I was considering another title for this post. “Should I Start A Business By Quitting My Job”
As you grow older into your 30s, this question starts to get louder. Usually, if we don’t take any action, we will try hard to oppress this niggling “voice” by convincing ourselves that our job is good and we should just stick with it. Why rock the boat when retirement is just around the corner? Until and usually, this suppression triggers a whole new problem in your life called “The Midlife Crisis”.
So, are you ready to quit your job and jump straight into being a founder of a new business? We assume that the voice within you had clamored for your action for some time. You know deep inside that you are ready to quit. BUT are you ready to strike out on your own?
1. God Is In Charge
If you believe and let go, God will take over. At the time of this writing, I am waiting for God for His blessing on whether our business should proceed with the export market. Yes, you hear me right.
No two experiences with God is the same. Just like our fingerprints, He creates a life for each of us in His unique way. I did not go into entrepreneurship by chance or luck as some might call it. I was the General Manager of a million dollar food manufacturer 3 years ago in a foreign land far away from my family. In other words, my son entered the teenage years without me by his side. He started playing truant at school and consequently, his grades dropped. Until then, climbing the corporate ladder was my dream. I wanted to reach the top of the “food chain” and the thought of having my own business diminished as age caught up.
The truth is, you can never reach the top if you work for others. The pinnacle of the food chain is a facade painted by the powerful to keep us leashed as long as we bring in the dough. I prayed to God for deliverance from this leash. I prayed for Him to bring me home, and to bless me with my own business, not to be under a “leash” again.
2. Your Cash Reserve Will Shrink
We are not talking about capital here. I am talking about the cash you need to sustain you during this journey. How much reserve do you have assuming that you quit without any backup plan in hand? By the way, you do need a backup plan in liquid cash!
Why are we into money here? Most startups require the founders’ full attention to get it up and running. Sure the best option is to build your business part-time while still carrying on with your day job. But that seldom works. A happy worker seldom thinks of starting a business to escape work. When you are unhappy at work, not many are able to divide their time between a side gig and a full-time job. It is mere fantasy to many people.
Let me give it straight to you, you must have enough cash to tide your family through the dry spell for at least two years. Work as you have never worked before and get your new business generating some cash preferably 6 months to a year after you leave your job. Learn to make bootstrapping works for you. The longer you take to generate income, the more anxious you will become.
3. Competitors Will Try To Bring You Down
The business world is savage. When a business newbie sets foot into the domain of business dealings, the vultures will watch. The moment they saw you move into the customers, they will resort to all kinds of low handed tactics to push you out.
When I started my business in food additive trading, a competitor tried to sabotage my new startup by going for my dealership rights. This competitor had more money than me (at least that was what I assumed). He owned both a retail shop and trading house, coupled with proper logistic facilities. I still deliver on my own and the heck, I don’t believe in retail. God got my back here by making my principal to ignore my competitor’s advances.
In the online business world, competition could turn unruly, perhaps even worse than the offline business. You can’t see your enemies. If you plan to make some easy money with Google Adsense, your competitors who fight for the same keyword could cook up some sinister plan. In those days, we were extremely click-phobia. We were scared of accidentally clicking our own ads because Google might ban us. Your competitor (or you) can pay click farms to click on your Google Adsense ad links to get your account banned!
4. You Will Lose Money
Like it or not, money is your no. 1 concern when you start a business. You may work 7 days and 70 hours per week but if you can’t get enough customers to buy your products…..
Look at the statistic of 2011:
- More than 50 % of small businesses failed in the first 4 years
- Among the leading causes of business failures:
– 46 % due to incompetence
– 30 % from unbalanced experience and management incompetence of founders
– 13 % due to dishonesty issues
– 11 % due to unrelated experience in the line of goods or service
In theory, if we can avoid the 4 sins mentioned above, we should have a fighting chance of making money for our new business pursuit. Stick to what you know and be honest!
5. Some Customers Will Dislike You
We are always trying hard to please our customers. Yet, no one can avoid the occasional facing off due to reasons like a broken promise, inconsistent product quality, price expectation and their dislike for our face.
In a nutshell, make sure you have more happy customers to angry ones. From my experience, you seldom go out of business by some occasional disgruntled customers. Just do harder to keep unhappy moments as short as possible.
Bear in mind though, you may take months to build your relationship with a new client, but it will only take a moment of abrasiveness to lose them.
6. There Will Be Off Seasons
A business is like a climate. We have spring, summer, autumn, and winter for our climate as for our new venture.
Most businesses have their share low seasons. Even if you have done all to establish your services into every segment that you think possible, you will still experience a downturn. The low could be economical, cyclical, regional and global. Reap when the season is good and sow when times are bad.
7. The Business Will Grow With Us
We were once employees and we are used to be busy. We enjoy wearing the “busy-ness” medal wherever we go. I had a dumb boss whose favorite quote was “I am very busy!” and whenever I met him, I will just compliment him “Lawrence, you are a damn busy man!” He bloody loved it!
The moment you step into entrepreneurship, you will still hear people telling you to keep hustling. Entrepreneurs are known to be hustlers! From being busy to keep hustling. However, don’t you think this is a tad ridiculous? For God’s sake, you are supposed to get out of the rat race and here you, chasing and repeating the busy part all over again?
Let us listen to what God has to say about work:
- Work hard to enter My REST
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you REST.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find REST for your souls.
- Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He RESTED from all the work of creating that he had done.
- Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some REST.
You will learn to be comfortable without activities. In the early stage, you will try to find work to do. Visiting your customers, attend networking conference, submitting samples, selling, follow-ups and anything that will make you feel busy. Gradually you will find that many, if not most of these activities are simply unnecessary pressures that we put on ourselves.
The word “God helps those who help themselves” is a blasphemy. There is no mention or a trace of this word in the Bible. Therefore, take comfort that even our Father in heaven wants us to rest so that He can take control. For His way is higher than our way.
8. Your New Adventure in Business Will Create Stress
Make no mistake about this. The first person to be affected by your new startup is your spouse because he or she is the nearest to you. She will feel your joy and she knows when you are worried. And these feelings are reciprocal because of your understanding of each other. If she is handling your accounting, she will be the first to realize your shortfall. She might blow tantrums more often than before because of the time needed to get used to the new paradigm shift. Growing up is never comfortable.
When eagles breed, these magnificent birds will choose the highest tree to make their nest. They make their young eaglets grow up in a “penthouse” at the highest part of the oak. Usually no wild creatures are able to harm them at the comfort of the penthouse. The eaglets will grow up and just when these little fellas thought that everything is fine and dandy, dad and mum put them into their first flying lesson. They are pushed off from the comfort zone for the first time, and yet when the eaglets fall, their parents will save them and carry them on their powerful wings.
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.