Start Your Business without Leaving Your Job: The Siren’s Song of Entrepreneurship

If you’re currently employed but ready to start your own business, quitting your job to devote your time exclusively to the business shouldn’t be done in haste. You’re probably thinking that this is intuitively obvious, but the siren’s song of entrepreneurship is seductive.

It’s even more difficult to stay at your current job if you’re unhappy there. You begin to visualize how great it would be to spend all day everyday working at your new business. This is particularly true if you’ve made some sales.

Being financially dependent on your new business right out of the gate often causes business owners to panic, particularly when you’re working at it day after day and the money doesn’t seem to be coming in fast enough. We all have been or know someone who’s been in this situation. Desperation shows and runs off potential customers.

While it’s true you could probably sell more of your product or service if you had more time to devote to it, taking the time to build a solid customer base and a demand for your product/service before you’re counting on those sales is a wise decision.

Take the time to do the math:

  1. What profit do you make for each item/service that you sell?
  2. How many are you currently selling a month?
  3. What are your monthly business expenses?
  4. How many items/services do you have to sell to pay your monthly business expenses?
  5. What are your monthly living expenses?
  6. How many items/services do you need to sell to pay your monthly living expenses?
  7. Can you produce that much inventory or sell that many services without making additional investment?

Give yourself and your new business the time it needs to grow a solid base.

If the siren’s song already seduced you or you had no choice:

  1. Find a job to pay your living expenses – part time, if possible.
  2. Develop a plan to support your current customers in the time you have available and communicate with them.
  3. Limit your investment in your business to what you earn from the business.

Many business owners get in this situation. Don’t let a temporary set-back cause you to give up your dream. Make a plan and work your way through it.

Find more ideas on how to limit your business investment in $1,000 Start-Ups.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.


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