No, I am not quitting my job to become an entrepreneur, but there was a time around a year ago where I was highly considering it. To be completely honest, as much as I see myself being my own boss someday down the road, I am really glad I didn’t quit my job. Here’s why.
Oftentimes, when most people quit their job, they have a tendency to rush into that decision. They get so fed up working for “The Man,” tired of always being on somebody else’s schedules, tired of never having the energy to pursue something meaningful to them, and quite frankly, most are tired of how they are treated.
We have all been in that position and have felt similar thoughts, but what you need to know is that rushing into a decision of quitting your job to become an entrepreneur probably isn’t going to be in your best interest – especially if you are just starting out.
Being A Entrepreneur Is “Cool”
There is this belief that being an entrepreneur is the new cool thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, being an entrepreneur definitely has its benefits, but it’s also a lot of hard work.
Wouldn’t you rather be prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into before rushing into a decision just because your boss made some smart remark?
Wouldn’t you rather know how much work it’s actually going to take to become a successful entrepreneur before making a spur-of-the-moment decision to become one?
Wouldn’t you rather be able to rely on a steady paycheck until you have an established business before wondering where your next dollar is going to come from?
These are all thoughts and concerns that passed through my mind when I was contemplating the idea of quitting my job to become an entrepreneur. It’s weird because I have never shared this with anyone, but it’s the truth.
Be Smart, But Never Settle
I’m not saying you should stay at the current job you are in. If you don’t like what you are doing for work and if you aren’t treated properly, my best advice to you would be to find a new job.
This is actually the route that I took instead of quitting altogether to become my own boss. I actually took a $10,000 yearly pay-cut, and let me tell you something… it was the best decision I have ever made.
During the week, work consumes a minimum of a third of our time. This isn’t factoring in the commute to and from work, the stress from work we often take home, or the overtime we put in. This is solely the 8-hour work day.
Think about that for a moment. If you are in a job you don’t like or one where you don’t feel valued, you are spending a third of your life in a toxic environment. All for what? The sake of an extra few thousand dollars?
It’s not worth it.
Sure, taking a $10,000 was scary to me, but in the end, it turned out to be the biggest blessing. Not only am I so much happier, work for an amazing company, and genuinely feel like I am appreciated, but the biggest blessing has come in the form of job security.
With the pandemic, the company I was previously employed by ended up furloughing 90% of their employees. Those who were fortunate enough to still have a job continued to work, but didn’t make any money in commissions. When I was working there, that was a third of our pay…
So yes, while I took a $10,000 pay-cut up front, I actually ended up making more as a result of not being furloughed and not having to worry about commissions.
You tell me who won.
So I get it, you may not feel appreciated or like you are doing meaningful work, but before you make a rash decision, look for another job first and see how that makes you feel. Who knows, it may just change your whole perspective like it did for me.
What To Think About Before You Quit Your Job
Here’s why I am an advocate of having a job until you have launched a successful business on the side.
Believe it or not, jobs are good for many things, such as:
- A steady and consistent paycheck.
- Holidays and paid time off.
- Usually helping you start a 401k, and in most cases, employers will even contribute and match a certain amount.
- Helps to build relationships.
- Best of all (but probably most underrated) health, dental, and eye insurance.
As an entrepreneur, it’s not to say that you can’t have these things, but they are just a lot more difficult to control. At first:
- Paychecks are going to be inconsistent.
- You are going to be working more than 40 hours a week if you want to succeed. Most of the time you will also be working weekends and holidays.
- Nobody is going to match anything you put into retirement, and let’s be real, you probably won’t be putting anything in yourself.
- You often ride solo.
- You have to pay probably close to $400 or $500 for your own insurance, which tends to do nothing at all for you in emergency situations. Oh, and this doesn’t include any additional family members on your plan.
Yeah, it’s a lot to think about that many don’t take into consideration.
What To Do Before You Quit Your Job
So, the reason you came here, what should you do before you quit your job…
Now, everybody is different and I realize I am just “some millennial who is new to Corporate America and has no idea what they are talking about,” but before quitting your job, the best piece of advice I could give you is to pay off all of your existing debt.
Car loans, credit cards, student loans, medical bills, any debt that you have, pay it off before you quit your job.
Want to know why? Because if you have debt, you probably suck with money. If you suck with money, not only are you going to be adding a lot of unwanted stress on your plate, but should you really be throwing away any of the security you actually have? Should you really be your own boss if you can’t first learn to manage your finances?
Now, for the record, I have debt so you could say that I suck with money. But… I also didn’t quit my job and have realized since that before I even consider that as a possibility, I will be completely debt free.
Paying off your debt before starting your own business is going to have you so much doubt and stress down the road. You are going to have to worry about fewer bills, fewer people calling you for money, and you are going to be set up to contribute as much money as possible to really growing your business.
So while that may delay the process of becoming your own boss by a few years, just know that it will be worth it. The reason most entrepreneurs fail isn’t because they don’t have good ideas, but it’s because they run out of money. Do yourself a favor and free up as much money as you can before you start so that you won’t have to worry about it when you start.
Before You Go
I get it, this isn’t going to be for everybody and not everybody is going to agree with my opinions. That’s completely fine. But as somebody who is overly cautious with their money and who wants to achieve all of their goals and dreams, this is just what I am doing to someday set myself up for success.
Once you have set yourself up for success financially, there is going to be very little that can get in the way of you achieving your dreams. Be smart now so that you don’t have to deal with the heartaches that come with financial struggles later down the road.