Reasons NOT to Quit Your Job and Start a Business

Don’t regret leaving a safe and secure job to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors for the wrong reasons. Here are a few reasons why you should NOT quit your job and start a business.

  1. You Hate Your Job / Boss
    We’ve all had jobs, bosses, and work environments that we hated.  But that doesn’t mean that you should quit your job and start a business. Doing so introduces an element of revenge or one upmanship into your motive and we all know where that will lead to.  If you don’t like your job and are:

    • Not ready to start a business, then find another job – maybe one in a startup. However challenging that prospect may be, it’ll be much, much easier than starting a business.
    • Ready to start a business, then unload your baggage and make sure you have the right intentions for moving forward.
  2. You Want to be Rich
    Our society idolizes gazillionaire entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs so much that it’s easy to assume that if you start a business, you will become rich. The reality is that most entrepreneurs pull in “normal” wages and never ever see the big pay day. I learned this lesson the hard way earlier in my career when I pursued start-up and entrepreneurial endeavors largely to get rich. That wealth never materialized and I found myself frustrated and disappointed time and time again. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to be rich – in fact owning a business increases the odds that you will be – but don’t start a business solely because you want to be rich. Instead, focus on the passion and mission behind your idea and let that be your yardstick for success.
  3. Grass Is Greener
    Entrepreneurs are optimists. Talk to one and you’ll hear about the great opportunities that are on the horizon or the exciting changes that are coming.  Talk to enough of them and you may come away with the perception that they all live in the land of plentiful milk and honey. However, unless one really confides in you, you won’t hear about how close they are to running out of cash, the hours they lay awake at night questioning themselves, or the toll the business takes on their personal lives. Having been on the other side of the fence, there are plenty of things that are greener by having a job.
  4. Someone Says You Should
    There is only one person that can tell you to start a business. You. While your friends and family have your best intentions in mind when they encourage you to start a business, it is you that must pull the trigger. You will be investing a ton of your time, passion, money, and sweat into your venture and so when the going gets tough or you encounter doubt, you must be comfortable from your heart with where you are in order for you to persevere and move on without regret.  Besides, if you’re starting a business because others told you to and you don’t have your heart in it, how it is different from having a job?
  5. You’re Not Financially, Emotionally, Personally Ready
    Olympic athletes don’t get to go for the gold overnight. They spend years finessing their technique, raising funds to support their quest, and toil over injuries and losses that happen along the way. The journey of an entrepreneur is much the same. If your finances are not up the snuff, need a few more life experiences under your belt, or need to develop some key skills, take a little bit more time and polish things up.
  6. You Expect Life to Come to You
    There’s no sugarcoating here – if you’re lazy, unmotivated, or don’t take initiatives, then you will fail as an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs must make things happen, push themselves when the going gets tough, and go that extra mile to meet the deadline, satisfy the customer or close the deal.

So what if you still want to start a business? First, take some time and change – change your attitude, your expectations, your skills, your finances, whatever – there’s is no rush and so take your time and make sure your ducks are lined up before you go.  Secondly and in the meantime, consider volunteering – yes volunteering – for a start-up. They could always use the extra help but often don’t have the means to pay. By volunteering, you can test the waters and experience a little how it feels to be in a start-up environment without making a major commitment.  If you don’t like it, no problem, you’ve learned something about yourself and saved yourself a whole heap of trouble. If, however, the experience intrigues you, then soak everything in and let things marinate. You may even want to consider repeating it elsewhere so that you can experience another start-up environment (each is different). Once you have a better feeling about things and the right motivation for starting a business, then you’re in a much better position to consider taking the leap.

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