When Should You Quit Your Day Job and Become a Full-Time Entrepreneur?

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Are you considering making the leap from your 9-5 day job into your very own business? If so, it’s important to have the proper plans in place before you leave your job.

Nobody wants to resign, only to go crawling back to their boss six months later asking for their old job back. So, here’s a look at five things you should consider before you quit your day job and leap into your own business full-time.

1. Financial stability

While it is ideal for your business to be wildly profitable this isn’t always possible for most businesses especially during the early phases. Therefore, you need to make sure you have enough money in reserve to live off of until the business really takes off. That’s why it is important to understand how much money you will need to live and how long you realistically think it will take until you’re turning enough of a profit to pay yourself a livable salary.

2. Have a Viable Idea!

This should go without saying, but unfortunately, it needs to be said. Billions of ideas are born every day, but not every idea is a good idea, and unfortunately, not every good idea is a viable idea. The “viability” factor is what usually fools people. In theory, your business idea might be brilliant — solving a very real need in an innovative and interesting way — but if it can’t be produced effectively or if the market isn’t ready for such a solution, even a great idea can fall flat.

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3.  Prepare for the realities of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship has been played up as something “glamorous”, and in some ways it is. You get to be your own boss, make your own rules and build something unique from the ground up. Unfortunately, because of major tech-startup successes such as Facebook and Uber, there’s a misconception that entrepreneurs simply show up one day in a T-shirt, pitch a great idea and the next day they wind up billionaires. This simply isn’t true. Most businesses fail, and most entrepreneurs end up going back to work in a 9-5 position. Building a business and being an entrepreneur takes a lot of time, it requires sacrifice and regular failure should be expected as you work your way to the top. Be prepared for the not so flashy side of business.

4. Talk to people.

Ultimately, quitting your job has to be your decision. But before you pull the trigger, it’s worth making the time to talk to others about your options. Talk to your spouse about whether he or she is ready to take the risk with you. Talk to your friends about whether they believe your idea is promising. Talk to your peers and mentors to see if they have any advice. You may find these alternative perspectives highlight problems you hadn’t considered or can help to put your mind to ease.

5. Start whenever you are ready

In some ways, starting a business is like having a kid—in that it never feels like the right time to do it. There will always be more things you want to figure out before making it happen, more things you want to fall into place, etc etc. Then, create your own timeline for getting those things in place and create accountability for yourself. Put a note on your calendar reminding yourself that, on this date in the future, it’s going to be time to leap—whether you feel ready or not.

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PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.



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