Should You Quit Your Day Job?

With the economy recovering and prospects brightening, everyone considers leaving their job to pursue their own dream.

During a question and answer panel on MSNBC, we were asked, “Should you quit your day job?”  Two panelists gave the usual, “Don’t leap before you look.  Examine all options while collecting a check from your primary job,” etcetera.

I’m sure I shocked the audience when I emphatically said, “Yes, quit.”

I get the quandary:

  • There is so much uncertainty in the world right now, who knows what the future will bring?
  • How will you know it is a viable business model?
  • You have a [wife,] [child,] [parent(s)] to support.

But none of that will change.

The only thing that can change is you. Right now.

And the clock is ticking…

While I was still building my Retail Doctor brand consulting and speaking, a startup company offered me a prestigious position.  The “safe” money was on taking the salary they were offering.

They were willing to give me flexibility; I could still do my consulting and speaking any time I wanted. I took the job.

I helped take that startup from one location to over a hundred.  At the same time I was still speaking. I was still consulting. I got some great clients.

But at the end of each day, after spending 10 hours or more concentrating on marketing the other brand, the last thing I wanted to do was focus on my own.

After all, I had safety and flexibility — I could do it tomorrow.

The more I worked on that other business, the more I realized I was letting my own flounder.

Could that be you today?

No one can serve two masters. Either she will love the first and hate the second or hate the first and love the second.

Do you feel chained to your job?

Make the leap. The fact you’re unsure probably means you have a very good idea what you need to do to make it happen. Instead of hearing, “What if…?” in a bad way, how about seeing the “What if…?” in a good way.

Look, all we have to work with are a dozen eggs in a day. If you use six for your safe salaried job and five for your family, you only have one egg left.

You can’t just go out and add more eggs; you only have that one. And that’s for watching The Apprentice on Netflix, updating your personal Facebook page, going to Nascar, you name it.

I know because that was me when I was ready to leave.

Do you feel that when you are working on your “side business” you are Superman, but when you go to your “day job,” you’re surrounded by kryptonite?

You need to associate more pain with staying than leaving.  You need to associate more happiness with leaving than staying.  You need to think, “What if I could…”:

  • Make my business successful in a year?
  • Tap into a new market?
  • Get additional funding once its up and running?
  • Have all the time to work and play at something I love?
  • Be juiced to see the opportunities for my idea, not someone else’s?

Your takeaway: its never easy to break free to follow your dream. But if you are reading this and you feel in your gut that now is your time — take heart.  You can do this.

By Bob Phibbs

Bob Phibbs is the Retail Doctor® and author of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley.) Phibbs has helped hundreds of businesses in every major industry, including hospitality, manufacturing, service, restaurant and retail. Find out more about him at



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