Congratulations if you are an entrepreneur. Congratulations if you have already amassed great wealth. Congratulations if you have an early exit strategy all planned out for one day retiring from your job.
As I read through many other personal finance blogs, there seems to be a great deal of people on the path to success. Some of our fellow bloggers are bringing in hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars every month. That’s pretty impressive for simply finding new ways to share opinions and information, and through selling virtual real-estate to advertisers. Way to go!
But whether its blogging, E-Products, real estate, investing, or anything else you’ve found some small success with, I think it’s very important to put things into perspective. And that perspective is this: Unless you’re got a solid plan, it’s not time to quit your day job just yet.
Why It Might Be a Bad Idea to Quit Your Job:
Let’s look at all the reasons why you may not want to be so quick to leave your job in the rear view mirror:
• You have a career to build. That’s right, it’s about more than just money. All that going to work everyday and doing a good job should lead to something more self-fulfilling: a career. How cool is it to get your name out there and become a distinguished figure in your industry? Maybe you’re not going to be that rock star or athlete you always wanted to be, but you can still be famous.
• You get a steady paycheck. There’s a great comfort in knowing you’re going to get a paycheck every two weeks. Most people don’t value the stability of such income until it is taken away. Remember that.
• Benefits. Have you ever added up how much health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, educational reimbursement, 401k matching, social security / FICA benefits, and anything else I missed would cost you out of pocket? Depending on how many of these benefits your employer has, they spend A LOT of money on you!
• Practice. Your job gives you the opperutnity to try a lot of different strategies – some good some bad. If you do something wrong, is it the end of the world? Probably not! Your employer will either barely notice or bounce back. But if you’re alone, you’ll notice!
• Taxes. When you get your paycheck, the taxes have already been taken out and you learn to live off of what you take home. But if you’re making money on your own, you’ll likely have to pay taxes into the IRS at some point. Unless you’re already planning for this, this will put a serious crimp in your finances.
• School. Why did you bother to go to college if you’re not going to work? Remember when you were young and you wanted to build the next cool thing or solve cancer? If you’ve given up on those dreams, maybe you just need to switch jobs.
• Discipline. Would you really know who you are or what you’re capable of if you weren’t constantly challenged with hard work? If you answer yes, then maybe you have more to learn about yourself than you know.
It is often said that truly successful entrepreneurs are not great risk takers; they are great risk reducers. If you’ve got an idea you know will be fool-proof, don’t let me or anyone else stand in your way.
But unless your plan for success has already yielded you a comfortable income for life, can be sustained indefinitely, and covers all the above-mentioned benefits above, I wouldn’t be so quick to give up on employment just yet.
If you’re unhappy with your job, get a new one. A plant needs the right amount of sunlight to grow, and your career is no different. Remember what it is you liked about wanting to become whatever it is you do. You worked hard to become whatever you are today. Don’t take your accomplishments lightly.
Have you ever thought about becoming an entrepreneur? Did you decide to go for it or did you decide it would be smarter to stay with your job? Please feel free to share!
Photo Credit: =”I Quit: 1” by rocketace, on Flickr