That IS the big question! But, it’s not always a simple yes and no because everyone’s situation is a bit different. If you’re thinking about starting a business but aren’t sure if you should quit your job right away, this blog will at the least help you make your decision making a bit clearer.
I don’t claim to know the correct answer to your particular situation but I can give some insight into this challenging question because I had to face it multiple times under different circumstances.
The Nuance of it All
There is a lot of nuances to make this decision and it largely depends on your situation — the type of job you have, if you have a job, what kind of business you’re starting, your financial situation, your current situation, etc.
Like I mentioned before, this should help guide you NOT to tell you what to do because your situation will be uniquely your own. As an entrepreneur, you have to make the decision yourself given the information you know and take responsibility for the choice you made, good or bad. What can help you make the best decision is understanding the nature of starting a business.
I think it’s important to establish some thoughts about it and how that should influence your decision making.
The Nature of Starting a Business
- First and foremost, businesses cost money and if they don’t cost money, because you’re doing everything yourself, it takes time. Not only do most businesses cost money starting, sustaining your basic living standards requires money. You have to keep this in mind when considering leaving a job. If you don’t have money saved up for basic living needs, enough to give you a decent amount of runway (time to build a profitable business) then you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
- Not all businesses work out. As an entrepreneur, your first take at a business might not work out. Maybe you weren’t able to find a good product-market fit. Maybe you end up not liking the business you started. Whatever the cause, just know your business attempt might not pan out.
- Your business might take more time than you think to start seeing profitability. However long you thought it would take to be profitable, oftentimes it’s more time than that. Your savings can run out faster than you expected.
- Debt stress is a real thing. Some people never had to deal with something called debt stress before. This is the feeling you get when you’ve depleted your savings and you’re leaning heavily into your credit cards, loans, lines of credit, etc. The weight of seeing your debt rise from basic living needs and business expenses can put you in a situation where you’re making bad decisions or falling into fear or depression. It’s not a fun feeling and it can adversely affect your ability to grow a sustainable business IF you’re not prepared for it.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the challenges of starting a business, the next thing to consider is — knowing yourself. There really is no “right” way of starting a business when it comes to quitting your job. What is important is understanding your own temperament and what would put you in the best position to succeed.
We are all uniquely different so a catchall solution would be insufficient. If you know that you don’t deal with debt stress well, it’s okay, but it might be best to keep your job until you have a profitable business that can sustain your lifestyle before you consider leaving your job. You don’t even need to leave your job if you enjoy it and can efficiently run your business.
Maybe the current job you have is too demanding. An option for you might be to find another job that doesn’t take all your attention. It might not pay as well and not be as “prestigious,” but you get the mental energy to work on your business hustle.
If it’s hard for you to focus on your business while working full-time on your job, but you know you can emotionally handle debt stress and you don’t mind elevated risk, leaving your cushy job might not be a bad decision. You could be the type to “jump and figure it out on the way down”. That’s okay too.
If you DON’T know much about yourself or temperament, head over to the Unwage Academy, and go through our FREE course called Wealth Shift. We’ll go in-depth into learning more about yourself and how to best position yourself to succeed.
Making The Decision
Having some basic understanding of the nature of starting a business and knowing yourself should give you some guidance on whether or not you should take the plunge full-time business or do it part-time while keeping your job.
It’s not always an easy decision but I know whatever decision you make, entrepreneurs are resilient and I’m sure you’ll figure out the best path forward regardless of the decision you make. Also, know that most decisions are mostly reversible. If you quit your job a bit prematurely, you can find another job. If you got into debt, you can get out. Just know that there is always a solution and the most important thing is figuring it out. Use those entrepreneurial superpowers and power through!
I believe in you. Let’s get it!