I've Been Working for a Few Years

So, you’ve been in the workforce for a while and think it’s time to start your own thing. Perhaps you saw a gap that you can fill. Perhaps you got tired of your boss, the commute, or the work environment. The first is a great reason to quit. The second is not.

The vast majority of people who quit their jobs because they hated it (or their boss, or their commute) and started a business tend to not do well, and go back to being an employee. The reason is simple—they really didn’t have a strong enough idea for a business that really consumed them and drove them to be successful. They just wanted to get away from their old job, and having quit, they satisfied that need.

Here is a simple test you can apply: are you obsessed with quitting, or are you obsessed with the business idea? What is the first thought that enters your mind when you wake up? How do I quit my job? Or, how do I get my business off the ground?

Are you obsessed with quitting, or are you obsessed with the business idea?

Don’t start a business if it’s the first–just find another job.

Assuming it is the second, let’s continue. If you are single, no kids, then it is a little bit easier. 

You just need to figure out the bare minimum amount of money you need to live on until your business starts bringing money that exceeds the costs.

If you are married and/or have children, then it’s more complicated. A business is like a constantly needy, whining baby that will compete with your spouse and kids. Do you have their support? Do they know what they are signing up for? Do you?

Make sure you have:

  1. Found a compelling problem that you can solve. If not compelling, then it will take forever to find customers.
  2. Identified the types of customers who have this problem, that they are of sufficient number, and that you know how to reach them.
  3. Developed a product or service that fully addresses the compelling need, better than any alternative they have
  4. Priced the product or service such that it is easy to sell, but still profitable
  5. Figured out how to get started with the business operations
  6. Sufficient capital to get started–you know exactly how much you have to sell to break even, how long it will take you, and you have access to the capital you need to sustain your business until then.

These are all difficult problems to solve. Have you figured these out yet? If not, don’t quit your job until you have.

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