I have done a previous episode on working a 9-5 and creating your own business on the side, aka running your own business and someone else’s. But I continue to run into questions from friends and clients around the best course of action, and if it has changed during the pandemic.
You see, I continue to see posts on social media that say something like “celebrate with me, I just quit my job to start my own business.” When I read that I’m like, WHAT?! The word “start” is what kills me. Why would you ever give up a steady flow of income that pays your bills and cares for your family in order to “start” something that may or may not work, that you haven’t even started investing in or creating yet, etc? The risk is extreme in this instance.
My advice in the past still holds true today. If you have a 9-5, keep it. Don’t feel like you need to quit this steady job in order to pursue your dreams. You can do both.
Realize that running a business for someone else, besides the cash flow, is exposing you to situations, business decisions, and lessons that you wouldn’t see in your own business for years probably. So soak those learnings up!
Also know that if you quit your job to start your business, you have just put another demand on yourself and your business to perform, which means you will make less sound business decisions in order to survive. You may do things like discount your product one month because you simply “need sales.” Now you have devalued your product, you won’t be able to safely increase the price again the next month unless you run a flash sale or something that was a true “one-off.” In order words, don’t quit your job and therefore make bad business decisions because you put the stress on the business to care for your family and your lifestyle when we all know that new businesses typically take more money than they earn at the start.
Just be smart. Set your business up to succeed. Set goals that are reasonable. Realize that yes, you will spend a bit more time getting your business off of the ground if you are working for someone else and this essentially is your side-hustle to start. But you will get your business going nonetheless. And the foundation you build while working a day job is going to be stronger than the one you try to build by placing heavy financial demands on the business right out of the gate.
I also get asked if there is something wrong with working a 9-5 and having your own business, with the intention of never quitting the 9-5. The answer is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Remember, we simply need to be fulfilled. If working your day job and running your own business on the side fulfills you, do it! Give back in both areas. There is no judgment here. Just remember to keep your target and your goals reasonable for the amount of time you will be able to spend in your own business.