Quitting your regular job to start working online can seem very tempting.
I’m sure you’re always seeing people on Facebook or Instagram flaunting their online lifestyles with their fancy cars, big houses and exotic holidays.
However, escaping your 9 to 5 to pursue an online lifestyle isn’t all plain sailing. You will encounter many obstacles before you achieve the freedom you’re craving.
All through our lives, we’re told what to do by our parents, teachers, and employers. When you quit your job you’re the person who decides. No one is there to make decisions for you, you will have to decide everything yourself.
Are you ready for that? We’re conditioned to look to others for direction. Taking the leap from employee to boss requires a different mindset, dedication, and a plan. As a business owner, you will have to learn to do things you have never tackled before.
Before deciding to hand in your resignation, take a look at your finances. No point in quitting your job if you’re going to be worried about where your next mortgage payment is coming from.
These are just a few of the things you need to consider. I hope I haven’t put you off!
Although it can be quite scary it can also provide you with the time and financial freedom you’ve been dreaming about.
The biggest mistake is not starting at all!
In this post, we’ll look at these and other factors you need to think about before quitting your 9 to 5 job for an online business.
What Are Your Goals?
As a small business owner, you need goals to keep moving forward, to keep you motivated to do more, and to sustain the on going success of your business. This can apply at any stage of your business.
Do you want to completely quit your day job or do you want to work online part time? Many people enjoy their 9 to 5 jobs and simply want to supplement their income.
Do you want to sell your own products or promote other peoples products? How are you going to promote your business? How much do you need to earn from your business each month?
These are some of the questions you may ask yourself when you’re setting up your online business. Your goals may be financial but also the different steps you intend to take to build your business.
There’s a lot more to attaining your goals than just your revenue. Yes, profits are very important but how you are going to create those profits is the essence of building your business.
Set Specific, Achievable Goals
When you’re setting your goals it’s a good idea to start with the big idea or even your dream. Then break it down into smaller manageable steps. Your goals or targets should be specific, achievable and time bound. These goals will push you to get things done and should be attainable.
For example, your dream is to earn a living from affiliate marketing. You would achieve this by building a website, joining affiliate programs and then get traffic.
Being more specific your goal for your first week could be to build a website. Much better if you break this down to more actionable items:
- Choose a subject (niche) for your website
- Build your website
- Get hosting
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme
- Add some important pages to your site
- Carry out some keyword research for possible articles
- Write one article
Don’t lose sight of your dream, this can help to keep you motivated. But by breaking it down into small steps, one day or one week at a time you will make steady progress towards your dream.
Reaching your daily goals can help to keep you inspired and keen to continue.
Before You Quit Your Job Start a Side Hustle
I recommend starting an online business as a side hustle before quitting your 9 to 5 job for good.
What’s a Side Hustle?
A side hustle could be a full blown business you manage in addition to your day job. But more often it’s another revenue stream to your 9 to 5 work. Typically it costs very little to start, the biggest investment will be your time.
The Advantages of Starting as a Side Hustle
It’s so much easier to have a business that provides you with an additional income rather than your family relying on you and your new business to provide everything for them.
Starting a business when working allows you to find out if you’re cut out to be your own boss and to see if your idea for a business will work.
Doing it this way will take a lot of the risk out of starting your online business but it won’t be easy. There will be some costs such a hosting, building a website, some additional tools, outsourcing and perhaps some training.
A Time Investment
It is possible but you need to be dedicated and determined. Be ready to say no to anyone who tries to lead you from your daily goals. You will also need the support of your family and friends.
Do Something You Love!
On the other hand, if you choose a niche that you’re passionate about (which is recommend) then building your business will be a pleasure. You may be working on something you normally do during your spare time and it can make you money. A business like that is magic!
The best time to start is now, take action and who knows where it will take you! If you don’t start you will never know if it’s right for you.
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How Much Do You Need Before Quitting Your Job?
Calculate how much you need to earn every month to pay all personal and business expenses. Once you have this figure you will need to calculate the taxes you will have to pay and don’t forget the self-employed expenses such as health insurance, retirement savings, and personal insurance.
Add all these together and you will have the amount you need to earn just to survive. If you find the amount you earn from your side hustle a little short of this figure, keep building your side hustle.
Expect the Unexpected
When you’re still working your 9 to 5, it’s a good idea to build a “quitting fund”. It’s funny but things often have the habit of going over budget or the unexpected happens. So having a cushion will provide you with a little extra security. I would try and have a least 6 months personal and business expenses.
The more you have the better, you will be taking a leap into the unknown and there will always be unexpected emergencies. On a more optimistic note, you might earn more than you expected and not need your “quitting fund”. It’s a case a hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
How Much Time Do You Have For Your Business?
One thing you need to consider is that the success of your online business will depend largely on how much time and effort you put in. Often people will start off by putting all their waking hours into their businesses only to ease off after a couple of months.
Clearly, if you follow this route your business will suffer.
The most important thing is to start. If you have an hour a day to spend on your business or 3 hours a day go for it. Work on your website every day and you will achieve sales. The main difference will be the time it takes you to make your first dollar. Normally, the longer you can work on your business the faster you will start making money.
If you struggle to find the time this post from sidehustlenation.com may give you some ideas on how to free up a few hours.
Reduce Your Expenses
If you’ve already started your business as a side hustle then it’s time to look at not only how much your business is making but also how much you get to keep. Your profit!
Your business might be making a good revenue but if you have too many expenses your profit might be much less.
Cutting back on some of these expenses could make it possible to quit your day job with the same income.
Let’s take a look at some of the savings you could make
As you are still working you may be paying freelancers to write articles, an agency to take care of SEO and updating your site. When you have more time you can do all these tasks yourself. To do so you may need to follow some training or watch some free videos on YouTube.
I recommend joining an online course, that provides training, all the tools you need plus help and support. Everything you need in one place! Yes, there will be a monthly cost but this will be much less than outsourcing all the different tasks.
There are some things that are essential such as hosting, a computer, and the internet connection. Then look at your other expenses such as recurring tool or software payments, the money you spend on training programs that aren’t really necessary.
When your business is earning money it’s very easy to fall into the trap of buying additional programs that we don’t really need. I’m afraid it happens to me!
Take a look at your expenses and see where you can make any cuts.
If you’re serious about quitting the 9 to 5 you will also probably have to make some sacrifices in your personal expenses.
- Eat out less often
- Cut out any TV or movie subscriptions
- Refrain from buying new clothes for a while
Only small changes but added together they can make a difference.
So Are You Ready to Quit Your Day Job?
I hope after reading this you are still ready to quit your day job. I think you should start as soon as possible doing a side hustle. Then when you’re ready, leave your 9 to 5 job.
If you have a family I would make it as secure as possible or if you are young and single then you can take more risks. When you decide to leave your job will be up to you but there is no perfect time. There will always be unknowns and uncertainties.
Have you started your own online business after quitting your day job? Are you thinking about leaving your 9 to 5 but aren’t ready to resign yet? Let us know about your successes, problems or what’s holding you back in the comments area below.