Online Alumni Directory
Alumni Career Services
Grants and Scholarships
Honors and Awards
Travel Program
Drexel Students
Drexel Traditions

Benefits and Services
About the Alumni Association
Paul Peck Alumni Center
Contact Us

Campus News
College of Medicine Alumni
Institutional Advancement
Student Life
Make a Gift

The Absolute Worst Times to Leave Your Job to Start a Business
February 2011

This has nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with your position. In this post I am going to list four situations that you want to have a positive position in before you activate your exit strategy. The more situations you have a deficit in, the more likely that you will continue the same negative habits, patterns and results in your business. While it may be tempting to jump now, your transition to entrepreneur will have more bumps than necessary if your starting position is off.

The four worst times to leave your job to start a business are:

When you are not prepared mentally: Have you developed the habits of mind to think like a business owner? Are you prepared for the isolation, to be a trailblazer, to make tough decisions about your resources, time, and even your associations? Have you been actively learning the skills and traits that differentiate a business owner from a hobbyist?

When your emotions are out of sync: If your work environment makes you feel like the overloaded camel dreading the weight of the next straw that just might break you it may not be the right time to move. Making a transition when your emotions are in such a frail state is a bad move. You will lack the energy and clear vision you need to make wise decisions.

When you are not spiritually connected: What’s your motive for making this move? If previous changes in your career based on external factors like money, opportunity, or location have not ultimately satisfied you, consider going deeper when thinking about your next move. It’s possible that the freedom, unlimited earning potential, and flexibility that becoming your own boss can give you will still not satisfy you if you have not truly tapped into your purpose.

When you don’t have a solid financial foundation: All great ideas require some level of funding. You'll need to pay bills, eat, and take care of yourself and family in addition to investing in your business. Even if your idea requires little startup capital, having at least 6 months of expenses covered relieves you from operating your business under the pressure of needing money immediately. The more desperate you are for money, the more likely you will take projects from less than ideal clients or cut your prices, diminishing the perceived value for your services or goods. Having a solid financial position, keeps you from risky business that ultimately threaten your reputation and peace of mind.

Recap: Before you launch out on your own you want to pay special attention to your position mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Take the time to stabilize, plan and prepare so that you can learn from the journey of launching your own business instead of struggling through it.