You are thinking about starting a side hustle, a new gig, or a business. Maybe you started one and are wondering if you should quit your job. Should you quit your job, cut back your hours, or keep your job?
My recommendation to start out is to keep your day job and build your business.
I have heard coaches tell their clients to quit their job and go for your business full time and it will provide. For very few people does this happen. Did you know that the majority of people who quit their job to build a business within 2-5 years will return back to becoming an employee for someone else?
Why do you want to keep your day job?
- Because it takes time to build a business and get everything in place to share that business with the world.
- Because it is a different mindset to be an employee than it is to be an entrepreneur. And most people are trying to run a homebased business like being an employee.
- Because if something happens either to your business or your job then you have a back-up plan. If nothing else this past year has proven that to be true.
Start building your business as a side hustle and see how it goes. You might discover you don’t like the entrepreneur life. You might discover that you do. And you are working a job to pay the bills and use your income to slowly build your business. (By the way, I use slowly loosely as it is a different journey for each person. What is slow for you may be considered fast for another.) This is a healthy way to build your business foundation and have some sense of security to implement things to see how they are going to work out.
Your business can progress even if you are working on it part-time. You will need to set realistic goals for your business because you don’t want to set a full-time business goal when you are working part-time. You have to be realistic in your expectations for yourself and your business especially while you are building it up. In some cases, your job is what makes your side gig possible. Do not underestimate that.
When you can cut back on your hours?
When your business is making enough money to cover some of your expenses and it needs you to spend more time to make more sales. I would cut back 5-10 hours a week to start and if you are getting your sales up and you are able to pay yourself something that replaces those hours you cut back then you can add a few more hours.
When you should quit your job?
- When you are growing not when you are still building the foundation and still trying to figure it out what your business is there for.
- When you have a minimum of six months’ worth of living expenses and business expenses in savings.
- When your business is paying you at least 2/3 of the income that you are making at your job.
Keeping your day job gives you time to master your business. Figure out what you want, what your clients want, and where you want to go with this new business. It gives you time to hire the support you need to build a business. Tech support and website design, what services will you provide and what products will you offer? It takes time to build those worksheets and video’s that you want to share with your clients. This time also allows you time to get your digital presence out to the world. Let’s people get to know you and build the “know, like and trust” factors of people buying your services. You don’t want to quit your job and then run out of money too early either. Just as you are starting to gain momentum and then suddenly you find yourself without enough money to sustain your family and your business.
And remember, your brain can only work intensely a few hours a day. If you are giving all that creativity to your job then when you come home to work on your business you will have to take a break to get your brain jump-started again. It is not like “I just got off work and I am ready to do my business” if your brain is not getting a break it is like writer’s block. Slows down the process if we are not allowing the brain to relax a little. Make sure you give your brain a break.
I haven’t even begun to share with you yet about family and friends. Will you have time for them? Yes, if you make the time! It is even more important in some cases to keep your day job so you can work on your business at a pace that still supports connection with family and friends. This gives you some freedom to not put so much stress and anxiety on yourself and your loved ones as you make this transition into entrepreneurship. You have the same amount of time as everyone else which is 1440 minutes every 24 hours. Don’t try and cram more time in your day as it is not going to happen and it is not worth the energy.
Even if you have money in savings that will carry you for a while and you hate your job I still recommend that you have a job as you are starting your business. Make a change in the job and find something you like and use that time to build a solid way of funding your business and staying on track with your household budget. Start to pay attention early to your small business finances and focus on the realistic goals you want to set for your new business. Starting a business is easy, staying in business long term is where it starts to get hard and will take a lot of commitment to keep you going.