Don’t Quit Your Day Job
I heard a story today from a 9–5 coworker about a guy he knows who quit his job to become an entrepreneur. I want you think about that sentence for a second. He QUIT his job to BECOME and entrepreneur. Not that he was one and thus quit his day job, he quit to BECOME one. Someone hit the wrong answer buzzer because that ladies and gentlemen is the wrong answer. His excuse for doing so was time, that he didn’t have time to fully devote himself to his business therefore his regular job had to go, OH and he wanted investors so that he could use that money to sustain himself and this new business.
If your skin isn’t crawling from that anecdote then I’m glad you’re reading this. Everyone else can just hang tight because it’s that mentality that I want to address. Thinking that you must quit your job to really devote yourself to your business venture sounds cool in a way. It’s part of that entrepreneur mystique that can lure even the most level headed of us into making some serious mistakes. That mystique carries with it the legends of “all in” kinds of guys who threw caution to the wind and by doing so they could devote their time to the successful startup that launched them into the stratosphere of the worlds riches humans. That mystique is complete bullshit and I can not only point to some very prominent entrepreneurs who made their fortunes slowly but I can also point to a little thing called common sense, common in that everyone should understand the insane risk of expecting things to fall into place when you’re dependent on a very limited cash flow like your investors’ money to live and work off.
Unfortunately, the Silicon Valley startup-venture-capital-angel-fund-multi-seed-round story of 20 something year old raising $25 million dollars has become the standard by which wanna-be entrepreneurs now hold themselves to. “How can you expect me to work under these conditions? I can’t concentrate on this while I work full time!”
Here’s the truth, many of us will not succeed. That is not an opinion, that is a fact. Most of us will fail for a multitude of reasons. Everything from poor planning to simply a terrible idea or we the aspiring entrepreneur are simply not good at what we’re trying to do at when we’re trying to do it. That’s it. It might not happen. With that in mind, your 9–5 job IS your startup money! That’s the point of the grind! It’s the training ground, the trial that separates ideas from become reality. There is no faster way to kill the “Good Idea Fairy” than with the swift bullet of working after WORK!
The other thing to consider is if you can’t hack working 12,16,18 hours then what makes you think you’re going to be able to do it with your business? The typical response to this is, “Well it’s different when its your own business…” Well yeah! It’s WAY harder! There’s no one there to tell you to get things done, or how it should be done, or how to get it all done. There’s no co-worker for you to BS with it’s literally your ass on the line at that point and if you haven’t set your foundation right when you were working that 9–5 then your whole enterprise will fall taking your investors down with you!
“There’s always a tipping point where you have to leave your job, but the point is, know where that point is before you quit,” said Blumenthal, the co-founder and co-CEO of online glasses retailer Warby Parker. “Because frankly being in the workforce, you’re probably more likely to see opportunities for innovation, opportunities for new businesses as opposed to just sitting at home in your garage.”
— Matthew Patane, Warby Parker CEO: Innovators don’t have to be ‘crazy risk takers’
So DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB! In fact, do the best you can do at your job and learn everything from it you can to make your side hustle even better! Use that money to buy what you need, put your skin in the game, show your potential investors that your idea has a foundation built from your blood, sweat, tears, and hard earned cash. That you can account for every moment you spend earning the money you’re about to risk on your business but because you know what that means, that you’re not going to fail without one hell of a fight. We quite the 9–5 when we have BECOME entrepreneurs. When we are successful enough to reach that point of critical mass where it’s time to move forward.