When should I quit my job to be an entrepreneur?
Today’s question comes from Joe. He asks:
“I’m in a very similar spot you were in before you decided to leave your job, although without as much money saved.
I’m 28, have $100k or so in the bank, making about $170k/year, and building something on the side that I hope becomes my full time endeavor.
On top of it, I’m in a serious relationship and I’m feeling the pressure to propose but in my gut it doesn’t feel right.
I just want to cut free of everything and have nothing on the schedule and work on what I love. But on paper that doesn’t seem smart to do. And I wonder if it’s the “weak” man’s decision (to just pick up and leave) as opposed to what the strong man would do (to stick around and persevere regardless of the circumstances).”
The mistake people make is thinking they need to quit their job to be an entrepreneur because doing that has become the fashionable thing to do.
Look, I love reading stories about scrappy entrepreneurs who made it big. But you never hear about the entrepreneurs who failed because the media knows that doesn’t sell. They know the dream sells.
So here’s the thing nobody will say but I’m going to tell you: It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can do both.
And you should do both until your business can support you. You didn’t say, but maybe it’s getting to that point.
Or, you know it could support you if you quit your job to spend all your time working on it. And a $100,000 runway gives you the time to make sure it does.
But it will still be a big deal if you quit because building your business will be your focus and where you spend all your energy.
And it will be a much bigger deal if you quit and you get married to someone you don’t know if you should marry.
Because you can probably have a good relationship if you work on it, but that means working on your relationship needs to be your focus.
We can’t have huge things going on in all areas of our life. And right now the important part of your life is doing work that’s meaningful to you which means building your business. You can find a spouse after you do that.
And, it will be a lot of work finding the spouse that’s right for you. It will take as much focus and energy as it did building your business. Again, you can only do one huge thing at a time.
Okay. So if this seems right, you should keep working at your job. Because unless it’s toxic in some way it doesn’t sound like it hurts you or harms you to stay.
You spend your days at your job and your nights and weekends building your business until it can support you. That’s a great way to structure a life.
In fact, everyone should do this because when you’re starting things on the side you’re learning and growing and figuring out what you have that the world values.
That’s how all this started. I was bored at my job because I had done everything I wanted to do and I wasn’t okay phoning it in for the next 30 years.
So I started figuring out how to optimize my personal finances to have the financial freedom to do whatever I wanted.
And during that time I started writing about what I was doing so now I’m learning everything I can about managing my money and my career and how to write about it.
What I’m trying to say is you don’t have to quit your job to be an entrepreneur. You can do both. And because you’re in your 20s you have decades ahead of you to do everything you want to do.