Updated: August 26, 2021
Do you want to quit your job and start a business? My advice is don’t do it, at least not in that order.
Because the better way is to start your business first, and then quit your job.
By doing it this way, your cash flow won’t just suddenly stop and you can minimize the risk of going into bankruptcy.
So how do you exactly do this? Below are the steps I took.
Step 1: Manage your personal finance
If you cannot manage your own money, then you’ll have a hard time managing your business. So the first step is to start within you.
When I decided that I didn’t want to be an employee anymore, I immediately studied my personal finance. I worked on eliminating my debts, minimizing my unnecessary expenses, and following a monthly budget.
It was hard but I told myself that the skills I will learn in doing so are the same skills I will need when I start running my own business.
Step 2: Commit time to build your business
Since you’re not yet quitting your job, your business would need to be built during your spare time. Study how you currently spend it and commit to a schedule for working on your business.
Be willing to sacrifice time with your family and friends, and prepare to let go of the things you do that won’t help you run a business in the future.
This is the reason why I stopped watching television.
Step 3: Let go of the employee mindset
You are preparing to be an entrepreneur, so you have to start thinking like one.
First off, realize that even though you are still an employee, you are no longer working to get that promotion; winning “Employee of the Year” is not your goal anymore.
Just be a good employee and do your necessary work, but reserve your energy and best efforts into building your business.
This part was quite liberating for me… realizing that I don’t need to impress my boss any more.
Step 4: Stretch your vision at work
When you start thinking like an entrepreneur, you’ll see things in a different light. Your office will no longer be just a place for work, but also a place for learning.
Start with your company’s mission, vision, and values and observe how it is being applied. Analyze your products and services and find the reason why people buy them.
Observe how everything’s running like a well-oiled machine, and study all the moving parts. Because after all, you’re building your own machine soon.
Step 5: Go on an idea hunt
Use your spare time to hunt for business ideas. Start with your own hobbies, and see if you can make a business out of them.
Moreover, look around you and observe what’s making people annoyed, irritated, disappointed, or angry (AIDA for short). Because these things are problems that you could solve with your business.
I love playing LAN games and back then, my friends and I would often wait a long time just to get seats inside a computer gaming shop. This was one of the reasons why I started an internet cafe business.
Step 6: Write a business plan
This is the most boring step but the most essential.
Writing a business plan requires much research and meticulous work. It is, after all, the blueprint of the business machine that you’re trying to build.
If you can’t make your business run on paper, don’t expect that you’ll be able to run your business in real life.
Step 7: Execute your plan
Truth be told, this will be the most difficult step — to start and run your business while still working as an employee.
Your time and energy management skills will be put to the utmost levels. And if one night, you ever find yourself crying inside your room out of stress and frustration, take comfort in the fact that we’ve all been there.
Indeed, it’s always amusing when I talk to entrepreneurs and ask if that ever happened to them, and I would always get a resounding “Yes” and then they’ll say that they’re glad that they didn’t quit and just pushed on.
When you reach this stage, don’t quit and just push on.
Step 8: Quit your job when you’re ready
When should you quit your job? There’s no definite answer to this question but what I’ve learned from experience is that you’ll eventually know it’s time.
Often, it’s when your business is already running smoothly, and the only way to grow it is to give it your full attention.
And sometimes, you don’t even have to quit your job because you’ve successfully built a business that can run without you.
It all starts with a decision
It took me more than two years, and one failed business before I was able to build a successful one that allowed me to eventually leave the corporate world.
The journey from employment to entrepreneurship is hard, but it’s a journey that sometimes, I wish I took sooner than later.
If you’ve always wanted to have your own business and quit your job, then I encourage you to make that decision now. Trust me when I say that there will never be a better time to start one than today.
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I’m an avid reader of your blog and I love how practical and realistic you are with your approach. I have a small side business of shirts going on, which I’m managing while also being present in a 9 to 5 day job. I scoffed at the stress and frustration part of managing both because it’s just too real! 🙂 Thank you for this and I hope I’d be able to make my side business sustainable someday and do it full time.
Di ba?!?! Haha. This is one reason why I have high respect for all entrepreneurs. We go through so much “character-building” challenges, which most people don’t see and realize.
I’m glad that I’ve read this post. I am currently employed, and planning to start a business soon. Would you mind if I ask you a few business to start with? Thanks.
Thank you so much for this good read Sir Fitz. I just came across your blog from the past 2 days and I’m already hooked. I have a 6am-2pm job right now, while doing a stationery item business on the side. It feels so good that you’re still earning on the side, and I absolutely would like to follow your steps someday! Glad to see that this is a checkpoint that I’m still on the right track, slowly but surely building the business bit by bit. Cheers!
Didn’t know it yet, but that’s kind of what I did. I started my blog with the intent to make money out of it back when I was still an employee (with guidance from a few books so I’d know what I need to do). Things turned terrible at my job, but thankfully I already saved and invested a lot of money (it earns passive income) during my six years of working there so I was able to quit and pursue blogging full time.
Income is too slow though so I’m now aiming for the next evolution of the business: Selling Digital products (…like you!).
[…] ⇨ How To Start a Business and Quit Your Job […]
This is so inspiring, I have gone thru the “crying inside your room out of stress and frustration” when I started step 7, because I thought I was all alone in my plan, and apparently, I was, LOL, but I was able to accept the fact, but what the heck, I can’t go around convincing my whole family that forex trading isn’t a gamble and that it’s better to train my favorite 9 year old nephew at his age now (with financial education, stocks, forex..) than when he’s 40, but I am not giving up and willing to keep learning until the end to succeed.
Thanks to my very laid-back, low-pressure, mellow responsibilities at work, I am able to do both company business and personal business at the same time.
[…] Cashflow is no longer a problem. You can now eat 3 times a day while you work on your business during weekends. It’s possible and financially practical — start a business while keeping your day job. […]
Not all of us are fortunate enough to have a deep well of cash when beginning a new enterprise, most especially that fist one. Living off your starting capital is a plan for possible disaster and one I do not like. My wife and I both absolutely enjoyed (you could well say LOVED) what we did to generate income before starting a business here in the Philippines.
I think that was part of the reason we jumped in with both feet when oppertunity knocked? Because we both knew that no matter how long it took for business #1 to get up and running, we had the back-up of income from things we want to continue to this day! I will NEVER stop my weeknight option selling until my brain cells are completely fried. I see how much pleasure my Bride gets when she receives accolades for completed assignments from clients around the globe. I know no person on earth could get her to end her academic writing. She may slow it down when we have other projects on the burner but NEVER will she completely stop.
From my perspective, work you enjoy/love to back you up while starting the perfect business is truly the best of all worlds.