Launch Your Startup AND Still Keep Your Day Job

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According to a GEM global report, about 100 million businesses are launched annually, that is 11,000 businesses per hour – pretty sick number, huh?

Of course, this number tells you that more and more people are daring to take the route of entrepreneurship, it also tells you that the competition is intense and your business success can be a hit or miss.

Even if you do build a stable startup, the chances of it becoming as famous as Facebook or Google is pretty slim.

Although pursuing your goals is important, it is also important to have a fail safe option.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t quit your day job when launching a startup.

1. Finances from day job – more money for startup – less mental stress

Quitting too soon, or unnecessarily can limit your finances, which in turn can limit your ability to launch your startup. Most startups take years to generate profit, that is assuming that the startup is headed towards growth and success.

Even if you rely on the savings you backed up, running both your life and startup on these savings – your resources will probably not last long and is too much of a stress mentally and consequently, harmful to your health.

Earnings in your day job can keep the financial stress at bay; sure you may have to sacrifice your after work hours and your weekends, but it is definitely worth it, if it can give financial safety.

2. You can discuss your idea with peers

Your day job is one place where you can find trusted people who think at the same level as you do and are more than happy to offer their opinions and suggestions.

90% of startups fail (source) and one of the many reasons for their failure is not evaluating their ideas well enough. This is where your colleagues can help you.

May be your startup idea is too impractical?

Or has too many pitfalls?

Or requires more hard work than you expected?

Many a times, in the excitement of starting our own company, we don’t think it through well enough or are too biased towards our idea to recognise the ugly side.

Your colleagues’ opinions, feedbacks, perspectives and insights can help you understand what exactly you are walking into, even better, and take a more informed and calculated decision.

3. Your day job may inspire ideas

This is exactly what happened with me. When I was working in my day job, I noticed that working and collaborating as a team over email was very difficult, inconvenient and in all, inefficient. From this particular problem I faced at my workplace came the idea to build a powerful collaboration tool, which gradually turned into my startup Hiver.

Various aspects of your workplace, both negative and positive, can be the source of inspiration behind the way you decide to run your startup.

For example, you work in a place where employees are often over-worked and as a result run out of inspiration and respect for the company – you can try and solve this problem innovatively, in your own startup.

4. Your day job can get you ready to become an entrepreneur

Consider this, you quit your job and launch your startup, but you don’t have enough experience to know how to tactically talk to people, how to manage a team etc – which can lead you to make mistakes and which in turn costs you a lot, in terms of your startup success.

Doesn’t sound like a good option, does it? The experience you get from working for another company is very valuable.

Not only does it teach you various aspects of running a business, but, by giving you the chance to handle tough situations, clients, team member etc. It can also mentally prepare you and build up your confidence, so that when you become an entrepreneur and are running a whole company on your own, you are experienced enough both professionally and mentally, to handle any kind of problem at your startup.

5. Networking

The significance of networking, especially for entrepreneurs is undeniable.

Your day job gives you a fantastic opportunity to do so; it is a place where you can build strong personal and professional connections.

Building connections and strong relationships will play a crucial role in every aspect of your life, including your startup.

From hiring trusted friends to work with you to asking quick questions in areas out of your comfort zone, your connections can help you a lot.

6. You may find your co-founders

Here are the most important points in finding the right co-founder:

  • You must be able to trust them.
  • You must know them long enough to understand their attitude, skill and ability.

Both of these points are the strongest for your co-workers. You work with them, you get to understand them, you know their attitude towards career and life, and already have a great trust based relationship with them. Considering these points, your day job is definitely the ideal place to find your co-founder.

Who knows your co-founder could be the guy who eats lunch with you everyday, or your mentor, or your boss!

7. You can push yourself to take chances, because you already have a backup

Many times, a difference between the success and the failure of a startup, is the entrepreneur’s willingness to take risks. Calculated risks can take your business to another level.

Taking such risks becomes a little bit easier, if you have a fail safe option like your day job. You can logically dare to do more, and take those steps which most other entrepreneurs cannot bring themselves to do.

Wrapping up

“Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started.” – Lindsay Manseau

niraj_headshotAbout the Author

Niraj is the founder of Hiver, an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.