There’s a question I’m often asked: “How do you know when to quit your job and become an entrepreneur?” asks Paul Haarman.
That’s the wrong question to ask – it shows that you aren’t ready yet.
If you’re asking this, then you don’t have what it takes. And, if you do have what it takes, then just quitting will not give you any advantage whatsoever! There are several reasons why leaving would be worse than staying put. So, let me tell you about them:
1) You Get Experience Working for Someone Else If anything happens (and it probably will), and your business fails (it probably won’t because I’ve seen people make over $1m from companies they created while still being an employee), then you still have a job to go back to. If you quit your job, and your business fails in the meantime, there is nothing for you to go back to – no experience working for someone else = tough time finding a new job!
2) You Learn How It’s Like Working for Someone Else Yes, this might be a good thing if you’re going into consulting or freelancing because it will help you know what clients want from your services, but probably not if you’re creating a product.
Furthermore as per Paul Haarman, even learning how it’s like working for someone else has its drawbacks: I’ve seen several cases where people spent years of their lives working without any free time – doesn’t sound too bright, does it?
3) You Can Fine Tune Your Product or Service Working for someone else can teach you a lot about business, but it won’t help you all that much with your product or service says Paul Haarman. In fact, if anything, working for someone else will hurt the success of your product/service because whatever small insight you get from working there is probably not going to be enough to have any impact on your product whatsoever.
4) Your Employer Pays for Business Expenses Finally! I know a pretty good deal of entrepreneurs who went into business while still being employed – and guess what? Their employers paid these people to do something entrepreneurial during work hours (e.g., market research). Now, think about this. How often do you see employers actually pay for you. to do business stuff outside of work? Exactly! Once you start working, the company immediately takes ownership of your time. Not just during office hours, but also during any free hours. This is precisely why so many entrepreneurs quit their jobs. Only after they’ve started making money off their businesses (many years later).
So, when it comes down to it, I think you should ask yourself another question: “Can I go full-time with my business right now”? And if the answer is no (and in most cases, it will be). Then don’t even consider quitting until you can.
What are you waiting for? Get started today. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not just an occupation. If you’re living your life in such a way that it doesn’t feel like there’s any space left for entrepreneurship or creativity. Then maybe the time has come to make some changes and start living more authentically. Don’t let fear get in the way of doing what makes you happy!