Many people ask me why I preach starting a business on the side while keeping a full time job instead of recommending one quit the job and pursue entrepreneurship full time.
I’d be glad to recommend you to quit the job, but not everyone is in the position to walk away from their job. People have bills to pay, and they need a stable source of cash flow coming in (a job). Besides, there is no guarantee of anything when you start your own business. Anything can happen anytime. If you follow statistics, the numbers heavily favor failed businesses over those that are successful.
Below are some other reasons why not to quit the job that I will elaborate on:
- Education – education is an investment you will never lose. No matter what happens in life, your knowledge is something no one can take away from you. So if you are in a position where you are deciding between school or starting a business, I highly recommend you invest in your education first. Going to school is critical to building a strong foundation, and a great back up if things don’t pan out in business. Higher education however is a bit of a sticky point with me. Don’t get me wrong. I believe you can never learn too much, but $120,000 for an MBA? Some things are just not worth it sometimes. There is enough research done and debate on this subject matter. I recommend you read up on it.
- Real World Exposure – the experience gained in the work force, no matter how much you love or hate it, is invaluable. You are exposed to the real world where you see how human beings interact professionally (or otherwise). You are exposed to the benefits of working a 9 to 5, as well as the brutal realities of Corporate America such as corporate politics and “boredom” for many.
- Confidence – working in the real world after graduating college builds confidence on many levels. You experience and learn to deal with people in the “real world” in a professional setting. You gain invaluable technical and soft skills, all while building up your bank account. Financial progress in itself is a huge confidence booster.
- Strong Foundation – working in the real world can build your personal and technical foundation on so many levels. You may or may not realize it, but you are learning something new every day that contributes toward your human capital.
- Safety Net – there is no better insurance program when starting a business than a steady pay check that you can count on every couple weeks. So what if the business fails? You still have your job. This is a huge confidence boost and will positively reflect in your business efforts. You will move along without fear.
- The Bible Says It – I am not a Christian, but I do believe in the good advice written in religious scriptures (I have read a fair share of them). The Bible tells you to build your business before building your home. Similarly, I tell people to build their careers before their businesses. Either way you look at it, building a foundation is what is being preached. Businesses can flourish or fail anytime, but having a good career going allows you to rely on it for a timely and comfortable retirement. There is also a lot to be said about a solid corporate career.
You can interpret any of these points in any way you want. Simply put, they are factors that mitigate risk of failure or enhance the possibility of success. These collectively are a big reason why I DO NOT recommend you quit the job overnight.
If you are in a situation where you can walk away from your job to start a business and not miss the income, then go ahead by all means. You will likely achieve success a lot faster than someone who juggles both their job and their part time business.
Many of my friends who I went to college with were International students who came from very rich families. They all had good financial backing and went back to their countries to pursue business after college. For the average Joe however, this is rarely an option.
I was an average Joe too, and if you are like how I was when I got started, consider the discussion points above to put things into perspective.
Readers: Do you think you should quit the job and pursue entrepreneurship full time or juggle for a bit?
Here are my additional thoughts on why you shouldn’t quit the job immediately.
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