Some say that entrepreneurshp is synonym with following your dream and passion. Entrepreneurs should therefore be risk-takers who believe in something and want to change the world and make things happen. And therefore they should quit their day job, take a risk and start bootstrapping in order to make their start-up successful. However there are other more moderate advisers who will tell you that moonlighting (keeping your day job and working part-time during your spare time for your business) is an even better idea for starters. So, which one will you take? Bootstrapping or moonlighting? This is definitely a tough question for most entrepreneurs in their early days. Here are some pros and cons for moonlighting.
7 reasons why moonlighting seems like a good idea
1. Cash is King – If you don’t have a way of supporting yourself and financing your business before quiting your job you may find yourself somewhere near failure pretty soon. Startup costs are easy to underestimate and you will need cash to keep your personal bills covered. Therefore you have to be sure before quiting your day job that you have a solid income source that will keep you going. Otherwise you may end up depressed, demotivated and… bankrupt. Keeping your day job means cash for you and your bills. And sometimes even for your start-up if you are lucky enough.
2. Peace of mind – Being an employee for 8 hours a day will definitely secure you and your family the peace of mind you need in daily life and in building a successful startup. There is no glory in being hungry and there is definitely no peace of mind about it. And when you desperately need money there is no way you are going to make the best business decisions.
3. Disclipine comes from discipline – Getting up daily at 7 AM and dressing up to meet your co-workers keeps you on a daily track of discipline. Otherwise, if you quit your job and lose this scheduled human contact and self-control that a daily job offers you you may become very disorganized yourself and quite antisocial.
4. More free time doesn’t equal more productivity – You may just quit your job and find yourself with a whole lot of spare time and no organization or planning towards reaching your business goals. A lot of start-up owners could tell you that their early start-up days were some of the less productive days of their lives. If you clear your schedule all of a sudden the rule is that you will probably tend to fill it with a lot of unuseful things that will have nothing to do with your start-up. So instead of wasting time why not earn some money instead?
5. A job offers benefits, not only a salary – When you give up your job you also give up your medical insurance, dental insurance, your holiday days (you may find it very hard to go on holiday with a business to run and very little cash around.
6. Your job may be a source of ideas and contacts – Even if you don’t realize it now you will be confronted with this reality once you quit your job. But this job keeps you in contact with the industry you are working in, with important people in this industry and sometimes even with some business concepts that could prove valuable to your start-up.
7. Pressure kills passion – The start-up you are moonlighting on feels like a daily escape from your routine not-so-beloved day job. If you quit this job, then your start-up becomes your job. You probably heard that it’s ideal to turn your hobby into a job, but when you actually try it you will realize there’s nothing so ideal about it. Pressure is definitely a passion killer.
1. You’re busy from 9 to 5 – There are some businesses that require your presence during normal work hours in order to get off the ground. If this is the case it might be really tough to handle if you have to be at work from 9 AM to 5 or 6 PM Monday to Friday.
2. Time management gets tough – You have to be very organized in order to master time and task management and make some reasonable progress on your business idea if you keep your day job. Work hours are never the only time consumers on your schedule and you may end up spending very little or no time on your start-up. And after that you will probably not be so motivated and decide to quit it.
3. You do need a personal life, you know… – If you have a full-time job and a start-up to take care of during your spare time then when will you be spending time with your family and friends? When will you manage to free your schedule and go for jogging or go to the gym. Remember that it is a good idea to make a compromise as far as your spare time is concerned for a few months but this should be the exception and not the rule. Success takes some sacrifice but you should never sacrifice yourself and your balance.
In conclusion, it is true that a full-time startup might get off the ground faster, but working during startup founding keeps the bills paid and provides a back-up plan for the risk of going out on your own. What do you think? Would you take the leap without thinking twice or try to plan your way out as securely as possible?