Should I quit my well-paid job to start a startup?

23 July 2023 ยท 116 views ยท Updated 23 July 2023

I'm currently in a well-paid and stable job that provides a comfortable lifestyle. However, I've been nurturing a small startup idea. I'm grappling with the decision of whether to leave my current job to pursue this dream. I'm really afraid of leaving my job and ending up with nothing. Can you give me a bit of guidance? What are the pros and cons? How can I evaluate the risks involved and make an informed decision? Is it possible to have financial security?


Short answer: Do it in your spare time. Dip your toes into the startup world without going full crazy. Test out the waters, see if it makes you happy.

Long answer: Ah, the age-old question: to leap into the unknown world of startups or to stay in the comfortable confines of a well-paid job. It’s a dilemma that even the people in the 1900s had. Nothing new.

Let’s start with your current job. It’s well-paid, it’s stable, and it probably comes with a bunch of perks like health insurance and paid vacation. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Leaving that behind means stepping into a world of uncertainty. Your steady paycheck becomes a thing of the past, replaced by the rollercoaster ride of startup finances. So probably no money for the first 3-4 months until you have your first paying customer and then another 6 months until ramen profitability, if all goes well.

Startup life is not for the faint of heart. It’s late nights and early mornings. It’s stress and chaos and constantly feeling like you’re on the edge of a cliff. But it’s also exhilarating. It’s the thrill of building something from scratch, of creating something that’s entirely yours.

Before you make the leap, take a good, hard look at your tolerance for risk. Are you in a position to weather the financial instability that comes with starting a startup? Do you have the emotional resilience to handle the ups and downs?

But let’s not forget the potential rewards. Yes, there’s the possibility of financial success, but there’s also the fulfillment that comes from bringing your idea to life. Being your own boss. There’s the excitement of setting your own path and the satisfaction of creating something that could potentially change lives.

I suggest: Saving up as much as you can. Work on your business in your free time. Start easing into it with weekend work, then part-time or consulting work. You’ll basically leave your job when your product is at the ramen-profitability phase, so you’re going from stable paychecks to uncertain-but-still-stable finances.

Another way to look at it: If you don’t have kids and you’re not married, and you’re in your 20s โ€” by all means, dive deep into this rollercoaster. After you’re in your 30s, with kids, it will be much, much harder to rationalize.