your partner. Making the jump without their agreement and without understanding this could be catastrophic for your family and your escape.
This week I am looking at the third element on the Pre-Exit Checklist which is….
Do I believe that my current skill set is all I need to start plotting my escape route?
Naturally once you start thinking of escaping, you will begin to wonder about what you could do. Well, the answer is simple – you can do absolutely anything. The world really is your oyster with this one. Now granted you will need to be realistic and make a plan to substantiate your idea. But as a mentor advised me, never critique the dream only ever critique the plan to realise the dream. So bottom line, any dream you have can be realised with the right plan in place.

So you may have your idea – fantastic, good for you. Or you may not have a clue as to what you would like to do, but you do know that you want out. That’s okay too – trust that you will find an idea that works for you in time, hold tight.

Regardless of whether you have that cracking idea or whether it has yet to come to you – whatever your current skills and experience are is enough for you to start plotting your escape route. For anyone thinking any of the following-
‘Everyone will think I’m mad’
‘It’s such a waste to throw away my current training’
‘But I’m a trained XXXX, I can’t do anything else’
Blab la bla……..let it all out and then take a deep breath and know for sure that the only thing you need from a skills perspective to pursue your dream to be home with your kids is your passion to make that happen. If you are driven to make this happen, you will draw on all your resources, training, qualifications, skills and experience to date to make this a reality.

Trust that ALL that you have done to date will stand to you either now or at a later point down the road. You are exactly where you need to be right now – trust that and believe in yourself.

Absolutely there may, at a later stage, be skills that you need to acquire – but there is nothing you need right now, besides that driving passion to make this happen for you and your family.

So this week involves having a good frank chat with yourself and stopping any negative self-talk that your head is having. A good tip to stop this is to think of to stop this pattern is to do something crazy everytime you hear it in your head. Tony Robbins suggests, the crazier the better as it interrupts your negative self-talk very quickly as you try to avoid having to do the crazy thing each time you hear that voice in your head.

As usual, please feel free to drop me an email to; caitriona@undercoverescape.com if you want to simply share anything with me or if you want my advice or help on anything you are encountering in your escape plan.

Have a wonderful week.

To Your Successful Undercover Escape,

Caitriona

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No. 2 Pre Exit Checklist Essential

Hi there,

How did you go with the number 1 essential on your pre-exit checklist? I know from those I have heard from, it is an emotive element to your escape. As I said it is an absolutely key one to making a successful escape, so if you haven’t get got your spouse/partner behind your escape then do stick with it, be patient and you will get their support. You know them best, so you will find the best way to get them to understand your feelings and what it is you want to do for you and your family’s wellbeing.
This week I am looking at the second element on the Pre-Exit Checklist which is….
Do I know what my risk tolerance is and my spouse’s?

Huh, I hear you say! By this I mean what level of comfort or discomfort can you stand? Huh, you say again ;) We’ll get there, stick with me.

To clarify this, I’ll take a scenario – imagine you decide today that’s it, I’ve had enough and resign from your job. All is great, you have what you have longed for and are home with your kids. Then your household expenses increase substantially (mortgage/rent etc), and you find yourself under pressure financially – your spouse is stressed, you are stressed and the peace that reigned in your new found role of stay at home Mom has evaporated. This situation is not something you planned for before you resigned and it is now causing undue stress.

What’s the lesson – understand what you and your spouse can tolerate financially BEFORE you jump. Also talk through the key potential ‘what if’ scenarios, and agree how you would deal with these i.e. your spouse looses their job, there is a considerable increase in your living expenses and any other scenarios that would affect your finances.

To take this to the next step, once you understand what your risk tolerances are, you need to provide for these in your escape plan. So if you agree that to have a level of comfort when you resign, you would like to have 6 months expenses set aside should some of the ‘what ifs’ happen or should the income from your new venture be slower than you anticipated in materialising. Then great, you know what you need to put in place, so now all you need to do is to put it together.

For you the comfort level may be 6 months, for others it may be 2 or 12. It is vital that your spouse also feels comfortable with all of these joint decisions. Any railroading now may speed things up for now, but could derail your plans totally at a later date. So take the time now to both be totally happy with your plan.

Once you get clear on this, you will also be clearer on your timeline as to when you can resign. So how many months will it take you to put in place your comfort pot? Or perhaps you’ve already got it sorted…hurrah for you. Either way, the end is in sight – how exciting is that 

Getting clarity on this will probably require you getting up close and personal with your finances, so with a clear head get paper/spreadsheet and start crunching those numbers until you and your spouse/partner are happy with the answer you get.

Please do send me an email if you want any help on this element. I LOVE excel spreadsheets and am the person in our house who does the number crunching – might be influenced by having a maths teacher mother!

Have a wonderful week.

To Your Successful Undercover Escape,

Caitriona

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No. 1 Pre-Exit Checklist Essential

Hi there,

How are you doing? I hope that you have had a good week and that you have managed to take some time to work some more on your escape.

As I mentioned a few weeks back when I asked for suggestions, I am going to spend the next 5 weeks covering the 5 essentials you need in place before you resign from your job. I’ve tried my escape without these and it wasn’t pretty! So I share this information with you now to help you avoid making the mistakes I made and the chaos that ensued by doing that.

This week I discuss the first of the five essentials. Without a doubt, the first essential is absolutely thee most important to have in place before exiting. So what is it….

1) Do I have the support of my spouse to make my escape?
There are three main possibilities with this situation;

Scenario 1 – You have full support from your spouse – fantastic! So go for it and start plotting your escape ASAP.

Or

Scenario 2 – You have some support from your spouse. Before you do anything else you need to ensure that you have the full support of your spouse. Some important points in getting this support are:
• Make sure you get time alone (uninterrupted by kids or anyone else) to discuss this thoroughly with them.
• Speak to your spouse from the heart about how you feel, why you want to leave your job and be home with your kids, the impact on your kids and family.
• Make sure that your spouse clearly understands why you really want to do this.
• Listen carefully to their concerns and talk them through – some concerns you may be able to allay there and then, others you may have to just bear in mind for the moment and look after them later, when appropriate.
• If you don’t succeed the first time, be persistent – if this is what you really want keep trying until you get the support you need.
• Always choose a good time to talk to your spouse – when they are relaxed, carefree, not distracted by anything else, well rested – you get the idea ;)
• So bearing all of the above in mind, start to plot your plan on paper and jot down your own thoughts. This will help you get clear on what’s going on in your own head which will make for a clearer chat when you sit down with your spouse.

Bottom line, hold tight until you get their support. To proceed without their support is foolhardy. It can be done, but trust me it is SOOO much easier when you have their support. So take the time up front to talk everything through with them as best you can at this stage and make joint decisions on anything that impacts the family.
Or
Scenario 3 – You seem to have no support from your spouse on your plan. That’s okay, you will get the support you need, you just need to carefully plan your discussion(s) with your spouse. To start with, look at the important points I mentioned in the previous scenario – the bullet points. All these points are relevant to your situation too.

Same bottom line as before – hold tight until you get their support. To proceed without their support is foolhardy. It can be done, but trust me it is SOOO much easier when you have their support. So take the time up front to talk everything through with them as best you can at this stage and make joint decisions on anything that impacts the family. Stick with it, you will get the support you need just pace yourself and plan out your approach.

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