All Or Nothing, Or Is It? April 30, 2015 06:00
by Lisa Meier Greenwood
I've heard it said, that when building a startup, you need to focus all your time on your company if you want it to survive and succeed. In every case, this means quitting your day job.
Well, before you give your employer your two weeks notice, think about your financial situation. Are you funded or do you have a nice nest-egg that will help you scale the company without throwing yourself into a homeless situation? If not, read on.
Building a company from nothing but your spare time and sweat is much easier when you have a day job. Sure, you'll be exhausted working at home evenings and weekends, but people work 40 plus hours a week and still manage to do other things. You won't be any more tired than you'd be after running any race. But ask anyone who has built a company from scratch, your persistence will pay off.
“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.”
I was a single mom working full time and trying to make ends meet when I started building my company. I based the concept on what I knew. Inspired by my day job, I saw a need that my employer had that no one truly fulfilled. Sure, the marketplace had a "sort-of" solution, one that didn't take any creative sense at all, was horribly mediocre, and because that's how the market was run for decades, customers like my employer, didn't think anything of it. It would be like asking someone to provide you with transportation to go 100 miles from point A to point B and they offered you a pair of shoes. All the while, you had no idea that you could drive a car the same distance in much less time. And the car, well, it would provide other benefits like keeping you out of the rain.
What ever your financial situation, I am living proof that you can have a company before you quit your day job. I'm not sure who said it, but this passage is similar to one I've heard before. "Study while others are sleeping. Decide while others are delaying. Prepare while others are daydreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Smile while others are frowning. Persist while others are quitting."
I think that the all or nothing advice is not only impractical for most entrepreneurs, but it kills the dreams of many would-be business owners who might think that they can't have the business of their dreams unless they do it full time. Say "rubbish" to that idea. You can do whatever you think you can. If you can't quit your day job, don't. If you can, do it. But don't let others tell you it's their way or no way. Persistence is what counts.
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.