I get tons of questions. Most of them from my facebook page, and some via email, and blog. Some questions are new; they’re specific to that person. However, some questions are repeat offenders. One such question which comes up now and then, is “Should I quit my job and start a business ?”
More than often my response is same – NO!
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean to be demotivating. Having a business is one of the coolest things. However, it can be a nightmare if the base isn’t right (I’ll explain this later on).
In this article, I’ll talk about why quitting your job to start a business can be a nightmare.
There are two types of Wannapreneurs :
- Realizes that he has an idea that can improve society or make the life of people easy and starts a business to fix the hole.
- Gets influenced by external factors and starts a business on the wrong foot.
This article is to prevent you from being the second kind.
Not only business, anything in life requires prior planning. If you’re firm that you are in the first category, go ahead and start your journey. However, since you’re on this article, you do have a slight doubt in your head.
What does it mean to be an Entrepreneur?
Although I don’t like anything on T.V, something I hate in particular is how business and startup are portrayed. Glass buildings, employees, clients, meetings, money and much more.
This portrayal sets the image of entrepreneurs to be very high. Due to high expectation, if a person doesn’t succeed, he/she is upset. Business is a combination of efforts, patience, time, belief in self, money, etc.
Movies, advertisements portray entrepreneurs to be people who don’t work and make a ton of money. If you ask any successful entrepreneur, they’ll reveal that they have to work a lot more than their employees.
Here is an article on Hello focus which explains How Elon Musk works 100 hours a week.
This isn’t limited to successful people like Elon Musk. All big CEO’s have a tiring schedule. From waking up to 4 in the morning to be always worried about things all the time, a CEO lives an extremely tough life. In between of deadlines, writer’s block, and tight schedules, I often forgot lunch, snack, and sometimes haircut as well.
Being an Entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean you should own a company. Being an entrepreneur means living your life on your terms.
If you love painting and get a job as a painter in an art gallery, or in a comic book, you’re doing what you love. On the other hand, if you love painting and you get a job as an accountant in an IT firm, you won’t feel any good.
Let’s take this example and compare both scenarios.
Suppose you’re a Painter
With a regular 9 to 5 Job
You don’t have to pay monthly rents, salaries. It’s not your job to ensure your workspace is secure, wake up early in the morning to reach office and start your day. You don’t need to provide health care for everyone who works in your space. You don’t have to worry about clients, where the money comes in from, how does it come in and so on.
All you need to do is to wake up comfortably at 8, reach your workspace at 9 ( or whatever time it is ), do your work and return home. Once you’re home, you have to worry about what food should you eat, what should be your weekend plans and so on.
While, on the other hand
Owning a business
You’ll have to find the right staff, make a team of dedicated people, and remember, each of them needs to be paid. In the first month, when a business isn’t even correctly setup, you need to pay rents, salaries and much more. You need to make sure your workspace is fit for everyone, is secure and so on.
Owner has to attend tons of meetings and discussions with clients, potential investors, etc.
You have to wake up early in the morning to plan your tight day ahead. Due to extreme deadlines, tight schedule, you always are thinking about your business and how to take it up a notch.
You need a consistent workforce to ensure work doesn’t get disturbed, people joining and leaving your company often cause a big mess. You have to supervise everyone’s work as well.
Why do you want to quit your job?
Most of the times, people who want to start a business, want to quit their job. There are several reasons why
- Not getting paid sufficiently
- Want to take control of their life
- Co-workers aren’t friendly
1. Not getting paid sufficiently
If this is the case, instead of quitting your job, change your company. Upgrade your resume with new experience and apply in different companies. The only way you can be paid more is by changing a company. Because your current employer won’t give you a significant promotion.
2. Want to take control of their life
When you have a job, your boss is your boss.
When you start a business, employees are your boss; clients are your boss, investors are your boss. In short, you’ll often feel least valued. If your whole company loves tea, and you are a coffee lover, you’ll buy a tea machine first.
3. Co-workers aren’t friendly
Again, if this is the case, change your company, don’t stop working. If someone is being an asshole to you at the workspace, take it to seniors, and if it doesn’t help, start looking for better companies.
Money – The Nightmare of Startups
Despite how much you love your work. Your landlord and employees need to be paid. You have to pay bills like water, electricity, food and much more.
It doesn’t matter after how many months your company starts making money; you have to start spending cash out of your pocket from the day one. Apart from these, you have personal expenses as well. If you quit your job without planning, the lack of enough capital will kill your startup.
Make sure you plan your startup ahead of quitting your job. Be sure that what you want can’t be achieved by changing companies and can only be done if you start a business.