Should I quit my day job to ensure my startup gets off the ground?
by Naomi Kokubo, Cofounder of Founders Space
Yes! Maybe? No! All three answers may be correct.
Yes, if you truly believe in your startup and you have enough money in the bank to survive for at least one year, while you get things going. Keep in mind, the money you need goes beyond personal living expenses. You’ll need funds to bootstrap your company too.
Maybe, if you truly believe in your startup and can scrape together the money to survive for at least one year.
No, if you don’t truly believe in your startup or if you’ll wind up in financial trouble.
Before I dive into details, let me say that I see very few “nighttime” startups succeed. It’s exponentially harder to get a startup going if you’re working full-time. It really takes at least one full-time founder to get something as complex as a new business off the ground.
Also, by quitting your day job, you’re under real pressure to make your startup go. It’s do or die. Halfway doesn’t make miracles happen. That type of pressure is what it takes for most people to get a startup to the next level.
But before you go “all in” on your startup, let me point out some things to ask yourself:
- Does anyone else believe in your idea? Why or why not? People don’t have to believe in what you’re doing, but it helps to get a sanity check.
- Have you talked to veteran entrepreneurs and gotten their feedback?
- Have you met with angels and asked them what they thought?
- Have you sought out professional legal and financial advice?
- Have you written up a business and marketing plan?
- How will your startup make money? And how much money do you need to reach profitability?
- Do you have all the skills it takes to launch this venture? Do you need anyone else to join you? What would it take to get them on board?
If you haven’t done at least what I described above, then PLEASE keep your day job. Work on those issues first. Once you have answers to those basic questions, you can seriously consider whether you want to risk it all. Like I said, very few startups succeed unless the founder is willing to take the plunge, but don’t plunge too soon!