Should I quit my job to start a new business?

I’ve often wondered what would have happened if I quit my job sooner to start my new business. If you’ve read my blog’s About Me page, you know that I hung on to my day job for a couple of years as a way avoid going massively into debt and to hedge some of the risk associated with starting a new business.

I don’t think there’s one simple or correct answer to the question of whether you should quit your job to start a new business venture. It really depends on your financial and life circumstances at the time.

On the one hand, if you have little or no debt and modest expenses — which usually also means that you have no children — it might make sense for you to quit your job in order to focus 100% on your new venture. Nothing focuses the mind like eliminating your fallback option and getting out of your comfort zone.

Under such conditions, keeping your current job may actually hinder your entrepreneurial efforts. Having a day job to fall back on leaves you with too many easy excuses to give up if your business doesn’t catch fire right away. In addition, you might be too tired from working essentially two jobs, and your mental resources will be impacted.

On the other hand, if you have a lot of debt and high unavoidable expenses, you may not have a choice but to keep your current job. (That was the case for me.) Under those conditions, the added stress from accumulating more debt will outweigh the burden of juggling your day job and your new business. In addition, growing debt will put too much pressure on you to achieve immediate results.

My guess is that most of you fall into the latter camp. If so, you might be feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of shoveling more work on to your plate. However, you must realize that there is always sacrifice associated with achieving any worthwhile goal.

Think of your new business as your life and passion outside of work. Eliminate activities and tasks lower down on your priority list. Re-assessing your priorities will not only improve your life in general but it will enable you to take on more with less stress.

Finally, be sure you take care of your body and always get enough sleep and rest. No one can be effective longterm in the absence of good health. Always make that your first priority.

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