When to Quit Your Day Job and Go Full-Time with Your Business
Whoever said winners never quit clearly wasn’t an entrepreneur. At some point, you have to quit many things to become a full-time entrepreneur. One of them is your job.
Unless you have a lot of money in the bank, your significant other makes a significant amount of cash, or you have some serious investment, you may very well need to work elsewhere to fund your dream. And assuming everything goes according to plan, you’ll then need to quit that job and run with your dream.
We touched on this briefly awhile back on the Business is ART podcast at the TrueChat Network (listen to BIA Episode #43 – Creative Juices) with my guest, author and entrepreneur, Mary McFarland, but it bears repeating. Sometimes you need to work elsewhere to fund your dream, and then you’ll need to quit that job to run your dream.
The question is….when do you quit the day job?
Quitting at the Right Time is Crucial
If you wait too long, you may be holding your business back, hurting progress, and burning yourself out. Quit too soon and you could fall into a nasty financial pit. But finding the right point to quit will act as a springboard to your future, positively affecting your mood, your energy, and your momentum.
It Starts with a Plan
Like so many things in business, it’s best to plan ahead. Begin by first planning out your business. I recommend doing two separate plans: a very simple strategic plan that looks out over no more than 3 years and a 1-year business plan. Start with the strategic plan because it forms the foundation for everything you will do going forward. Then move to a simple business plan. Neither of these plans should be lengthy or wordy.
It’s going to take some late nights and weekends to do this since you’re grinding away at your other job. Don’t get discouraged. Know that this is temporary.
Now, once you’ve made plans, a few things should become very clear:
- That your idea is viable
- When you should theoretically start making money
- How much money you’ll be making
- What your future growth looks like
This will then provide you with enough information to set a target date – that glorious, nerve-racking date that you turn in your resignation and jump in to the full-time entrepreneur waters. Remember, this is a target date. Aim for it. If you miss, take aim again.
From there, you’ll have to take one of the hardest looks at your personal finances that you’ve ever taken.
Accounting for Every Dollar
If you already track your personal finances and expenses, you’re a step ahead. You’ll want to know what you need to live. How much money do you and your family need to pay the bills and put food on the table? This doesn’t include the fun stuff. There will be sacrifices (not the animal kind).
If you’re not willing to sacrifice some personal comfort, you’re probably not serious enough to make your business work. That’s just the truth.
Once you have a rough idea of business growth and a list of your expenses, you should start to have an idea of when you can quit and survive.
There Should Also Be Some Emergency Savings in There
Because you don’t know exactly how your business is going to turn out, you’ll need to save up some money. Ideally, a few months’ worth of expenses. The more runway you can give yourself, the better off you’ll be.
Be Patient, but Not Too Patient
For most people, it’s going to be best to wait until your new business is making some amount of money before you quit. Going from no revenue to healthy revenue can be an unpredictable road.
However, going from some money to more money is much more achievable.
Ideally, you should go until your day job feels like a true pain point. Like it’s holding you back from taking your new business to that next level. When that moment comes, go for it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t say “well, let’s give it a couple more months to be safe.”
Give everything to your new business. You may be surprised by what happens next.
Starting a Business Might Not Be Easy, but It is Possible
..more possible than you might realize. With a viable idea, some planning, and a lot of hard work, that business you’ve always wanted can become a reality. And you can finally leave behind that job you don’t really care about.
Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Increase your chances of success with the proven methods featured in Business is ART. Get the book today at Amazon! You can also sign up for my free webinar on strategic planning by clicking here. Finally, I now have online video training to walk through all of this. It’s an hour and 50 minutes worth of training packed in to 25 short videos where I’ll teach you how to set your vision, develop strategic and business plans, and identify and track the key performance indicators (metrics) most important to you. Check it out here.