Should you quit your job to start your own business?
If you’re stuck in a cubicle doing a soul-sucking job that doesn’t fulfill you, the temptation is there. Just imagine…
Instead than wasting two hours a day commuting amid of sea of grey, ghostly faces, you can wake up in the morning and go working on a tropical beach.
Instead than waiting for 5 o’clock to pack up your bag and go home on a slow day when you don’t have much to do, you could be meeting up for an afternoon coffee break with your girlfriends or spending time with your children.
Instead than doing meaningless paperwork that bores you to death, you could be working on a passion project that fires you up and excites you.
Working for yourself is awesome. What’s not to like?
If you’re sensing a but in the air, it’s because it’s coming.
Listen, gorgeous. I’m a huge fan of being your own boss and having your own lifestyle business.
You know, a business that supports your ideal lifestyle, and gives you total freedom, flexibility, and unlimited income potential.
I’m the proud owner of a lifestyle business (or two) myself. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But because I know the truth of what running your own business and working for yourself is like, I can tell you it’s NOT for everyone.
So, before you book that plane ticket to Bali, here’s how to figure out once and for all whether you should quit your job or start your own business:
The Perks Of Having Your Own Business
I love being my own boss and having my own business. It gives me the freedom, flexibility, and perks I wouldn’t find in other jobs.
Here’s what having your own business allows you to do and enjoy:
- Making your own schedule: Time is one of the most important things in the world and you want to make sure you make the most of every minute. You can choose what hours to work, take a random break in the afternoon to see a friend, and go on holiday whenever you want without having to ask someone else permission.
- Total freedom over your work: You get to work only on the projects that you’re passionate about and that you truly believe in. You don’t have to waste your time on things you don’t enjoy, tweak things to please a manager or picky client (you can fire those, you know?), or hold your tongue for fear of upsetting an advertiser.
- Fulfilling your life purpose: You get to do the work you were put on this planet to do and use your talents and strengths to make a difference in people’s lives – in your own way.
- Unlimited income potential: You don’t have to wait for someone to give you a raise or a promotion to earn more. You can always increase your prices, releases more products, and add a new revenue stream.
- Building your own tribe: You can hire the people you want, choose clients that are the right fit for your business, work with inspiring colleagues on new exciting ventures. Instead than being stuck with a grumpy Karen in the next cubicle, you decide whom to let into your business and life.
- Location flexibility: Depending on the type of business you start, you may be able to work from home, a cafe, or a beach in Bali. There’s no boss forcing you to go to the office every single day.
Not sure what your life purpose is? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the Purpose Finder Worksheet and find out:
The Disadvantages Of Having Your Own Business
Having your own business is not all freedom and roses. It’s also a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
Here’s the ugly side of having your own business no one ever tells you about:
- It’s all on your shoulders: When you first start out, you’ll have to do everything yourself. Creating products, writing blog posts, setting up your website, doing your taxes, be your own PR… It can be exhausting (ask me how I know…).
- Never disconnecting from work: As an employee, you can go home and enjoy your free time without ever thinking about work. As a business owner, you’ll need to bring your laptop with you everywhere – even on vacation – in case someone needs you or an emergency happens.
- Income instability: Not only you’ll likely not make any money for the first few months, you’ll see your income constantly fluctuating. One month, your revenue goes up and you’re ready to party, the next it goes down so much, you wonder how you can make ends meet. You need to be good with money to make it.
- No guarantees: Hard work is a must, but it’s no guarantee of success. Failure is always around the corner (get ready for it, you’ll fail many times).
- No accountability: You don’t have a boss breathing on your neck to get things done. It’s up to you to motivate yourself and get things done. If you need external accountability, having your own business may not be the best option for you.
- Loneliness: Working from home is great until you realise you haven’t left the house in 5 days. Worse, you don’t even remember when was the last time you took a shower.
- Self-doubt and insecurity: There isn’t a clear roadmap to building a business. You’ll throw spaghetti against the wall a lot to see what sticks… and feel like a loser cos you have no idea what you’re doing (trust me, no one does).
- Sales: This is a hard one for women but you can’t literally have a business if you don’t want to sell. Sales are the lifeblood of your business. Either get over your fear of selling or stay in your 9-5 job.
How To Tell If It’s A Good Idea To Quit Your Job To Start Your Business
Maybe you looked at the second list above and thought, “I can handle that if it means unlimited freedom, flexibility, and money.”
Or maybe you’re starting to have second thoughts. It was one thing of dreaming to work from a beach in Bali, but the huge responsibility and income instability are freaking you out.
Is that just fear talking or are you not meant to have your own business?
FYI, there’s nothing wrong with you if you decide not to start your own business. Entrepreneurship is all the rage now, but it’s not for everyone. If your life purpose is better fulfilled working for someone else, do that.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to figure out if it’s really a good idea to quit your job and start your business:
- What are your top values?: Do you value more financial stability or the freedom and autonomy of being your own boss? Is being in complete control of your time more important than being able to disconnect from work on evenings, weekends, and holidays?
- Are you willing to do whatever it takes?: Are you prepared to learn new skills, network your little butt off, pivot as many times as necessary, and work longer hours than ever before?
- Are you willing to eat the shit sandwich? No dream job is a dream 100% of the time. Are you willing to put up with the downsides and make sacrifices?
- Are you willing to master your Inner Mean Girl?: Your inner mean girl, that nasty voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough, is the biggest obstacle you’ll face in business. She’ll tell you all sorts of lies to scare you off your dreams and go back to the safety of a “proper job.” Are you willing to do the psychological and mindset work to tame it once and for all? (FYI, this is NOT a one-time thing. You have to do this work for the rest of your life).
- Are you cool with failure?: You’d better be because you’ll fail a lot. You’ll host events no one attends. Launch online courses no one buys. Create a product no one wants. Buy expensive gear you’ll never use. Hire the wrong people. It’s all part of the learning process.
- Are you willing to take full responsibility?: You’re 100% responsible for your business. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You can’t hide behind your boss or anyone else. Can you handle it?
If you’ve answered yes to ALL these questions and your values align with your business vision, go ahead and start your own business. You’re ready.
Need help to master that inner voice in your head that tells you it’s not ok to fail? Sign up to the newsletter below to download the “Silence Your Inner Mean Girl” cheatsheet to turn your inner critic into your biggest supporter.
What If You’re Still Not Sure If You Should Quit Your Job To Start Your Business?
What if you answered yes only to a few questions? What if financial stability and flexibility are equally important to you?
Keep the day job… and find a way to explore your business idea on the side. Here are a few ideas:
- Freelancing: You could start doing some freelance work in your free time to get a taste of what it’s like to get your own clients and be your own boss.
- Remote work: You can find a job that allows you to work from home and have more flexibility. You can also ask your boss if working from home (even for just a few hours a week) is a possibility.
- Work on commission: If you want to earn more without waiting for a raise, this could be a good compromise. Your earning potential is on you, but you don’t have the extra headache of running the whole business.
- Etsy shop: If you want to sell your own homemade products, you can run a shop on Etsy in your free time to gauge demand and figure out if it’s the right path for you.
If you fall in love with being your own boss and the entrepreneurial lifestyle, quit your job and go all in. If you decide the whole thing’s not for you, no harm done.
Over to you, now. Now you know what it really takes to run a business, do you still want to quit your job and start one? Let me know in the comments below.