You’ve got the idea. You’ve identified a need, but you didn’t stop there: you’ve even prepared a service or designed a product that will fulfill that need and create value in the lives of thousands – maybe even millions. Congratulations! But before you go pull a Johnny Paycheck and tell ‘em to “take this job and shove it,” there is still more to consider. I personally spent four years developing myself and working to break the addiction to a paycheck.
A year ago, I wrote a post explaining my journey. Today, I’m going to give you some tips on how to know when it’s time to embark on yours.
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job Until Your Idea is Not Just an Idea
Having the idea is the first step. Now what resources do you need to begin production? Is your idea a service that will need testing? Is your idea an innovation for which you should acquire a patent? Now is the time to get the logistics nailed down and actually make it happen! Test runs are great, but ideally at this stage you should be looking for ways to actually operate your business on whatever scale is tenable.
“Success in the world of innovation is all about getting your timing right. If you wait too long, someone else will have capitalized on a similar idea and captured your niche already. On the other hand, if your invention is the first of its kind, the market might not be ready — and you’ll have to fight an uphill battle to carve out a place for your product. “ – Nicole Fallon Taylor, Business News Daily
One thing that we do to help early-stage entrepreneurs is offer a consultation or five-point analysis of the business (or idea). This is designed to help entrepreneurs understand both the current state of their business (or idea), and marketing needs.
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job Until You Have a Customer
Having friends and family use your service or sample your product is a great way to tweak an idea to suit a variety of needs. But before you start boxing up all your valuables on your desk (and some snacks break room), ask yourself this: Do I really have reliable customers? There are also analytics and proven metrics to be considered. Customer Acquisition Cost is one such metric that can be used to determine what you do going forward.
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job Until You Can’t Do Both
While every business is different, you should be planning to someday take the risk and blaze out of that office to return down the line as some sort of new-age Jerry Maguire. That day will see you simply unable to juggle both your day job and your dream. This, my friends, is a good day. Until then, keep up the good work at your day job and know that you’re not just supporting them, they’re also supporting you. We get what we give in this world, so stay humble, stay positive, and reciprocate!
Expect failure, and make sure you have enough runway to allow for mistakes as you’re getting started. You want to be able to say to your boss, when you quit, “it’s not about money, and there’s no amount you could offer me to stay.”