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October 1, 2019

Should You Quit Your Day Job?

You’ve been moonlighting now with a freelance job for a couple of years now, and business is good – so good, in fact, that you’ve had thoughts of leaving your main job and starting out on your own. Is it time to do that?

According to productivity guru Tony Robbins, no. According to him, 9 out of every 10 startups fail. In fact, those entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs were 33% less likely to fail in their second job.

It seems that the longer you stay at your day job, the better off you’ll be – more financial stability, a better foundation for your new business, and more experience and networking opportunities. Before founding Nike, Phil Knight sold his shoes for five years while remaining in his job as an accountant.

Quitting Your Day Job

So when is it time to quit your day job? Here are some ways to know:

  • Do you have enough money? Estimate expenses for the first year – rent, payroll, capital expenditures, marketing – and then triple that number. That’s what you need. Everything costs more than you think, and you don’t want to be caught without any money.
  • You’re getting too much business. If your side job is getting in the way of your day job, and there are enough irons in the fire to keep you busy full-time, you might want to consider quitting. If you can slowly wean yourself from your main job – cut back on hours, go part-time – that might help bring in supplemental income while expanding your side job.
  • Do you have a plan? A business plan? A marketing plan? What are your goals, and how do you plan to reach them? Planning is essential to the success of any business. Spend a great deal of time and research on this. A big part of this is determining how much time it would take you to equal the income from your day job.
  • Don’t think that a hobby can become your day job. So you like crafts. Should you go into crafts for your business? Sometimes, yes, but many times a hobby turns into just work and can ruin the enjoyment. Sometimes a hobby is just a hobby. Look closely at what you want to go in and see if you can enjoy it while still making it a job.
  • Talk to people. Mentors, other entrepreneurs in your niche, entrepreneurs in general. You want to see what it’s really like to own a business and get advice from people who have been through the ups and downs of owning a business.
  • Look at potential risks. Will you be able to afford health insurance? Are you saving enough for retirement, rainy day and your children’s education? Take all of these things into account. Your employer may be offering some of these benefits, and without them, you’ll be on your own.
  • Don’t burn any bridges. When it comes time for you to tell your employer that you’re going off on your own, be gracious and thankful. They will turn from your employer to a networking opportunity. You never know when you might need something from them. Who knows? They may be able to point business in your direction.

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