When Is It Time to Commit to Your Business?
Before I got into the information business in 2008, I paid my bills as a freelance programmer, and I hated it.
I knew I wanted to get away from selling my time and into a product business.
I knew in my heart I could do it. That I could make information products and make it work. Not because I'm particularly gifted. But because I was determined. And I know that when I commit myself to something, I will figure it out.
So I just made the choice one day in the spring of 2008 to draw a line in the sand and say "no more freelancing", even if the money from the information business comes in slower than I'd like. Which they did.
My bank account went about $10k into the red. My wife went nuts. My parents urged me to take a job with Microsoft for a few years so I could make some steady income. To be fair, my mom also lent me an additional $30k to make it through this transition.
But I resisted and persisted. It took a couple of years before things stabilized, but in the end they did.
The conventional wisdom is to play it safe. Build up your side business nights and weekends, while you maintain your day job.
I can't really fault that. I think it's sound advice, like getting a degree and taking a steady job with good benefits and a pension plan.
It's just not what has worked for me.
When I know in my heart that something's my future, and I know in my guts that I can make it work, then I just go for it. I don't play it safe. It doesn't mean i don't think. It doesn't mean I just jump out from a cliff without looking. But I'm okay with taking a calculated risk.
When I decided to no longer do freelance and dedicate myself to product income, I knew I could always go back to freelance if I had to. I knew there was a way out for me, if everything went to shit. And that gave me the confidence to jump. I also knew that I wouldn't need to take that escape route, because I was determined.
The way I look at it, there's enough fear holding us back already. How about we take the fear of not having money out of it for a bit. Most of us give way too much power to money. They're just paper, or numbers in a computer somewhere, but we make believe they're everything, like they're our right to exist, our ability to survive, our worth, and our parents. They're not. They're just something we as a humanity invented, because we thought it'd be useful.
If you know in your heart that you'll make this work, then why slow down the process by doing it with belt and suspenders? You can if you want to, but you don't have to.
So I'm not going to advise you to do as I did.
I am sharing this because maybe it resonates with you, and it lets you see things differently. Maybe you realize that you've been playing by other people's rules and other people's fears, and they're not really your own.
Sometimes the time to fully commit to your business is just right now, whether it looks that way to outsiders or not. Because you just know.