Quitting My Job To Start A Business
Truth be told, I never dreamed of quitting a full-time job to set up my own business. I’m quite risk-averse, so the thought of not having a steady paycheque and pension scared the living daylights out of me.
I started my career with grand plans to become the CEO of an international company. I aimed to work hard and rise through the ranks. I was on the path to achieving this goal, but I didn’t account for the fact that I would end up in a job i hated and dreading Mondays.
I was left with a choice: continue going through the motions and hate my job and life, or find an alternative solution.
Me with the attendants of a workshop I conducted recently over Zoom
The alternative solution ended up with me starting a remote working journey and launching my own online business. I currently run multiple digital assets that bring in revenue from advertising, sponsorships and affiliate marketing. I also run workshops and provide consulting services to businesses and individuals who want to transition to working remotely or drive traffic to their businesses.
The journey has been filled with excitement, stress and adventure—and I wouldn’t want it any other way. However, there are a few things I wish I’d known before quitting my job and setting up a business.
You will feel lonely
I left my banking job 3 years ago. Since most of my peers were in traditional 9-5 jobs, I had no one to talk to about my business. It seemed like no one could relate to the challenges I was facing.
I started to drift apart from my friends because while they complained about their annoying bosses and colleagues, I was trying to figure out how to fix technical issues, minimise my costs and make my first million.
One way of me overcoming this feeling of isolation has been finding other entrepreneurs who are on the same wavelength. I once bumped into a girl in Spain who talked about trying to raise US$3 million in funding from investors so she could expand her product line. She spoke about it like it was the most normal thing in the world. It opened my mind and made me step up my game.
It will feel like walking into a pitch-black room and trying to find the light switch
You could read all the books on entrepreneurship in the world but in reality, every new business is different. It’s a bit like swimming. In order to learn how to swim and improve, you need to actually swim!
Sometimes, being a business owner feels like you are just trying to find your way through a dark room. And it’s scary. Am I walking in the right direction? What could go wrong? Many people have launched online businesses and failed; will I be one of them?
Investing in online courses helped me immensely. These digital courses are relevant and ready to digest, which gave me the guidance and reassurance I needed.
It will get easier after the second year
Whenever you start a new job or business, the first 2 years are always the hardest. I wanted success quickly and felt so unmotivated when I wasn’t earning what I’d envisioned. But I kept at it and eventually, something clicked.
Things become easier after year 2. I understood new concepts faster, I was more efficient, I found shortcuts. My growth really started to skyrocket after year 2. The best way to learn something is to do it often.
They say there are 4 stages in any new business. The poop stage, teenage stage, skyrocket stage and plateau stage.
The poop stage feels crappy and hard, and is the most difficult. The teenage phase has a lot of ups and downs. One week you are making thousands, and the next zero. There is no consistency.
The skyrocket phase is what you work so hard to get to. Your growth and income are on a sharp upward trajectory and it feels exhilarating.
Nevertheless, at some point, this will end and there will be a plateau stage when your business stops growing. At this point, you have to ask yourself whether you want to sacrifice more of your time and energy to achieve more growth or be content with what you have.
Sunday nights will become the most exciting part of your week
I wish I had known how much I would look forward to working if I quit my job. If I knew how much joy I would feel, I would have quit way sooner.
I was speaking to my friend the other day about how I’m suffering from a lack of sleep. “Are you stressed?” she asked. I replied, “No! I am too excited to sleep!” and this is the truth. I actually don’t want to go to sleep because I’m so happy that I don’t want to wake up and discover it was all a dream. I am LIVING my dream.
Many business owners say they work more hours running their own business compared to when they were an employee. But they forget to say why. It’s probably because they are enjoying it so much.
I choose to work crazy hours on my business because I love it so much. I struggle to tear myself away from my laptop because when I am working, I thoroughly enjoy every second of it.
Ok, maybe not every second, but most of it! My efforts directly translate into more income, and I find that so motivating and empowering.
Quitting My Job To Set Up A Business Was The Best Decision I’ve Ever Made
Launching my own online business gave me the happiness and freedom I’ve always craved. Having said that, we now live in a world where you can do the same while holding down a full-time job. More and more processes are now automated, it costs less than $100 to set up your own website, and you can outsource a lot of things that take up your time for cheap using Fiverr.
If you are looking for a way to add money to your savings, test the waters and find out if you are ready to quit your job and start something of your own, I recommend you start a side hustle first and let it grow.
You might realise that you hate all the hard work and that the life of an entrepreneur is not for you. Or you just might love it, and it will give you the confidence to take the plunge when you are ready.
Either way, I am cheering you on!