The expression “Don’t give up your day job” is used often in an ironic
or even sarcastic sense, when, say, someone who is tone deaf has
delusions of being a famous pop singer.
It can also be very good advice for someone contemplating setting
themselves up in a full-time home based business. Darlene McDaniel at
Small Business Boomers poses the question When Should You Quit Your Day Job?
While she doesn’t provide the answer – as she points out, it’s a
question each person must answer for himself or herself – she offers
some sage advice:
and have sustainable profitability. Not just a flash in the pan. Are you making
money? How much money do you have in the bank?
One thing I would strongly recommend is to set yourself a realistic
timeframe for reaching the point where you can confidently ditch the
day job, with some checkpoints along the way so that you can adjust the
timetable, forward or back, depending on how you are tracking with your
for-the-moment part-time business.
Of course, some people don’t have a choice about when they quit. They are “outplaced” or whatever the current weasel word for “sacked” is, or they have an accident or develop a medical condition that precludes their working in a regular job. And I’m pretty sure there
have been some great home based businesses established by people who
were put out of work and could not get another job.
But if that’s not
your situation and you can manage the juggle, it’s hard to beat the
value of having a regular paycheck come in while you find your feet
with your new business.
For one thing, if you do have your basic expenses covered, when you are marketing yourself you are less likely to
have the anxious, “please hire me I have a family to support” look one
sees on the face of a home based business person who has made the jump
too soon and is struggling to manage. Guess how eager people are to
hire you if you look and sound like you are begging?
And imagine how much more satisfying it could be, on the day you hand
in your resignation, knowing that you don’t need that job anymore. But don’t be too rude to the boss or your now-to-be former colleagues. They may just miss you so much they’ll want to hire you as a consultant. For much more than they were paying you before, of course.
Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it.