Don't Quit Your Day Job

Whenever someone asks me what my advice is for anyone thinking about starting their own business, my answer is always: don't quit your day job.

It's tempting - especially if you dislike your current job - to hand in your notice so you can work on your ambitions full time. Because it makes sense that not having a day job means more free hours to turn your passion into a business, right? That assumption could be one of the biggest mistakes you ever make and prevent your business from being a success.

Relief From Financial Burdens
Day jobs provide you with financial security and relief from financial stress, which you need for a potential business to flourish. Without a job you won't have the ability to save the money needed to pull you through the tough times (and there will be tough times.)

A Schedule For Creativity
Day jobs force you into scheduling and making time for your creativity, it puts the pressure on to make use of your spare time because it is finite and dictated to you. This teaches you how to keep to a routine and maintain a healthy creative cycle.

Purchases and Preparations
Without a job you will get into debt trying to afford the materials and kit (laptop, camera, website, tools, etc.) you will need to make your business work. You limit the financial risks by having a steady, reliable income every month and a day job provides you with time to prepare yourself for self-employment, both mentally and financially. It also affords you a chance to test the market and know, for sure, your product or service will sell, to improve those products or services, and to establish a customer base who want to buy them.

The Drive To Succeed
Although you might feel your day job distracts you from your passion, that distraction only serves to fuel the desire to create more and to eventually break free of the daily grind. Having a job also teaches you how businesses work; how to - or more importantly, how not to - do things from managerial styles to customer service, and employee interactions.

It takes time to get to the point where you can get paid for doing what you love. Until that moment arrives you need a steady cash flow. Unfortunately that most likely means working long days (and nights) trying to balance doing what you hate (your day job) with something you love (your passion).

Finding a day job that will pay you a decent enough wage to live on and just enough spare time to do the thing you love the most without making you dread the 9-to-5 routine is the key.