How do you know when the time is right to make the leap? Here’s what you need to consider before giving up the security of a full-time job.
Giving up the security of a full-time job to start your own business is a risky, often stressful move. “The biggest reason people don’t end up quitting is the fear of uncertainty. They don’t know what might happen and they don’t want to give up the security that they already have,” says Sean Ogle, who quit a job in finance to live in Thailand and run a virtual search engine optimization and Web consultancy.
Are you just miserable in your current job?
Some people who think they want to be entrepreneurs are just unhappy in their current roles, says Pamela Slim, the Mesa, Ariz.-based author of Escape from Cubicle Nation (Penguin, 2010). Developing a thorough business plan can help you avoid any impulsive decisions. “In addition to wanting to quit, you have to have a viable business idea and an effective marketing and operations plan,” she says. As you work on your plan, she advises, keep your job and income as long as possible.
What will your new day-to-day routine be like?
Instant freedom can be dangerous. Ogle recommends developing a daily schedule to follow, just as you did in your 9-to-5 job. “When you now have all of this free time it gets really easy to say, ‘Oh, I’ll do that later’,” he says. The week after quitting his job, Ogle started going to the gym at the same time he would have arrived at his old office each morning. And after the gym, he worked the same hours that he did for his former employer.
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