Are you thinking about starting a lifestyle business and not sure if you should quit your job? Are things getting on top of you at the office or are you working for a bad boss?
It’s very tempting especially in the current economy to want to quit your job and work for yourself. Taking action and banking on yourself is always great advice and there’s nothing better than being your own boss.
But before you get carried away, I want to issue a stern warning; DO NOT quit your job.
Too many budding entrepreneurs quit their job to start their own business before they have even tested their idea or have any paying customers lined up. This is a recipe for disaster!
Unless you have enough capital to keep you going for at least 6 months or family members or a partner to support you through the start-up phase, it’s far better to start small and work on your business around your day job.
This may not be as sexy as risking it all to go solo or getting $1 million investment to fund your venture but believe me it is the safest and least stressful option.
The reason I can say this with total conviction is because I’ve been there.
In the past I have put everything on the line for a new venture. I’ve also secured investment for a bricks and mortar business and know first-hand the pressure that comes from borrowing other people’s money. Things didn’t work out as I envisaged and the struggle and stress nearly crippled me financially and emotionally, as well as almost destroying my relationships with the people I loved most.
I managed to turn things around eventually but I wouldn’t do it again and don’t recommend this high-risk route for most people.
So if you are at the point where you’ve had enough of your co-workers and can’t stand working another day for your boss, here’s why you should not quit your job to build your dream business – just yet.
Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
Thanks to the internet, you no longer need a lot of money to start your own business. If you want to keep your sanity and build a business around your passions, then I recommend you follow the lifestyle business model.
This model is low-maintenance, less hassle and more portable than any other business model I know of. It’s what I’m doing in my own business and what I help my clients achieve.
I believe that each of us is blessed with a unique set of experiences, talents and gifts. When these gifts are nurtured and developed correctly they can be packaged up to help people solve their problems while allowing you to live the lifestyle you desire.
The trouble is that knowing yourself, identifying your strengths, creating and implementing a solid strategy and telling the world about it all takes time.
That’s why you need to start developing an action plan and working on your exit strategy well before you quit your job.
Create An Exit Strategy Before You Quit Your Job
It’s very easy to let yourself get weighed down by your day job and sucked into dramas and crises at work.
Use your vision to motivate you and pull you forwards. Stay focused by envisaging the kind of person you want to be and what your future life would look like.
Rather than resenting your customers, your colleagues or your boss, be grateful that your day job is paying your bills and continue to perform your duties to the best of your abilities.
Remember, your day job is giving you the breathing space you need to plan your exit.
This might sound “woo-woo” but trust me, the energy of gratitude will not only help you survive and thrive in your workplace but also attract the people, opportunities and anything else you need to pull off the next steps.
Commit to working your core hours – no more and no less. This means no longer offering to do any overtime nor socializing with your co-workers after hours, unless they are people who inspire you.
Let Go Of The Employee Mindset
On your journey to becoming an entrepreneur you will need to shift your mindset up a gear and be more discerning about how you spend your time and with whom.
This sounds harsh but you must distance yourself from people who think like employees, who gossip, whine and whinge and are happy with the status quo. They will rob you of your energy and therefore your dreams.
I haven’t had a job in the traditional sense for over four years but I clearly remember how the negativity of my colleagues and their mindless chatter left me feeling drained. Being an optimistic and ambitious person, it was one of the biggest challenges I faced in the workplace.
But it also drove me to quit my job and build my dream business.
Being selective about the company you keep and getting home on time will not only give you more free time for yourself and your family but you’ll also have the energy to put your plans into action. For instance, you’ll be inspired to create your website, write blog posts and connect with influencers.
If you can commit to developing your vision for just one hour every evening or an hour in the morning before you leave for the office, you’ll be amazed by how much you achieve. In fact, you will be a lot further than many newbie entrepreneurs by the time you eventually quit your job.
This is the kind of commitment that separates true entrepreneurs from the wannabes. Many successful entrepreneurs started building their companies in a garage or on the side while they juggled one, two or more day jobs.
It’s also a great way of testing your commitment and finding out if you’re really cut out for self-employment or have just been sucked in by the glamor of working for yourself.
Business Is A Huge Learning Curve
Building a successful business is a massive undertaking and it’s no different when you’re building a lifestyle business online.
Regardless what you may have read, working a 4-hour week is virtually impossible or at least not in the first few years.
Think about how long it has taken you to master your current job. One year? Three years? Five years? That level of mastery takes time to develop in any field.
You will have to work very hard, probably harder than in your day job. If you are holding down a full-time job at the same time, be prepared for a huge learning curve as you get your head around your website, blogging, social media, marketing, product creation, traffic, conversions and so on.
Things will probably take far longer than you think so you shouldn’t quit your job until you are consistently making an income that equals or exceeds your monthly salary.
I don’t want to sugar coat what it’s really like. These are the kinds of hard truths that marketers and so-called gurus rarely tell you about. They want you to believe that overnight successes are the norm but the reality is completely different.
This is why it’s important to find a good mentor who can help you shorten your learning curve.
You Need Money For Marketing
Although you can start an online business for under $100, like any business you must invest in its growth. This is the one thing that many budding entrepreneurs overlook.
Unless you plan on doing everything yourself, which I don’t recommend, there are other costs that you need to consider like website development, graphic design, social media, writing services, PR, marketing and advertising.
Running out of money to market your business is the worst thing that can happen to your fledgling venture. It’s like turning off a life support machine.
Many people think you need a great idea to be successful but the truth is that even an average business can do well if it is marketed effectively. So you need to make sure people are continually hearing about your business, your products and services, otherwise you don’t really have a business. You have a very expensive hobby.
By holding onto your day job during the crucial start-up phase you can hire talent to do all the above for you and more. While you focus on the overall strategy, you can delegate lower priority tasks to freelancers who are better equipped to do them for you via sites like Elance, Odesk or even Fiverr.
This is the fastest way to multiply your efforts and quickly scale your business because you are buying other people’s time. It’s the secret behind the 6- and 7-figure businesses you read about.
There is nothing wrong with following your heart and building a business that can help you create the lifestyle you desire. If you truly believe in yourself then nothing and no one can stop you.
However, I urge you to think carefully before you quit your job and jump in feet first. Building an online business takes time and is relatively low-cost so there’s no reason to risk your livelihood, your health or get into debt unnecessarily. But you will need to invest in marketing because this can make or break your business.
Being sensible and safeguarding your future and that of your family doesn’t make you less of an entrepreneur either. If anything, it demonstrates responsibility.
The best way to develop your dream business is to keep your day job and build your business on the side. Use your salary to cover the initial start up costs as well as to market your business and hire the talent you need to grow. Once you make some sales and attract clients you can re-invest those funds to eventually quit your job.
Have you quit your job to follow your heart? How is it working out for you? Please comment and share your experience below.