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Do I need to quit my job to be an entrepreneur?


One of the most common questions that aspiring entrepreneurs ask themselves and seek external validation for is “Do they need to quit their job to be an entrepreneur?”

Most people consider quitting jobs as a heroic deed as it takes guts and courage to come out of a current salary account and start living on a savings account. While some may say that the act is courageous, the question is how far your courageousness can take you. You would have mustered all the courage within you but it’s a startup world and it takes reserves of courage to force yourself to stick to it before you begin to see rays of hope.

But, could we make the process of starting up less dramatic and torturous? Why don’t most of us think of starting up while we are still in the safety of a job with a monthly bank deposit?

Most people would present counter arguments such as:

  • Demanding job, not sufficient time to work on own idea: There are cases who have fought with their demanding work schedules and yet able to start up.

  • It’s too difficult to be an entrepreneur: As one goes on and on in a job environment, whatever the entrepreneurs do seems to be extremely difficult. I was at a workshop recently and met a senior executive from a company who loved attending workshops as he felt that was the closest he could get to being an entrepreneur. In fact, it’s difficult for people who leave their jobs and work full time but it’s not that difficult for people in a job as they can at least have a financial backup until they see glimmer of promise in the startup.

  • I can’t take up financial risk: You don’t need to. How much financial risk is it anyways to get you to proof of concept? Hardly. There are several ways to do smart and cheap prototypes that will help you validate your assumptions and probably even get you consumer interest if your product/service really stands out. Once your initial assumptions are validated enough, you have reduced the financial risk anyways by some percentage as you know that there are takers for your product/service.

I’d like to share the case of Innocent Smoothies, a UK company now acquired by Coca Cola. Innocent Smoothies was started by 3 McKinsey grads who while working with McKinsey came up with the idea of fruit smoothies. These guys, on a weekend, put up a make shift stall with fruit smoothie samples and after people tasted the smoothie, they asked them to put the empty cups in one of the 2 waste bins labeled as ‘Don’t quit your jobs’ and ‘Quit your jobs’.

At the end of tasting, the bin with ‘Quit your jobs’ was fuller than the other and hence the decision of quitting their jobs was taken.

So, one doesn’t need loads of money to get a concept validated and one doesn’t need to quit one’s job. All that’s required is excellent time management, will and have course, a decent amount of street smartness. If I had this realization, perhaps I would have done both.

So do you feel this article has motivated you? If yes, leave your comments below. Help your fellow job goers by sharing this article and inspire them to be entrepreneurs.



NIDHI KAPOOR – Co-Founder at FounderMates



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