So you think you’ve had enough!
Long hours with little reward. Decent work but it involves facing an obnoxious manager. Or maybe it is a job that works well when you are actually doing something, but it is one that is characterized by too much downtime, with hours and sometimes days going by, when very little happens (i.e. you’re bored with your job!).
Then there is the question of progress. You want something out of life. Something more. And you feel your current job is just not cutting it.
Either in terms of pay or the utilization of your skills. Or maybe it is a question of location. The place you’re currently working in just sucks and you feel it is time to get out.
Above all, you feel that you have something more to offer. Your capacity for work and the power to affect the world as a whole (if you want to go big) and the current arrangement just ain’t cutting it.
So, what’s the next step?
What is the course of action that you have chosen? If you think that your job: that is a 9 – 5 or better, or a job where you get paid for the number of hours or days you put in, one that also happens to not be psychologically and/or financially fulfilling!
If your answer is quitting your 9 – 5 or main job, and planning to go it alone, or if you intended to quit and haven’t yet decided on what to do; or If you have already quit your job, and are waiting for some guidance on what to do next, then this post might be for you.
Think Before Making The Decision to Quit
If you are tired of your current job and you think you have had enough and are about to make the big leap (out), our first recommendation is for you to STOP. Then WAIT. And then CONSIDER.
Note, we are NOT saying to reconsider your plan to move forward.
For all intents and purposes what you are feeling now with respect to your current employment is legit. That sense of dissatisfaction, or angst, the sense of being constrained by your present world of work, is there for a reason. And it would be wrong to ignore or dismiss it.
And it must be said that are a lot of people, tens of millions possibly who have or effectively choose to block this sense of unease. And thus continue to operate as automatons, who do not see growth in their lives.
Countless men and women go through life, doing a job that never gives them a sense of accomplishment. The many many people, possibly some in your own life, who have just settled for that secure pay-check, that sense of stability of having a fixed 9 – 5 job, even if the pay was just serviceable.
Those who take this path, or rather who choose to remain stuck within it (though they might rationalize it somewhat differently), invariably end up leading unsatisfying lives.
Or at least they proceed to live lives that don’t manifest their fullest potential.
And rightly, you don’t and shouldn’t wish to be a part of that.
But in taking this different, brave, adventurous path of finding your own destiny in the world of work there are a few factors you need to consider.
Factors that a lot of these new age gurus, the one promoting the ‘fire your boss and become your own’ mantra, the rich quick schemers (or scammers), and other players in the space who could be offering a legitimate way forward for you in getting out of the 9 – 5 cubicle, may not engage.
Making the task of actually escaping, what for many may seem like a real-life prison in their minds, ultimately impossible.
A matter which we shall engage next.
Factors to Consider Before Leaving your 9 – 5
The first point about quitting your 9 – 5 is what do you do afterward? Do have another source of income?
If the answer is yes, the next question is: Is it enough to keep you going, and in time help you move forward in other areas of life, like your business?
Note, having a side income before making the call to quit, counts for little, if it is going to eat away your saving as you try to make ends meet in the meantime.
And in case you happened to fall into the category of persons who are going to quit a job, which also happens to be the only source of income in your life, then you are making a serious decision. One that we would say is a rather unwise one.
For the first thing to consider, when it comes to quitting your job, or for that matter when it comes to life in general, the main principle to keep in mind is that money is the fuel of life.
Specifically, it is the presence of steady cash flow that makes things happen. And in its absence, NOTHING gets done. And this is a serious point for more reasons than one.
The idea of quitting your job for some may seem like a sense of freedom in itself. That is to say, to be free from any corporate commitment or managerial oversight. To be free as in, not having to answer to a superior may seem like a good thing.
And many do jump on this idea to be free from it. That by simply quitting your job that things will start happening.
Now, this view is fundamentally irrational but there is a temptation in going down this path. A bad one.
The next position is one where quitting your main job is often accompanied by the acceptance of some new sales or get-rich-quick scheme. Mind you these things are not generally packaged in that fashion. Nonetheless, the idea of an easy, or at least an easier way out, is always there. And many do take it. With results that are mixed at best.
Once again, this does not mean that the latest drop shipping hustle, or making thousands of dollars selling e-books are all a sham.
No doubt a lot of people do manage to make a living doing such stuff. The question is it worth the decision to quit your stable job, one that comes with a predictable source or at best adequate level of income, for something where the payoffs, at least for the short to medium term are uncertain.
Money is a serious subject matter. And any decision to cut yourself off from an income source should not be made lightly.
If your alternative to quitting your 9 – 5 is to take on a role with less money, the spare time that you (hopefully) stand to gain by doing so better be worth it.
This could mean hunting for another, hopefully, better job. Which is something you ought to start doing long before you actually make your decision to quit!
That’s right. Any decision to quit your job needs to be backed up by something to take its place pretty much on the word go!
Considering that job market is highly competitive depending on your skill set, and if it isn’t, potential employers don’t like hiring people with periodic gaps between jobs, no matter the industry.
In addition, staying out of the job market, even if it means job hunting can have a negative effect. Financially and also psychologically.
Not to mention, the ladies aren’t going to be that impressed with a guy who is struggling to pay his monthly bills.
Of course provided you can manage that, it still leaves too many variables beyond your control.
Life is like a game of football.
You may go into a certain half or segment of play, expecting a certain set of outcomes, depending on your current game plan. But that plan may not work, or could even backfire, based on circumstances on the ground. Which are often changing in real-time.
The question is do you have a backup plan, and/or the capacity to adapt as things unfold? For in life:
You really cannot hope to predict how the job market will become a few months from now.
The inflationary effects on real wages.
Whether your partner will be able to keep her job or get that promotion she was hoping for.
The emergence of some unexpected expenditure which you weren’t planning for.
Or, if that business that you were working on for x amount of time, is going to produce the expected gains.
Speaking of your business, which is likely one of the reasons why people consider the choice to quit their 9 – 5; but only depending on the financial status of the business, will it be the smart decision.
When Not to Quit your Job to Work on Business
This subheading might seem counterintuitive to some. Because it is. But the point remains.
Arguably the most common, and personally justifiable reason for quitting your 9 – 5 is to work on an enterprise that you have been building on for some time + one that means something to you.
Nothing beats the idea of starting your own venture. A business that deals with something that you find important and one that seeks to supply a product or service that is in demand; a business that can solve one or more genuine problems with a viable product.
The question when it comes to quitting your day job and with it, the economic security that comes with it; and how stable and economically viable is your business?
Basically, if your current business is not making money, and I mean real money: where you are not operating out of a credit line, where you not paying off the debts for starting the venture and the initial costs that came with it, then it must be said that you NOT ready to quit your job.
Even if your business is starting to become profitable, if it is still early days, it is still wise to wait and see. Until you believe and the factors on the ground, indicate that you can make the leap.
This takes us to the next main point when it comes to quitting your 9 – 5. Taking the leap.
Before we get there, the point about the source of income should not be confused with a ‘job job'.
After all, IF you do happen to have another source of financing: like winning the lottery, or wealth bequeathed to you by your family, or if your new wife brought with her hefty dowry, then by all means go for it!
Realistically most guys don’t get that lucky. And even if you do manage to get some financial backing, it is always best to have a backup, or better a primary source of income with a steady cash flow, until you get your business up and running.
As a key point, before we jump into the next section, if you are unhappy with your current job, and if you think you deserve something better: do not think: ‘I will quit my job and find something better afterward'.
Rather, adopt the following mindset: ‘I need to start looking for a better job elsewhere. Another company, a better company. One that has a more suitable culture. One in which my skills can be better applied and be rewarded for it. Even if that means moving to another country'.
With that bit of advice out of the way, we get to the fun part. What happens when you actually make the decision to quit your job and work on your business?
The Swim or Sink Principle
In life, one can choose to do things 50 percent, 75 percent, or a full 100 percent. But the ones who truly succeed are those who go beyond what is acceptable.
The men who do more than what is expected or what is needed are the ones who rise to the top.
Those who succeed are those who push themselves and their ventures beyond what is considered possible or acceptable. Are you that person?
The idea of pushing yourself to achieve your goals, to attain and enjoy the things that matter in life must be built on hard work and commitment.
So that pretty much leaves out eating, drinking, surfing the web without a definite end, napping during the day, and basically doing any stuff that does produce economic value when you are out of work.
This point might seem like a banality. But it is important that we dispel the notion that quitting your main job and starting your own or better, moving forward with your business (the business should have started before you started to think about quitting).
Working on your business to make it more profitable and sustainable in the long run is not going to be an easy venture. At least for the first few years.
And even when things go into autopilot, requiring relatively minimal levels of oversight on your part, you still have to put in your time, energy, and dedication to ensure that all the wheels of the organization are running smoothly.
Which is not easy. The main difference now is that you enjoy the challenge of this new role, and you don’t have to answer to anyone directly.
A business venture, that if managed properly, with the right product/service in place, and with a sizeable customer base, can become a meaningful source of income. And yes even passive income, where you literally earn money in your sleep.
Taking a step back, if you are currently working a 9 – 5. Are unhappy, or are looking for a way out, if you have a mind to build your own business and don’t know where or how to start this might be the place to start!
So with that reality check out of the way-that things will be relatively tough at least for the first few years-you have the right mindset to get going. And I mean going in hard and serious.
You heard that right: going ALL in with what you are setting out to do. And don’t think that there is a way out. Embrace a never say die attitude. No matter what happens around you. Because that’s what it takes to make your business work in the long run.
If your business is going to viable money-making venture in the long run you need to do this 110 percent or NOT at all.
However, there is a catch. You can’t do this alone. At least not without the right kind of expertise. Elon Musk did not send rockets into space by not learning about them. And in time hiring the right experts to guide him!
So are you up for this? Seriously, are you up for this?
Now to be clear, this is not about breaking your head or putting yourself under immense pressure. Heck, that is the very thing you wanted to get away from when you quit your 9 – 5 job in the first place.
Rather, the idea is to work with energy, commitment, and courage (yea you gotta be brave when the time comes) to produce the results that you are looking for.
After all, there is a reason why that according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year (1). Whilst some might dispute these numbers, whilst others would argue that failure in a sense is a key learning curve for building better businesses.
Valid points. But the point remains that not every guy with a big idea to make money with his business plan or at least see returns in quick time.
So the question is how do you manage this? How does someone who has a solid idea (or two), and who wants to work seriously to produce genuine goods and deliver services, able to rise above the rest? Well, onto the final part of the post.
Ask (for Help) and You Shall Receive
Look when it comes to succeeding in business unless you are dealing with someone who is working in a very specific field, for which he has had a number of years of experience, with a solid product and is able to market the idea, you are at a disadvantage.
Thus the smartest course of action, as you work on your business and consider quitting your 9 – 5 job, is to consult with someone with the right kind of experience and expertise.
And here we are not just talking about industry analysts, product design specialists, and financial forecasters. All that is good and fine (if you can afford it), but at a fundamental level, what you need is someone who can help navigate the core areas of building a business. To help develop the tools and tactics you need to then market it (and yourself) successfully to make it viable.
These are key steps that every small business owner needs if he/she is to succeed in the digital age. If you wish to do so and to have other questions about life: like mindset, and financial security, in the long run, answered, you might be in the right place.
Best of luck.
Entrepreneur (2021), The True Failure Rate of Small Businesses: https://www.entrepreneur.com/starting-a-business/the-true-failure-rate-of-small-businesses/361350. Last accessed: (18 December 2022)