In February 2013, I made a life changing decision to quit my job. At the time I working as a government contractor for a high-profile Federal agency. I had a lucrative salary with benefits, a healthy work-life balance, an easy commute to work, and an awesome boss. The only problem was, I was leading a double life. By day I analyzed statistical data and wrote technical reports; by night I created mood boards and blog posts for my interior design business. I spent two years juggling a full-time job while managing a business on the side. I literally worked around the clock–right after work I would stay up til 2 a.m. cranking out blog posts, responding to client emails, and scheduling social media content. My weekends were dedicated to site visits and shopping trips for furniture and accessories for my clients’ homes.
I quickly became engrossed in my business and began to lack focus at work. I knew if I wanted to take my company to the next level I needed to quit my job. As I started planning my exit strategy, tons of questions were running through my mind.
How will I make ends meet?
What will my friends and family think?
What if I fail?
After spending months weighing my options back and forth, I finally quit. And since then I have probably endured more lows than highs. Initially, clients weren’t trickling in fast enough and it wasn’t long before I exhausted my savings. Panic set in and eventually I found another job. I told myself this was a temporary setback. I planned to quit (again) just as soon as I able to generate enough business to stay afloat. I couldn’t believe that I was right back where I started — working full-time and moonlighting as an entrepreneur. I tap danced for my new employer for approximately nine months until they fired me. It was the first time that I had ever been fired from a job. Who was I kidding? I knew I didn’t belong there. My ego was bruised but I learned a very valuable lesson — sometimes when you’re afraid to jump, God will push you off the mountain. But don’t worry He will catch you on the way the down.
Over the past four years, I went from being a full-time employee to full-time business owner to full-time employee to full-time hustler. The journey has not been easy. In fact, it’s been long and difficult. There were days when I had very little to eat and times when I struggled to pay my bills. My social life dwindled. Friends disappeared. I missed out on countless opportunities to do things that I enjoyed. And while my peers were getting married, having kids, buying new homes, new cars, and traveling all around the world, I was busy dealing with the trials and tribulations of running a business. Despite everything that I’ve been through — the setbacks, sacrifices, late nights and early mornings — I have no regrets.
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t. So that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” – Unknown
If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should quit your job to start a business, ask yourself this one simple question–is the dream worth the sacrifice?