I’ve found a trap in entrepreneurship and I want to help you avoid it. I want to help you understand your options when you’re contemplating jumping off the cliff and Building the Bridge as You Walk on it by Robert Quinn. Quitting your day job is daunting. It seems risky, you’re not sure how you should go about doing it, or if you even should. Many entrepreneurs are far too risk averse and they never make the jump. Time goes by and they continue to work for others and they eventually lose the opportunity they once had because they didn’t go for it. I don’t want this to be you. So, when should you quit?
Before we dive into when you should quit, I want you to ask yourself a question: How many times have you thought of an idea that you hadn’t seen before, thought you might do something about it someday and then one day you see it on the market? Yup. Me too.
What I’m getting at here is you can’t be afraid to start your business because you’ll miss the opportunity. I recommend that you DON’T have to quit your day job to do so. In fact, I recommend maintaining your existing job while building your business. If you’re in a career job, continue performing well but put in the extra time into your own business development. If you’re serious, you’ll have no trouble doing a few hours before and after work and as much as necessary on the weekends.
So now that I’ve told you that you shouldn’t quit your day job, when should you? You should not consider quitting your job until you are able to fully replace your current salary and benefit package. In fact, I would consider waiting even longer until you can comfortably leave with 6-12 months of cash reserve to operate your business. I realize this can be a tall order but I think this strategy will help a large majority of you to get started. In addition, it’s crucial that you understand your business and get to market quickly with your unique solution to a customer’s problem.
By getting to market quickly, you won’t have to waste too much time or money working for someone else as you begin to start your business. Your business will need your full attention as it gets going and you’ll experience your greatest growth in the early years. The sooner you get a product to market and begin to earn revenue and gain feedback, the sooner you’ll be in a position to quit.
What about the other end of the question, when shouldn’t you quit? You should keep your job if you know you don’t want to build a business. There are plenty of entrepreneurs that develop a product that is sold as a standalone item or component. This is NOT a business. Yes you’ll have a brand name and probably a logo, but it’s not something where you will hire a team of people and have many employees. When you’re doing this type of business, it will perform well as a side business that generates some revenue but won’t need your undivided attention.
When would you quit your job or have you already been there and done that? Leave a comment!