Should you quit your job before starting your own business

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I remember venting to a colleague about my frustrations and how desperately I wanted to quit my job. Her response to me was......'so leave'! I felt my blood pressure rise like a tidal wave. What great advice right!

Why do people think it's so easy to leave your job when you want to pursue something new? As if you don't have bills to pay and mouths to feed!

“Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.”

Oprah Winfrey

The bad news is that it is not the best idea to leave your job before you've already established your business. The good news is that it doesn't mean you cannot or should not pursue it. Yes, it is challenging, but it is doable. In fact, most people start their business as small side hustles while still working at their job.

So should you quit your job before starting your own business? Let's explore.

1. Consider whether you want to sell a product or service

Some people think it would be easier to sell their skills. When you choose to sell your skills you must remember that you are selling your time. So if your objective is to do what you do best and make money from it, despite possibly having to commit more of your time, then that's the business you should start.

If it's free time you're after, consider selling a product. Developing your own product will take considerable time and effort, however, you have the option to sell someone else's products, through affiliate programs.

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2. Your passion should be your business

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Think about what you already spend your free time doing. If you're already doing it, that means that you won't need to invest much more free time in your business.

This could be anything from cooking, to making YouTube videos. If it's your passion, chances are you'll already be unique and proficient.

Now find a way to make money from your passion. All your answers are but a click away.

3. Pay attention to your macro environment

Paying attention to your macro-environment can have 2 effects. It could cause your business to fail or thrive. You won't have any business if you don't have any customers.

With the amount of time and effort, you will be spending while you're still working at your job, you do not want to miss this step as it may avoid long term mistakes or decrease your chances of failure.

We can see this situation happening right now. Who is going to pay for travel and leisure in these rough times? People can't live without the bare necessities though. Keep this in mind when you're constructing your business plan.

4. Organize your time effectively

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Working a full-time job and then coming home to continue another, requires a tremendous amount of discipline and organization.

Start by setting yourself little goals. At the beginning of every month, write down what needs to be accomplished by the end of that month. Then break them down into weekly, and then daily goals. Set aside an hour or two after work to work on your business.

Mark off what you have achieved or what you are finding challenging. Your list of goals is not set in stone. First, get the challenges sorted out before you continue with the rest. If you do not it will soon become overwhelming and you will lose the motivation to continue. Prioritize your time for essential activities.

Understandably it is exhausting, but you must remember that it will not be forever. Take at least one day of the weekend off completely and do whatever relaxes and unwinds you. Recharge yourself for the week ahead.

5. Don't put the horse in front of the wagon

When you're working a full-time job, your business will be your part-time job, not the other way around.

Starting small is the way most businesses began, so don't get ahead of yourself and get tempted to leave your job to create your empire. The empire has to be built one brick at a time, on a solid foundation. Your full-time job is what's giving you the opportunity to buy those bricks, so don't get too far ahead of yourself.

Businesses go through cycles. Take it one step at a time, and only leave your job when your business is finally generating the same or similar income as your current job.

6. Be aware of any possible legal issues

If you're planning on inventing intellectual property as part of your job that can be transferred to your business, read your contract carefully as this may cause some legal issues with your current job.

It may be seen as direct, even aggressive competition with insider knowledge. Do not, under any circumstances use company resources to build your business. This includes sending YOUR business emails from a company email address. This is a huge headache you want to avoid.

Be careful of what you discuss with your colleagues, particularly if you don't know them well enough. Water cooler conversations about your business could lead to misconceptions about attempting to do business deals during your work time.

I know this is exciting stuff, but choose your company at work very carefully when discussing anything about your business.

7. Prepare yourself to leave your job eventually

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I'm sure you don't plan on doing your business part-time forever. So while you still have a full-time job, map out a plan for when you are going to leave.

You should have an end date to your full-time job, which will be your start date as a full-time entrepreneur. This will help you to mentally prepare yourself to take on the role of self-sufficient entrepreneur, where the buck stops with you.

Set aside a portion of your full-time job salary to establish a robust emergency fund. Split that emergency fund between your personal and business responsibilities. This will provide the cushion of support you'll need to be confident enough to leave when the time is right.

8. Eliminate all fear of going it alone

As exciting as it is to start your own business, it can be very daunting to go it alone when you've been receiving a stable income all along.

Overcoming your fear of failure can be quite a task on its own. It is important that you develop the mindset of an entrepreneur very early on in your business plan. The mind is like a muscle after all, the more you work at something, the stronger it will become.

Do not make the mistake of having your business as a side hustle forever. Or giving up because of your fear of failure.

For the dedicated entrepreneur, overcoming failure is a regularity, but quitting is not an option.

Watch this video of Gary Vaynerchuk where he describes very realistically what it takes to be an entrepreneur while still working a full-time job.

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