I’ve had countless day dreams and actual dreams about being self-employed ever since I got my first taste of entrepreneurship almost 8 years ago.
I was 18 at the time and didn’t have many responsibilities. I lived at home, pursued becoming a professional soccer player, and was a bachelor who lived off of Chipotle and protein shakes. I also worked full-time and only had a couple of bills so most of my income went towards anything involved with trying to become a pro soccer player.
I was all in with the family business because I could afford to. If I wasn’t working at the doctor’s office, I was working on the family business. If I wasn’t working on the family business, I was doing something related to going pro.
Being 18 at the time was definitely ideal for the lifestyle that I was living. 40 hours at my job, up to 60 hours of work on the family business, and the rest was split between sleep (which I got very little of,) and getting into ridiculously good shape. I don’t mean to brag but I was in 4% body fat kind of ridiculously good shape.
At that point in my life, it was all or nothing. Either I was going to become a pro soccer player or I’d hurt myself in the process. (I did because supposedly your body needs this thing called rest.) Either the family business was going to be successful or….
I had no back up plan. I mean, I even dropped out of school to pursue these 2 goals! They were things that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Sure, it was a lot of hard work, but it was also a lot of fun!
Fast forward a couple of years, and life sure is different. I never quite reached my goal of becoming a pro soccer player and the family business, unfortunately, isn’t around anymore.
I went back to school and got a degree (which I’ll probably never use.) I have a wife, a dog, student loans, and other bills to pay.
18 year-old Marc would have quit his job a long time ago to fully pursue self-employment. Thankfully, 26 year-old Marc is a lot more patient and has a better view of the bigger picture. He’s….I hate to say this…an adult.
So this serves as a Public Service Announcement from Adult-Marc: 12 Reasons Not to Quit Your Day Job.
- You have a steady paycheck. No matter how much you suck at your job, you have an almost guaranteed, steady income. As long as you don’t suck too bad, steal,or kill anyone, you’re good! How awesome is that?! If you become self-employed and you suck, you won’t get paid which is noooo bueno!
- Your day job pays the bills. You have responsibilities and they take money to fulfill. If you enjoy the lifestyle that you’re living, then you should probably keep your day job no matter how much you hate it.
- Your day job provides you with funds to start and maintain your business. It takes some money to become a legitimate business. It takes some money to create an infrastructure. It takes some money to create branding. It takes money to get inventory. It takes money to buy supplies. Bottom line: it takes money to be in business and your day job can provide you with that money. That’s much better than getting a loan or charging it all to a credit card.
- You might learn a thing or two in your job that you can use in business. There are skills and experience that you can translate from your job to your business. Plus, you get paid to refine your skills and get better. How cool is that? Some skills include customer service, negotiating, and professionalism.
- A job provides some level of financial stability. If your business unfortunately doesn’t succeed, it’s not such a big deal since you have money coming in from another source. This slightly lessens the risk involved with running your own business. Anything that you make from your business would be considered “extra.”
- With a job, there’s less pressure on the business to perform and succeed. There are a lot of unknowns that come with transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. There will already be enough pressure to make money from the get-go. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a back-up plan so the business has to work or else bad things will happen like bankruptcy or going out of business. Do your business a favor and allow it some time to get going before it has to pay the bills. That brings me to my next point:
- When you have a job, you’ll be less stressed if you don’t make money right away. If something doesn’t work out in your business when you have a job, you can just chalk it up to a lesson learned and try better next time. If something doesn’t work out in your business and you don’t have a job, it could mean the end of your venture. Give yourself and your business a better opportunity to rebound from setbacks by keeping your job.
- A job gives you the flexibility to try new things. If your first idea doesn’t pan out and you don’t have another source of income, it’s a lot more difficult to try something else because you won’t have new money coming in to allow you to try new things. That money is going to go to things that will help you survive and that’s about it. You hardly get anything right the first time you try it. If you always have money coming in, you can set aside some of that to experiment and try new things until you get it right. It’s that simple.
- For the most part, you know what you’re getting yourself into with your day job. You have your routine. You show up and do what you’re told. (For the most part.) You have some idea what the majority of your day will look like. When you’re the boss, it all comes down to you. You decide everything. Even if you don’t want to. You have to think about everything. As much as you’d like to think that you know how things will go, you really don’t. You can’t possibly know what will happen. There will be days when you don’t know which emergency or disaster you’ll have to deal with first. Trust me….been there, done that.
- Your day job is nice because you’re not in charge. You don’t have to call all the shots and you don’t have to make all the decisions. You aren’t solely responsible for how things go. That’s a luxury that a lot of entrepreneurs can only dream of.
- With a job, you can better afford to deal with inevitable delays. There will be hiccups. Nothing ever takes the amount of time that you think it will. There is no such thing as a perfect shipment. Something will always come up. Things will never run as clock work especially when you’re first starting out and are still figuring out the lay of the land.
- If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. There are days that you just don’t want to do anything. If you have a job, you can simply take the day off and start again tomorrow. If you don’t have a job and you don’t want to, then that’s just too bad. You have to or you won’t eat. If you don’t do it, no one else does. It literally all depends on you. There’s no such thing as a sick day!
Staying at your job doesn’t sound as horrible now does it?
P.S. check out Habermann and Sons! (We’ve added some shiny new stuff.)