You have an idea you're itching to get off the ground. Mom and Dad tell you to keep your job. It is the responsible thing to do, after all. It also provides a certain level of security you wouldn't have otherwise, especially considering many new businesses don't turn a profit for months, if not years. But you worry your 9-5 will take away the precious time needed to be successful. What should you do? Below, nineentrepreneurs from FounderSociety give their advice.
A. Focus on Growing Your Own Business
I was in the very same situation. I was keeping my day job to pay the bills. If you are serious about growing, the day job will put a halt on that. You can't grow a sustainable business while working in someone else's business. Not only that, the employer will eventually catch on and end up firing you, which is just what happened to me. Success by firing. - Cory Poccia, Mainstream Entertainment Group Inc.
A. Only Quit When It Becomes Necessary
There's a lot that goes into starting a business and that sometimes takes a lot of time, especially if you still have a day job. Keep your day job until it is necessary to put all of your energy and time into your business. But waiting too long to quit your day job can stunt possibilities and cause lost opportunities. Entrepreneurship takes commitment and risk to make it work. - Jack Glasser, Glasser Images
A. Prepare for Larger Expenditures
The jump point varies dependant on circumstance. If you're quitting, you better have at least year's worth of savings to burn through, have some sort of revenue or be funded. Living expenses are naturally high, and the benefit of having a job, health insurance and the ability to remortgage is huge. I was ready for the slow drain, but the larger expenditures (e.g. laptops) and family health issues strained it. - Ben Gamble, Quincus
A. Keep Your Day Job for a While
Startups require a lot of work, and it can be tempting to jump ship immediately. However, burning the midnight oil has its benefits. Growing your business after work helps keep you dedicated without the added stress of trying to pay the bills or feed your family. While your day job may not be where your passion is, treat it like a business loan helping you get to the next level. - Jaime Derringer, Design Milk
A. Prove the Concept First
When a company is in its infancy, it's a lot to ask that it support both itself and you. I worked full-time for the first three years that I had my company, which added to my experience, eliminated personal financial stress and even put me in a position to inject some capital into the company from my own cash flow when things got tight. Most of all, I proved my concept with little risk. - Alexandra Ferguson Clark, Alexandra Ferguson
A. Go All In
The answer for this is circumstantial and dependent on factors such as risk tolerance, finances and the ability to manage stress. Some argue that you should reduce your risk by juggling a career before going all in. However, the reality is that your business will never reach its full potential when your time, resources and energy are distributed. Go all in, have no regrets and give it 110 percent. - Damon Nam, Verse
A. Consider Your Personal Runway
Write down the number of months it will take until your startup can pay you in Column 1. Now double it because it always takes twice as long. Then write down how much money you spend per month in Column 2. Divide your personal burn rate by the amount in your bank account to get your personal runway. Only quit your day job if the number in Column 1 is significantly bigger than Column 2. - Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli
A. Don't Treat Your Startup Like a Lottery Ticket
It would be nice to be an overnight success story, but I'm pretty sure we know that the majority of startups don't work that way. It can take years to become profitable or secure enough to pay salaries (or just pay your rent!). If you work 9-5, start working on your startup during your off hours. Building a successful company takes hustle -- not luck. - Antonio Calabrese, Boonle
A. Save at Least a Year's Worth of Money to Live On
In my experience, there's no right answer to this question. It depends on how you feel about yourself as an entrepreneur and how you feel about your startup idea. It also depends upon how much preparation you've done. I advise having at least a year's worth of expenses saved up before considering quitting your day job. - Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.