Don’t make this one mistake before you quit your day job to become an entrepreneur

I am a mentor of sorts to quite a few people because I have been able to quit my day job and successfully become an entrepreneur.

As someone who had a 9 to 5, I know how fortunate I am and how it really isn’t easy to make that transition.

One of my former students (who went through Learn About The Web) was talking to me a week ago and sharing how she felt that she always wanted to be an online entrepreneur and felt like she was really treading water and wasting time at her current job.

I could relate. 🙂

Now this is really a critical point in the life of a would be entrepreneur. Since she was potentially walking away from a 6 figure job, as a friend, I felt it was my duty to make sure she knew what she was doing.

After talking a little bit about her goals I asked “Jennifer” (not her real name) the question “So if you quit your job, what would be your priority for the first three months with all this new found freedom?”

Her answer “I would finally be able to finish all the research for my business and start building it”.


BIG problem.

My advice to all you would be entrepreneurs out there – DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB TO DO MORE RESEARCH.

If you are still at the point where you are learning about what you want to do, you’re not ready to start a new career. I strongly recommend you quit your day job ONLY after you’ve started making substantial amounts of monthly revenue from the idea you have.

The amount of revenue doesn’t have to be as much as what you get paid at your day job BUT it should be a positive indication that you have an idea of what the heck you are doing.

I knew that I needed to learn and really understand my passion before I could make it my BUSINESS.

Only you know what that number should be.

The problem is, most people who have dreams about being entrepreneurs are lazy. They feel like they would love to do their passion but….. they have a day job so oh well….

But somehow they make the time to go out, socialize, party, sleep, take trips, do their hobbies etc etc

Becoming an entrepreneur is often about sacrifice. Doing without. Making hard choices.

In my case, I would go to work from 9 to 5, get back home, rest for an hour and get on the web and learn from 7pm till 2am, then get up at 6am or 7am and do it again.

For years.

Because I knew that I needed to LEARN and really UNDERSTAND my passion before I could make it my BUSINESS.

If you plan to step out on your own someday, make sure you have paid your dues and REALLY understand your industry. Most of the research you need to do can be done on the side with your day job.

It’s all about choices.

Talk to me, were you able to make the transition from a 9 to 5? What were the obstacles you faced?

Use the comments and let us know.

Leave a Comment Below

  • Great points! It’s about sacrifice. You don’t just walk away from something that’s a sure thing because of more freedom and the ability to be your own boss. It’s too big of a risk. As hard as it could be, I truly think your way of 9-5 and then 7-bed is the only way to balance both and make a transition that isn’t reckless.

  • Sad, but also insightful story. The sad part is Jennifer really seemed to care and wanted to give her full effort to online business. However, as you correctly pointed out, she clearly wasn’t ready for it. It’s hard to get to the point, but there’s no shortcut for patience and hard work.

  • This is all gold. Quitting your job to do more research is like dropping out of college to work on applying to another. That’s not gonna help you more in the future, it just leaves you more exposed.

    • Perfect analogy, Drew! It’s just not worth the risk if you don’t have to incur it. If you’re truly motivated, it should be doable to work 2 jobs.

  • Really nice work as always, Onuora. I found the part about lack of sleep to be the best and most important part. I think people believe Entrepreneurs work all day, but night work has to happen to keep your day job for some income at first. That mean sacrificing 7-8 hours of sleep and sleeping more like 5 hours. This hopefully won’t last forever, but success is difficult to achieve. That’s something I think a lot of people don’t realize nowadays.

  • I agree that 9-5 with the online business starting up is challenging and often a necessary evil. However, Onuora, is there any circumstance where you think it would be beneficial to get a part time job just to get by and devote even more time to online business or is it simply too risky?

  • Very compelling. Onuora, are you suggesting that there’s a difference between wanting and needing to be an entrepreneur? I hate phrasing it as that cliche, but that’s what it seems was the issue in Jennifer’s case. She was more upset with her job than in love with the idea of being an entrepreneur.

    • That’s what I thought also. I think that’s an astute and relevant point. If you want to be an entrepreneur only or primarily because you don’t like having a boss or 9-5 job, then entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you.

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