Updated: January 6, 2023
Do you want to quit your job and start your own business?
DON’T – because it should work the other way around. You should first try to start your own business, then later on – quit your job.
These and more are some of the advice I gave in today’s edition of Reader Mail.
From Ms. A:
Hi! I just came across your website while trying to search for good businesses in the Philippines. But I think I found something better. Your blog is really helpful, I must say.
Anyway, I am just a regular salaried employee with no savings whatsoever, but I really want to build my own business. How do you think should I start?
Hi, congratulate yourself first for having the initiative to search for good businesses in the country. It means there’s a spark of entrepreneurial spirit within you.
However, I would personally suggest that you first try to build an emergency fund because as you’ve said, you have no savings.
Try the strategy of “paying yourself first” – which means, immediately taking out 10% or whatever is comfortable with you, from your salary and putting it in a separate savings account. Then try to live with the 90% that’s left.
Gradually, increase the percentage every month, until you can save up to 30% of your income. It sounds hard, but it’s doable.
Learning how to properly budget your own finances will certainly develop the money management skills you’ll need when you have your own business already.
Moreover, try to use your time for now in learning more about business and entrepreneurship. Read books, attend seminars, do market research, and maybe perhaps, start writing your business plan.
From Mr. D
Hi. I just graduated and is now working for less than a year already. However, I really don’t see myself being an employee until I grow old. My heart says I want financial freedom and freedom from being an employee but my mind says that if I quit this job and start a business from scratch, I might fail. In short, I’m afraid.
I often consult my mom about this, who is, by the way, an entrepreneur. She always tells me that I should not quit. How about you? What advice can you give me?
Hi. In my opinion, your mother is correct in saying that you should not quit, because there are invaluable lessons that the corporate world will teach you as a person.
If you want to build a business in the future, then take this opportunity to study what goes on “inside the business” from the eyes of an employee. That’s how I saw it when I started to think about entrepreneurship.
Learn about the mission, vision and values of your company and see how it is being applied. Study the processes, the operating procedures, the regulations, and other aspects of the company’s business, and analyze how it’s being done.
Then, make a plan for your own business, while still working in your job.
Once the “blueprint” is ready, then start your business. You don’t have to quit your job. It is possible. Many successful companies today started “in the garage”, during the free time of the people who built it.
The way I see it – you have no reason to be afraid to start a business from scratch because if you fail, you still have your employment to fall back on. That’s the beauty of keeping your job while your business is still a baby.
When should you quit? You will know. There will be signs, both emotional and financial, that will tell you that you are ready to quit the corporate world and become full-time with your business.
Feeling of excitement, feeling of self-confidence… cash flow is stable and steadily increasing… signs which you’ll surely notice and say that you are ready to get out of the rat race. So again, for now, keep your job, but already start working on your business.
From Mr. S:
Hello. I am so impressed with what your website can offer us. I am one of those youngsters that is crazy to have financial freedom.
I’m young but I’m already tired of working as an employee. I already started reading books regarding business and financial matters. And still in the process of preparing myself physically, emotionally, and financially to indulge in business.
As a starter can you give me a piece of advice on the path that I want to indulge with.
Hi. I should say that I know exactly how you feel. You’re tired of being an employee and you’re always dreaming of financial and time freedom. That’s who I was before I decided to pursue entrepreneurship.
My best advice: do your job well, because it’s what secures your “present” – but plan a future now.
Start by writing down goals and make them as concrete as possible. Don’t write, “I want to be a billionaire”; instead write, “I want to have P100,000 in my savings account by the end of the year.”
Writing it down makes it a plan. Don’t type it as a document on your computer, buy a small notebook and write it there. Then every day – polish, edit, improve, make a schedule and act on your plans.
Financial freedom is a journey. It can never be achieved through get rich quick schemes but only through focus, discipline, and persistence.
Again, keep your job. Do good in it. Save money. Plan your actions. Take baby steps and know that every day is an opportunity to get closer to your goal.
This concludes another edition of Reader Mail. Do you have any questions about business, investments, or personal finance that you’d like me to answer? Then just send me an email here.
What to do next: Click here to subscribe to our FREE newsletter.
Photo credits: naustvik and cindy47452
I agree in what you said about not quitting the job yet. There are lessons in the corporate world that are valuable. Some of them are not even taught in school but lets you have a first hand experience on it. You may not be directly involved in the business but learn how the execs handle issues, decisions, product image, etc.
Fitz knows best when it comes to business. I agree with him. You should start your business part time then you decide whether to go or not when you’re already adept with your business. Like me, i have six sources of income. One from my job and 5 part time jobs. Now, i still don’t want to quit my job. Why should I? I can do it all in one time. Just want to share.
I came across this site last year, and from Fitz advise I started to save first (though it was against my will). It’s true what he said that saving will build your character, knowlege and skill on how you handle your finances. Now, Iam starting to work on a business, and I felt more ready than ever… all thanks to Fitz! 🙂
Yes, you are absolutely right about trying the business first before quitting the day job. It has always been my dream to start a retail business. I’m starting with baby steps to get to that. In the meantime, I am working my hardest to earn money from my day job.
Keep telling them to be careful. Wanting to start a business and no longer be an employee is a good ambition, but it’s only a start.
Those people don’t sound like they yet know what they want to do. They want the freedom of their own business without seeming to realize that many small business owners work twice as hard and long for themselves as their employees do.
It’s okay to start with the generic desire first, but then they must take the next stop of figuring out what kind of business is right for them.
They should assess their talents, skills, education and experience. What value can they give to the world?
Do they see themselves opening a restaurant or blogging? Can they think of a useful invention or create a fun new toy?
So they need to really educate themselves as to the wide range of possibilities — and then see what they need to do to go from where they are now to where they want to be.
I love how you give advice to your readers, maybe I should ask too haha! BUT I THINK MY QUESTION WAS ALREADY ANSWERED, I should put my business first before quitting my job. That’s my goal as of now
I totally agree with what the others are saying. It is best to gain first the experience of being an employee before switching on handling a business. Because managing a business needs a lot of hands on experience. By the way, you give great pieces of advice. Keep it up!
That’s right. Risk is always in business. What we can do with risk is to reduce it. For the meantime you can continue with your job. And while in your job, you can start little by little your venture. When it grows and become sustainable, you can quit to your job. Everything starts small.
I visited your site about a year ago and I was one of those people looking to make money online. It was your blog that introduced me to Mystery Shopper. I have been a fan of your site since then! I wish I can eventually live my dream of owning my own business like you. Thanks for inspiring people like me. Cheers! Gold bless!
I am not saying that your comments here are wrong. I will just speak based on my own experience. Let’s just say that I’ve been there and done that. First, I quit my job and set up my business and then failed. After that, I took the safer path of keeping a day job while waiting for my business to grow and to be self-sustaining. Well, my honest opinion? The second path made me a safer person but the first path made me a better person I guess.
My point is that in reality or maybe subconsciously, we all treat our day job as a safety net, so that we always have something that could catch us everytime we fall. But the truth is, that same safety net limits us to grow and develop into becoming a much better and wiser person. Also, we all know that whatever we do, we would only be able to give a portion of our time to the business and the other portion to our day job which in return, delays the growth of the business, and prevents us and our business as well to reach it full potential in the soonest possible time. But if we remove that safety net, only then that we would be able to extract the best inside us because of the realization that if ever something wrong happens, there is nothing below our feet to catch us if we fall. Only then you would know in which arena you really belong.
If our letter senders wanted to venture into the business, the best thing to do is to accumulate enough ammunition before going into the battle. Fortify your business plan first, have enough first hand business knowhows, secure the needed capital, and set up an emergency fund. Only then can they tender that long prepared resignation letter and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
The bottomline I guess is we cannot serve two masters at the same time. Doing so would be a waste of your most precious time and energy. And time and 100% commitment are two vital things a business truly needs. Besides, a true businessman is a (well-prepared) risk taker isn’t it?
Hi Desertman, you raised a lot of very good points there.
The best one being having enough “ammunition before going into the battle”.
It’s true that you should really have a sound business plan and an emergency fund first before “jumping off the cliff”.
Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate your thoughts.
I like the way you give advice, I’ve learned a lot.
Thanks and continue the good works =)
I met you at iBlog! I totally agree with this. You just confirmed my decision not to resign yet. Thanks for saving my “ass” 🙂
“You should first try start your own business, then later on – quit your job.”
This article answered a lot of my questions. I’m actually thinking of quitting my current job and start a small business but then again I’m unsure how to do it. You gave me a clear perspective on what should be done first before quitting my job. Thanks a lot! 🙂
thank you 🙂
i like the way you give advice to us 🙂
Hello sir fitz, Thank you for this blog post It is really helpful. I am also planning to quick my job and just continue my work at home with my blogs. I am also planning to push Multi-level marketing.
Beautiful Bride and I chose to do a test run of her # 1 idea before jumping in with both feet forward. I believe that is the best path for most folks, especially if you have a family to support. Both my wife and I already had solid income sources as well as my US based social security check. Our home is mortgage free and we have zero debt. Once the decision was made to go forward, I handed my wife $2,000.00USD to run a test. My thought was that 2K is the most she could lose if it all went bust, I was very sure that, if the idea failed, my wife would get most of it back and observe what, if anything, went wrong. Well, it has now been three years since the launch with ZERO regret and a huge success for Wonderful Wife!
We are terrible at stashing emergency money here at home, there is always an unexpected need or oppertunity with the business that requires more capital. Reinvesting all of out profits back into the business can not come close to meeting demand. Fitz might not approve of what I did to hold emergency cash? I trade stock and ETF option contracts on US exchanges for income. I do this at night from our home in Bulacan province. Since we can live well on only one income check, I allow the premiums I collect from my option selling to pile up. When I log in each night to check my account, I also scan for new short term option selling opportunities.
My free cash collects a small amount of interest from a “sweep fund” offered by my brokerage firm until I use the cash to place a trade. This money also serves as our emergency fund. If a need arises, all I have to do is transfer funds to a taxable account with attached VISA card. In a short time, we will have cash to cover whatever emergency we face. Cover ALL your basses and then go out there and hit it like a BOSS!!!!!