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September 17, 2008

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I would opt for your method, but clearly some businesses cannot be started while you have a full time job - they just require too much time.

I agree. Keeping some income is great but not always possible. I would argue that most businesses will not be successful if you try to hold on to a full time job. They require too much time and more importantly for you to be available during day time hours. It is extremely difficult to give the necessary attention to a business in this way. Eventually if you want to be successful you will have to jump off the cliff. As for a getting a job, I see no reason to quit your job before getting another one.

I am an owner of my own business who started it after leaving a similar business. A key factor is whether you can remain loyal and fair to your existing employer. If your new business will be competitive with where you now work or will suck work time away, you need to leave. You will be doing the right thing and will sleep better at night.

I agree with staying with your job if possible - I will finally match my day job's salary in 2009 - two years after I started my business. Health insurance premiums would've made it impossible for me to quit my job first. I agree with the other comments, and it's only possible to keep your job if it allows you some freedom to be on the phone and leave the office for an hour or two if you need to. If I ever change jobs one of my criteria is making sure I have the same freedom to keep working on my company. It can be difficult to devote the required attention to both; having a partner can help but you also need to plan family time appropriately, because you need a wife that understands and is okay with "working when work is over" more than a partner!

I think this is a very person by person situation. If you have the financial ability to work on your startup full-time, that's great, but for those that don't, you either have to convince someone to invest or lend you money. If that's not possible, or you prefer not to do that, then "moonlighting" wins by default.

I'm actually doing this right now. I'm building a website while still holding my day job. It's a lot of work, but is going OK. Hopefully the site becomes popular and I'm able to focus on it full-time.

Yes i agree RP. You can never ignore the challenge of getting your significant other to understand "working when work is over". Always a difficult balancing act. Really boils down to deciding you don't need as much sleep as you thought you did. :-)

My specialty is helping people build a business WHILE they keep their full-time job so I know it is very possible. Unless you absolutely hate your job, I recommend not leaving until you have MORE than replaced your job income.

Something like 60-70% of businesses fail within three years. This is a good argument for keeping the day job and building the business up, but the nice thing is that this approach also minimizes your risk. The reason most businesses die young is because they aren't big enough yet to support both you and themselves. Give them a little time to grow, jump in when it can stand on its own two feet, and chances are you'll do just fine.

My wife and I were in between jobs when we got married, so we started a small business. I soon found employment again but she stayed with it (and I worked on it part time). Soon it was big enough to support her. It would be big enough now to support both of us, and the only reason I stay at my regular job is because of health insurance.

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