I think we are all familiar with Job’s Stanford University’s commencement speech. Well, at least, excerpts of it. The following quote has definitely been used on Facebook status update, pins on Pinterest, and in even in the entrepreneurial-speak that I hear from friends and colleagues as they contemplate quitting their 9-5 jobs to follow their passions:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
And fundamentally, I believe that entrepreneur is one of the ultimate displays of courage, belief in one self, and creativity. Entrepreneurship
But I also know that Steve Jobs was adopted by which comes with the privilege of a financial safety net that allowed him to crate, fail, try again, and innovate for many years. I also know that Jobs was obsessed and committed to what he was doing and put in years, if not decades, before reaping the financial payoffs.
So, before you quit your job to work for yourself consider the following:
- Do you know what you are passionate about? Have you taken the time to sit down and explicitly write down what you are passionate about versus what you really like. Will you still love this passion when your ideas are rejected and misunderstood?
- Have you considered that the reason that you love your passion is because you don’t have to depend on it for your bread and butter? I have a real passion for personal finance, black women, and writing. I love sharing my thoughts and whipping up a sentence or two after-work and on the weekends. Would my love for writing die with mounting deadlines, the need to pitch to make my coins stack, or chase after editors for my checks? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Maybe it would come with the territory of living your passion. But it definitely something to think about before you quit.
- Do you have an emergency fund large enough to offset the lack of income? Money does not sound very dreamy, but it is one of those factors what will keep you in business or put you out of it. Have you run the numbers to find out how much money you would need to save in order cover at least one year’s worth of your previous salary? Have you paid off your personal debt so you can have a clean start with your business growth?
- Are there more viable alternatives to quitting your job? If you don’t have money saved, perhaps you should get a part-time job and grow your business simultaneously.
- Do you have products and/or services? One of my fellow blogger friends once told me, “If it ain’t bringing in profit, then it is an expensive hobby.” If you have discovered your passion, you have to find a way how will it be packaged and sold. Where will folk be able to find your products?
- Do you like to sell and promote? While it would be nice to spend your day creating and living in your passion, the only way to make rent is to make sales. Marketing and sales will be a big part of your life as an entrepreneur. I would say at least 40% of your time will be dedicated to this. And if you are starting out with a just few dollars in your company’s overall budget, you won’t hire someone to do this, you will be doing this.
- Do you need to go solo to follow your passion? Does working for yourself necessarily mean working by yourself? If you know someone with a skill-set that complements yours, maybe you could work together. This spreads the risks, divides the tasks, and may double your profits.
So Frugal Feministas, are you ready to quit?