…A startup isn’t a side project.
There is a period of time in the lifecycle of a startup during which it is fine, even well advised, to keep your job. But that’s before you have a company to actually “run.” We can call this the gestation period. That’s the phase when you’re developing your idea, doing market research, running some initial numbers, and thinking about what connections you need to make or draw on in order to take things to the next level.
By the end of that process, you’ll know whether or not it’s time to take a leap of faith. When you decide your idea is more than just feasible and you can’t possibly do any more thinking about it for risk of analysis paralysis, and when it’s something you’re so passionate about that it keeps you up at night, that’s when you know you need to fully devote your time, money, and efforts to bringing it to life. Once your idea truly becomes a startup—you’re incorporated, you’re a business, you’re starting to market and sell—you should be ready to leave your full-time job. Period.
Because when and if you’re seeking investors and partners for your startup, you’re asking people to take a risk on your idea, and on you as a manager. But if you’re still working full time and actively trying to launch a business, this sends a clear message that you don’t believe in your idea enough to even take a risk on it yourself–thats a huge red flag for investors.
Example: Imagine a restaurant owner walking into a room full of investors, asking them for large sums of money, and then telling them that s/he won’t be available to run the day-to-day operations of the eatery because of an office job?!
Entrepreneurs who have total confidence in their ideas and are willing to do everything in their power to make them a reality shouldn’t feel they need to hedge their bets by keeping a full-time job. It puts a cap on their success and sends the wrong message to potential investors.
As always if you feel I plagiarized I probably did. If you find something that’s yours let me know and I will remove it. Cool Beans…