Recently, Get Rich Slowly posted this article about deciding when to quit your day job. (Click to read it in full)
In the article Sierra Black writes a lot of good thoughts, but based on the feedback the article gets, the article leaves many people asking the question “what if I don’t have a plan B?” It is a fun thing to head off into the sunset and think you might actually reach your dream. Yet, when reality hits home you find the fear thinking you may be living without an income! This is the fear Pamela Slim calls the fear of ”living in a van down by the river” in her book Escape from Cubicle Nation. Pamela’s book is the ONLY on I know that deals head on with the fear in a realistic way.
Well, to try and answer the questions about plan B, I think I need to say first: based on my clients, I have noticed that it is best to GROW INTO A BUSINESS instead of GO INTO A BUSINESS. I think this agrees with the spirit of Sierra’s post. I know many people who are making a ton of money on the side jobs – but they still have the “security” of a day job. One friend of mine quit his day job 6 months ago after seeing his part time business pull in over 4 times his “job” income for years. Not many of us want to risk it all like the high flying adventurer we hear about who put it all on the line – including family. In fact, I would suggest that while a few of those who risk it all actually win – and many win in a hollow victory having lost what is really most important.
What if it does NOT work?
Second, the question of “what if it does not work” is one with a lot of assumptions. You assume that after giving it a go you will be the same person. You assume that you will not have uncovered other opportunities. One client of mine went for it in a VC funded business. It did not work, but the connections he made have given him a great deal of work in other areas. He is not the same person as he was when he decided to go for it. He has never gone back to his plan B (which was to return to his old job) since he keeps finding new paths. And by the way – he often gets offers to take his old job back.
Many years ago I took a corporate buyout and did the same. It was a leap of faith – well – almost. I was financially stable in the move – so the risk to family was minimal. But, it was a leap of faith since I did not really know what was out there. But, I have never looked back – and I am where I am now because of the journey I took!
by Dale Callahan. Connect with Dale here.