Should You Quit Your Job?
Posted by Ty Parker on January 16, 2014. 2 Comments
If you have ever had a job that matches your skill set but still felt bored and wondered what else was out there, starting a company might be right for you. If you get tired of doing the same thing day after day, a new business can be a fun challenge. Instead of just being an engineer or website designer or accountant or manager every day, you can do one of these things each day of the week. Instead of doing what the boss says and wondering why it is important, you can decide what is important, do it, and feel very accomplished when whatever you did pays off. You will learn new things every single day and never feel like you are sitting in one place, stuck in the mud. Even failure will be a fun learning experience.
Some people tell me that they are waiting until they get a job and make some money before they decide to start a business. David Whitney taught me that the best time is now, when your responsibilities are as low as they will ever be. Once you get a job, you will probably incur the unnecessary bills of a new car or a house that you don't need. The job will pay just enough to keep you around and will lure you ahead with promises of incremental advancement until one day you realize that you've spent most of your life doing something that wasn't that fulfilling.
Have you ever noticed how very different jobs that earn the employer a wide range of returns still pay roughly the same amount? Society helps set the range of acceptable earnings and as long as you get payed within the range for your particular job you are supposed to be satisfied. Take engineers for example: Mechanical engineers get payed around $60,000 a year in the beginning. This is regardless of whether they are writing a boring instruction manual that will save their employer about $30,000 a year or if they are developing the most cutting edge technology that has ever existed that could make their employer tens of millions of dollars a year. Instead of relying on the status quo to determine your worth, why not let our capitalist economy determine your worth?
If you are already in a stable career, you don't have to immediately quit to start a business. You can set up an online store or similar business that allows you to have very flexible hours and manage it in the afternoons and weekends. Once your business begins to grow, you can then make the decision to keep it small, keep growing it but hire someone to manage the day to day shipping and miscellaneous chores, or you can quit your job and devote all your time to growing the business.
Some traits that you must have if you plan to start your own business:
Thick skin - You will fail at times and even when you aren't failing, some people will tell you that you are going to fail. This doesn't mean never listen to others but rather pick and choose whose advice to take. If someone who runs a very successful business tells you that your business needs work and gives you advice, you should probably think about it. However, if the "adviser" has never tried to start a business or is bitter because they started a poorly run business that failed, you might want to disregard their negative "advice". Many people will tell you that X percent of small businesses fail within X amount of years. If your business fails it doesn't mean you failed as a person. Start another one and learn from your previous mistakes.
Learning - Don't think that you don't have to learn since you've already finished school. In order to become good at anything, you have to learn as much as you can about every aspect of your business. This could include marketing, advertising, shipping, writing, dealing with people, manufacturing, designing, planning, and even legal issues. Emulating people who have been successful at whatever you want to do is another great learning strategy.
Networking - If you aren't a people person, now might be a good time to step out of your comfort zone and meet people who share the same goals. As John Spence says, "What you fill your mind with and who you spend your time with will determine your success". Just being around people who are motivated to succeed will drastically change your future. Constantly learn from and compete with the best people you can find: even if you never end up being better than those people, you will one day look around to find that you are far ahead of the people who didn't apply this technique.
Motivation - If you are running your own business, you are in charge of what you do every day. There is no one to report to and no one that will tell you what the right thing is to do that day. As Art Williams says, just do it. If you begin to notice that you are doing the wrong thing, you can then adjust your course and do something else. If you didn't do anything though, you won't have the luxury of knowing what does or doesn't work. Don't stop just because there is some resistance. Do it.
There are plenty of other traits (like the ability to be flexible) that will help with starting a business and the good news is that they can all be learned!
Where to start:
If you enjoy reading, there are many great books written by people who have been successful that will outline exactly how to be successful. If you don't enjoy reading, start enjoying reading:
A quick Google search will yield many others.
Some great videos online (or if you just really, really hate reading):
John Spence - You become who you spend your time with.
Ashton Kutcher - Everything was made by people who are no smarter than you.
Steve Jobs - If you remember that you are going to die, it is easy to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose.
Starting a business takes a lot of hard work and determination. It is easy to look at a successful company that has been around for a while and think that you can never make something as grand. If you start at the beginning and just do it day to day and remember what Steve Jobs and Ashton Kutcher said, that "everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you", then you eventually will have built something successful. One day you will lose money. The next day, you might make more than a successful heart surgeon. Both days will be fun.