I closed the door to my CEO’s office, palms sweaty, and trembling slightly. Though I knew I was making the right decision, and was excited about it, I still knew he wouldn’t be happy I was leaving him.
But it was time. I knew in my gut that I couldn’t continue working both my full-time job and run my Virtual Assistant business. What had started off as an extra way to get money had blossomed into something much larger.
We are bombarded by these stories of people who quit their full-time job on a whim, open their own business, and win a big client within a week. Heck, that’s one of my client’s success stories but there are so many similar ones out there.
Or, being laid off or at home due to an injury, start an online business and within a year, build a large, scalable business and have become millionaires.
Or, have a great idea for an app, quit their job, hire people to work on an app and now everyone is using that app. And they’re billionaires.
But for most of us out there, we can’t afford to do that (adult responsibilities like family, bills, and commitments get in the way). We have no choice but to work at our full-time job, continue to get a steady paycheck and gently nurture and grow our business on the side. Honestly, I think it’s the smartest decision as well, despite what the media and Shark Tank tell us.
How did I know it was time to quit working full-time and go solo?
This is the hardest question, but one of the most important questions so many new entrepreneurs have.
The answer is different for everyone but there is one key thought to factor in when you do make a decision:
You should quit your full-time job when your business becomes busy enough that you cannot realistically do both at the same time.
Perhaps for you, that’s when it gets to the point that the late hours you put into your business is causing you to make mistakes on your full-time job. Maybe it’s when you start getting calls for your company during the normal working hours. Possibly it’s when you realize you love your business so much that you resent your full-time job, getting lazy and procrastinating on work that needs to get done, not pulling your weight on team projects.
For me, it was all three of those reasons and it all happened in one month. I gained two new high-paying clients. My CEO noticed I was starting to slip up and seemed unnecessarily stressed. With one of these new clients, I started getting a lot of phone calls during the day that I had to ignore because, well, I was at work. But that caused the work for my client to suffer and I didn’t like that. My full-time job started to turn into something I resented, something I wasn’t excited about.
And as these instances began to culminate together, I realized that at this point, I was all about my business all the time.
So it was time to quit. Pay was definitely an issue and yes, I took a pay cut. But now I had the chance to expand beyond what I was ever able to do while having my full-time job.
And my CEO? He offered me a lot more money than my original salary in order to get me to stay. I refused because, well, I was all about my business all the time. And I haven’t looked back.
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