Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job, Yet

Do you think you have to quit your job in order to do what you love?

For some people that might be the case, and it might even work for them.

But we have to be practical, can you afford to quit your job and start doing what you love full-time?

Do you have a plan in place for how you are going to build a business?

It’s easy to think that you can quit your job and spend all your time building your passion business and everything will work out.

While passion is important, it is also important to be practical.

You see, when you talk to most online entrepreneurs, you’ll notice that most of them say that it took them 12-24 months or longer to gain traction. And during this time they worked extremely hard.

The reason I tell people to find their passion is because without passion, you wouldn’t keep going after 6 months of no results, would you? I know I wouldn’t. Besides, you do not have to quit your day job in order to start a blog or website on the side.

Sure, you may not have as many hours to spend on your passion project, but you will get it off the ground and you will be in a stress-free position to experiment. Let’s say you start a blog about gardening – because you love gardening, it’s awesome – and you’ve quit your day job, so you need money and you need it fast.

You start monetizing your website and trying to sell, sell, sell, and it doesn’t work, because now people hate you. You’re just another person trying to sell them stuff without providing any value. Building your business takes time and patience.

Do I hear you saying that you don’t have the time or energy to do anything after you get home after work? That kind of sucks, because then you won’t be able to build your business and do what you love. Seriously though, it’s completely up to you. I’m not saying you should believe what I say.

Take what resonates with you and ignore the rest. I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to provoke new thought and help you look at things from a different perspective.

Image by Photomish Dan

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Comments

  1. Henri,

    I recently quit a job after two weeks and after 6 months of searching for one. I’ve even written a blog post about it on my job. But, I quit that job because I truly hated it and it was making me completely miserable. That being said, I think you have a great point here. People need to be willing to invest the 12-24 months if they really want to see things take off.

    • Yeah it takes a lot of time. We have to remember that in the offline business world people often say that you shouldn’t expect anything less than 5 years to gain traction, so 12-24 months is actually fast. Great comment Srini, thanks!

  2. Good advice Henri. I’m actually following this route. People might think it’s strange since I write a lot about thinking differently and challenging your assumptions about what you have to do with your life, yet I still work a 9-5 job. The thing is, I just started doing this stuff. I literally started less than six months ago. It takes time and it takes hard work.

    Obviously quitting my job right now would probably be an unwise decision unless I had some sort of way to replace at least some of that income. Right now, I’m doing a lot of experimenting to see what works.

    It’s my goal to hopefully have a steady income coming in by the end of 2010 so I can leave where I am now. That would be a 1 1/2 year time frame from starting to leaving my current job. Not sure if it will happen, but setting a date is important to me otherwise I don’t feel like I’ll push myself enough.

    • Thanks for commenting Nate, I appreciate it! I think your time frame is good. Even though we sometimes do not reach our goals, they still serve a purpose, just like you said. I think it’s great that you’re still at your job. We can be radical, but we also have to be practical and strategic about how we design our lives.

      Having a job also allows you to play around, have fun and experiment, which is when we learn the best. If you’d quit your job you would probably be a lot more stressed, which sucks! ;)

  3. Great post Henri. I think it’s good to have some realism mixed in with your dreams to really give your dream legs. I know I get swept along sometimes in the ‘quit your job’, ‘don’t be a slave to a job’ thinking, but ultimately for me I do need to pay my bills and as you point out with the gardening analogy, your dreams can go sour if you put too much pressure on them to make money, when you’re not actually at that stage yet.

    I have realised my passion is personal development (coaching and mentoring and my blog) and I am gradually decreasing the hours of my main job and increasing time spent in the other things, and it’s working, things are definitely going in the right direction. I am learning to be patient, focus on my goals and put the work in to get there.

    Really enjoyed this post Henri – thank you.
    Jen

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Jen! I can resonate with being swept away. Sometimes you’re reading about being radical and it gets you pumped to do everything right now. But we have to stay practical. I’m always about the practical and what works.

      I saw that you do Life Coaching. I tried it once and it really opened my eyes, but I didn’t like answering all those questions! It sounds like you’re on the right path and making a smooth transition. I’ll be following your progress!

  4. Yeah smart advice to not give up the job. It is going to take you a long time to get to a stage where you make money youself off the back of your work but one thing that you should be doing is working your ass in the evenings at whatever other chance you get.

    Stay up until 2 in the morning, work during your lunch break, on the bus, train etc. You should do everything possible to have a little bit of traction as soon as you leave your job and basically be doing some of the hard leg work on somebody else’s time!

    • I agree completely Niall. If you really want to do what you love for a living, you have to work your face off!

  5. I think the key to making the day job survivable is connecting it with your passion. You are working the job you hate to achieve something you desperately want. When you focus on the job as a part of your journey to were you want to be it becomes more tolerable. The important thing is to make it tie in to what YOU want from life not what the world tells you to want.

    • Excellent point, Quinn. I actually do this myself and have gotten through a lot of task by attaching it to an end goal where I will be able to focus more and more on my passion.

  6. Henri,

    I am totally passionate about creating a passive income so I can enjoy the life I want to. Including travel, travel, travel…

    Just recently I lost my job and so I decided to jump into the blogging world. Of course I have come to realize this journey will take some time. In the mean time I have interviewed for a teaching job at a school here in town.

    I have been a chiropractor for the past few years so now I blog at spineatopia, which is a natural health care blog. However, my passion is my new blog at forty2fifty, which is a lifestyle development blog where I discuss my journey into mid-life.

    Good finding you on here and look forward to following you.

    • Creating a passive income so you can enjoy a life you want is an excellent way to go about things. When you start traveling you could whip up a travel blog, you never know what might happen there ;)

      Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate you stopping by Jason!

  7. You have given a sound advice. We need to test the water before we plunge in. Resources are an important aspect when we pursue our goal, without having any sources we are doom to fail. Sticking on the job for a while is wise. :-)

  8. Henri,

    My first time here and I really love what I see. I’ve got some catching up to do :) Working 7-8 hours a day might not be such a hassle if we all loved who we were working with and what we’re working on. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most of us.

    If you have a moment, check out my blog.
    Thanks.

    • Thanks for the compliments, Moon! Your blog looks awesome. I see you also just started, good luck on your blogging journey ;)

  9. I think you offer some sound advice in this post. My long-term plans are to keep my “day job” as an engineer while also continuing with my blog. I find it helpful that my blog, which is focused on helping people achieve the extraordinary in marriage, is completely different than what I do all day. That keeps me from getting burned out and it allows me to remain passionate about both roles!

    • That’s a good point, Dustin. Sometimes the variation alone can keep you interested in both working a 9-5 job and blogging. Good stuff. Thanks for commenting!

  10. Great post. I think I can use this one since I am about to finish college now and will have a job in the near future. Good luck to me. :)

  11. Lovely post, thank you. :)

    Have you ever tried, without success, to make a job work (for round-about five years, even) and just realized that you’re attempting to fit square pegs into round holes? I have. It’s very hard to leave a job, especially when your income has increased over 30% in three years and you’ve grown accustomed to living a certain way. (Not to say we are rolling in money, as we still have debt.)

    However, after trying to work on it, taking class after class after class on how to change me, my perceptions, my work ethic, to “manage up”, and to resolve conflict, I realized I had to make a change. So we are in the process of that. Can I work on my project and build my business full-time? No. But I can work part-time to “bring home bacon” (after carefully budgeting what we need to get by) and work full-time on my passion/business!

    This shift has been very freeing and, while I still feel in some regards my husband and I are throwing a fair amount of caution to the wind, being angry, tense, and stressed was taking a toll on our health and marital harmony. Sometimes you have to leap, but ideally after you’ve attached some type of parachute!

    • That’s an amazing comment, Carrie! Almost a post in and of itself :). I can somewhat relate, because when I went from poker to websites, it was as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and when I started this blog everything got even better. Hope to see you around!

      • Thanks for the reply. You’re our first Sunday Spotlight @ Make Mine Happen. Thanks for your inspiration. I firmly believe that you get back what you put out there. A hand open to give is also open to receive!

  12. Muzi Mohale says:

    Indeed, quiting your job shouldn’t be taken likely…I resigned from mine in March 2009, after having worked for a boss for almost 9 years. I already had a few websites running which I created in 2003, 2006 and 2007 respectively…however I discovered along the way that my income had drastically dropped, since I no longer had an extra income from the full-time job. This really impacted on my ego and ability to pay the bills. Luckily I have a very supportive wife who is helping me along the way. I’ve learnt my lessons and ready to work smarter in the new year to ensure my revenues are improved.

    • Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it! We all go through hardship, but more often than not, they help us grow and realize what’s really important.

  13. Right you are! I’ve been blogging for about 5 years. My focus has changed in the past year towards a more professional type blog. It’s like starting over. But, I’m not expecting to get 100′s of followers overnight, huge page ranks, or big affiliate checks right away. I know from past experience that you can work hard, very hard, and make nothing.

    Slow and steady is the way. Focus on building the content, making connections and building a community. I’d say do this for a least a year before even trying to monetize.

    BTW, Beautiful site!!!

    • Thanks a lot, Erica :D.

      I agree completely, first give as much as possible, connect and then see how it all develops. It’s important to go with the flow and see what fits and when.

  14. I’m a student and till now have no idea of a 9 to 5 job, but still I want to experience it as it will help me to be motivated for blogging.

  15. Nice article.

    The main thing is to do the things which you truly love doing and if you forget being practical, then would you continue getting enjoyment out of what you are doing? A big NO.

    So the value of being practical cannot be underestimated.

    Best,
    Utpal

  16. Hello,
    The title of your post first intrigued me into reading your article. I find that I am constantly telling my husband that if he just tried to market himself more he wouldn’t have to be looking for a job and he keeps telling me that he doesn’t have the customer base in order to quit the basic 9-5. I finally understand, and therefor thank you. I am currently working on my own blog and trying to get it off the ground and tend to write a lot about going for it (in fact my first post was about Just Doing It) but, thanks to you, I now feel I can understand his POV better. It is like the idea of minimalism and simplicity as lifestyles or even as individuals-every definition, idea, person, etc is different and so why should I force my husband to start his business now if he truely isn’t ready and, therefor, my new family ends up living in a situation that ultimately is not for the best. So thank you for allowing me to step back and think.

  17. Sunshine Conkey says:

    I live in employee housing in a national park, so if I quit my job, I would have to move (seeing as the housing goes with the job) and end up homeless again. The rent is “S-U-P-E-R” cheap.
    I would love to either get paid to take pictures of different locations and blog about the traveling, or just sell the photos in some sort of picture book for “armchair travelers”.
    But for now I’m stuck working in a cafeteria and watching my wages get garnished.

  18. Thanks for the great post. Good advice! Work day to day can be extremely difficult. Is the answer to enjoy what you do or do what you enjoy? It’s tough. Thanks for you insight though.

    I stumbled upon this blog like I did yours. Though their insight on work was very meaningful: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/our-house/

    Thanks for the post! I’d love to see more like it.

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