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Should you quit your job? 5 things you need to consider before taking the step

Apr 13, 2022

On the internet, you’ll find a ton of videos of entrepreneurs telling you to take the risk, start your own company, and become financially and location independent. And yes, we do tell you the same, but we never want to just paint a perfect picture. We want to show you what it really means to build your own business and when it’s time to get started, which is why it’s time that I want to talk about the obvious: when should you quit your job?

Now, hear me out. If you are working a 9-5 job that makes you happy and that fulfills you: congratulations! You have something not many can say they do. In many (or even most) cases, people get into a job because of what society thinks is the norm, because that’s what’s expected of them, or simply because they need financial stability. Or maybe they are too scared of running their own business. Now those are all valid reasons, but at the end of the day, your work should not be just something that pays the bills or makes someone else happy. It should be something that fulfills you, that makes you happy and that allows you to grow.

People who work on something they enjoy or work for themselves, are happier because they are not trading their precious time working for somebody else in a job that they might not even like. So, if you have the chance to work on something that you enjoy, then be proud of it - if not, keep reading, cause you might want to see if it’s time to quit that 9-5!

First things first, you should never quit on a whim. You need to be strategic about this and prepare a few things before you take the big step. Of course, you can always get started right away, but until it’s time to actually quit your job there are a few things you need to consider - mentally and strategically. Let’s see if you are ready.

Are you running away from something or towards something?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is “are you running away from something or towards something?” Are you simply quitting because you don’t enjoy your current job or because you see others building a business, or do you actually have a plan in mind? Because quitting isn’t just about running away, it’s about running toward your project and your dreams. It’s a path that will open so many opportunities for you, so you need to focus your attention on the future. Don’t waste time and energy pushing the job you don’t want away - instead use the time and energy to pull the job you do want towards you.

Do you have the capacity for it right now?

Whenever you are learning a brand new skill and whenever you are really engaged in something - you want to make it work and you think about it all the time. You dream about it, you discuss it with your close ones, you practice it all the time - it becomes your passion, so you enjoy doing it 24/7. That is super important if you want to start your own business. You shouldn’t just start something for the sake of it. There is a lot that goes into it and you shouldn’t do it half-heartedly. They often say that working for someone else is a 9-5 gig and working for yourself is a 24/7 gig and that’s definitely true. You need to be ready to put the work in if you want to see results. You can’t just hope for things to work out. There will be long evenings, short weekends, and even less sleep, especially at the beginning. So, if at the moment, your focus is more on enjoying life, traveling, and spending time with friends then maybe it’s not the right moment for you yet. You need to be 100% committed to it, if not your business is basically destined to fail.

Once you can say with certainty that you are mentally ready and prepared to move forward in your life and quit your job, let’s look at the strategic factors that you need to consider before sending in your letter of resignation.

Can you financially afford it?

If you are still young, maybe even live with your parents still, don’t have any children and no dependents then you’re in a place where you can always rebuild and start over. You might have financial support and a degree so you know that you can always go back to another job if things shouldn’t work out. You can basically afford to take the risk and fail (of course we don’t want you to fail but there is always the possibility - after all, my first 2 businesses failed and I lost a lot of money). But not everyone has the same privilege and opportunities. Most people cannot afford to risk a steady income. They have bills to pay and a family to take care of. And if that’s the case you need to be sure that you can financially afford to quit.

If your next plan doesn’t work out you need to have a solid safety net or backup fund that can catch you when you fall. It’s a very important thing to have. I’d suggest that you save up at least 6-12 months of your monthly expenses before saying goodbye to your steady income. And even if you never need to use that money, it’s a good feeling to know that you have something backing you up. Calculate how much you actually need in order to live every single month. All your expenses, plus your living costs. How much do you actually spend per month? Once you have that figured out, break it down into a weekly rate - that way it won’t be too overwhelming.

Can you maybe lower your hours first?

You might feel like you are not ready to quit just yet because your business is still in the growing stage. You have some customers or clients, but they’re not consistent and you can’t live off of that just yet. Maybe you could consider lowering your hours, finding a part-time job, or a weekend gig. That way you will be able to focus on your business but you still have a steady side income to keep you afloat. Raquel used to work as a Social Media Manager for another company before we became full-time content creators. If this seems like it might be a lot of work having 2 jobs, it’s even harder to be productive and creative when you have bills coming in and you don’t know how you’re gonna pay them.

In general, I would always suggest trying to diversify your income streams. As they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You could have an extra job as a freelancer or you could look into investing your money.

Do you still have any debt?

The last question I want you to ask yourself is “do you still owe any money”? Now, this is a very hard question and people have different takes on it. In my opinion, you should make sure that you have as little debt as possible before you say goodbye to your job. Of course, there are different types of debts. Let’s say you bought a house and took out a mortgage for it, you obviously won’t wait until you paid it off in 20 years. Especially since you could rent it out to pay off your mortgage! But, if you took out a loan from the bank or even from a friend, make sure that all of that is paid off first. It’s gonna be so much harder at the beginning to pay off your debt with your business, so you want to do that when you have a steady income. Try to cut back on unnecessary expenses, maybe you’ll have to cut back on entertainment or going out on the weekends. But remember that you are doing this for yourself. It’s a sacrifice, but one worth doing. You’ll be debt-free and start your journey with no worries.

I like to look at life as a series of sprints - sometimes you have to work overtime and make some sacrifices to make your dreams happen. But once you have reached that goal you will see that things start to become more of a routine, and you realize that these sprints are only temporary. That’s when you get to celebrate your wins and prepare for the next run.

And that’s it! If you answer all of these questions honestly, you should be able to tell if you are ready to hand in your notice and go full-time entrepreneur. After being one for 5 years now I can say that this is a venture worth pursuing. You will be able to work your own hours, make independent decisions, control everything, decide the direction of your business, and so much more. You just don’t get that kind of growth when you are working for somebody else. I know it can be overwhelming and at times scary, but you’ll see how good it feels at the end. So, are you ready to quit your job?

Ready to take the step, but something is still holding you back? Maybe this will help: 5 fears that might be keeping you from starting your online business

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