This is a big one. Maybe the big one.
When I asked what you wanted to know about being a home-based entrepreneur, this one came up a few times. I’m not surprised. It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked.
“How do you know when you’ve reached the right point to fire your day job…?“
So that’s the question, let’s look at some indicators…
Mr. Day Job, I’m Afraid We’re Gong To Have To Let You Go…
Notice I didn’t say “let’s look at some answers.” That’s because no one can tell the best time to quit your day job. More to the point, they can tell you, but you won’t listen.
I know this from experience. Some people are natural risk takers, and maybe jump too soon. Others are risk-adverse, and tend to hang around longer than they really need to.
Like so many other things associated with finding your passion, living your dream, and working from home — it comes down to a gut thing. It’s a pure sense of knowing. No formula or expert advice is going to outweigh that sense of knowing.
It’s a tipping point — a time when that feeling of rightness offsets the feeling of fear.
I can’t tell you when that tipping point will be, because only you know. It’s your gut, not mine. That sounds like a cop-out, but it’s not. Anyone who tells you that they have the definitive answer is either trying to sell you something, is naive, or just doesn’t get it.
We can help you come to the conclusion yourself though, with…
Gut Check Indicators
When you need gas, there’s an indicator (fuel gauge). When you’re hungry, there’s an indicator (stomach growling). When your 2-year old pees in her Pull-Ups, there’s an indicator (disappearing stars, for example).
When your gut is trying to tell you something, there’s an indicator as well. It’s just a little harder to read sometimes. Here’s some common indicators regarding making the leap to full-time self employment:
- Physical Signs – Your job may be making you physically ill. The body does a great job of showing you what you need.
- Cash Flow – An obvious indicator is when you’re making enough money to quit. The problem is determining what enough is. Is it what you make in your day job? More? Less? Money is an important consideration, but shouldn’t be your only consideration. Maybe not even in the top 3. If you are doing work you love, and are providing something of value, you’ll make money. If money’s the only thing stopping you, think about alternative ways to supplement in the short term.
- Fire in the Belly – There’s that burning, tickling sensation that epitomizes the phrase “gut feeling.” It’s butterflies in the stomach, meets puppy love, meets heartburn. All warm and fuzzy. When that happens enough while working on your home-based business, and is blatantly absent in your day job, you jones for it. The Fire in the Belly addiction can drive you right out of your comfort zone and into full-time entrepreneurship.
- Desperation – There will be a clear peak of sheer desperation — where you just can’t do it anymore. That sense of desperation is so immense, it’ll be hard to miss.
- Severe Loathing of Your Boss or Coworkers – If you can’t stand to be in the presence of those who represent your day job, it’s a good sign that you need to get out.
- Ton of Bricks – Sometimes the signs are subtle. Other times they’re not. The Universe, God, Your Gut, or your Fairy Godmother may have to resort to drastic measures to get you to budge. Look for obvious signs that you need to make the leap. Call it coincidence or synchronicity. There may be some signs beating you over the head that you may be ignoring.
- Ask Your Spouse or Partner – When all else fails, look to a higher power — your better half. If you’re in a good relationship, chances are they know you better than you know yourself. Ask for some honest feedback, ask them to suspend their own fears temporarily, and then listen to what they have to say. My wife has yet to give me bad advice. I’ve talked to lots of others who also happen to be hooked up with their best advisor.
When the workday is done, it comes down to you. Your call, your decision. No one can follow your dreams for you. It’s all up to you.
The cool thing is, you already know. It just takes some time to realize it.