If you're thinking about giving up on your cushy, but probably soul-crushing day job to start an online business, don't do anything until you have read this post. Please...
In 2006, I made one of the riskiest decisions in my life. I quit my day job at the office to pursue my dream of running my own online business.
Yup, my first online business was running a website selling original artwork/paintings. I was an artist.
It was a lot of hard work, but it was also the most amount of fun and reward I ever had in a career.
16 years have passed and still to this day, I enjoy every moment of being my own boss and running my own online business.
Sure there have been many ups and downs along the way, but it's all part of the process.
So let me go back a little bit to the time before I became my own boss.
Before starting my first online business venture, I was stuck in a dead-end job. Sounds like the same old cliche, right? But boy this couldn't be more true. I was really down and depressed in the place I was working.
Wait a minute. Come to think of it now, I was stuck in several dead-end jobs.
My first dead-end job was working for a local farming/agricultural co-op. A glorified farm shop with the most backward way of thinking I ever saw.
Anyway, swiftly moving on.
My second dead-end job was in sales selling high-end cookers and stoves.
You see, these were nothing more but mediocre jobs, in a mediocre working environment, that paid mediocre wages. I knew that I needed to find something that I could enjoy doing and get paid for it.
In 2006, I was scraping by on a measly $10 an hour... If you had come along and told me that someday I'd be earning 10 X that amount from blogging, freelancing, and being a content creator, I would not have believed a word of it.
My first question would be, what the heck is blogging?
As far as career choices go, I don't have any regrets I'm pleased to say. I'm so glad that I followed my inner voice, despite people around me telling me that I needed to get a real job.
The only thing I wish I'd done is to start my blogging and web design journey much sooner.
So, should you consider quitting your job to start an online business in 2020?
Absolutely, 100% No...
You read that right. No...
I would definitely start an online business, but I wouldn't quit your job first.
Build your online business whilst you're still earning a wage from your day job. That's my real and honest advice.
And before you tell yourself that it's too late to start your entrepreneurial journey online?
Don't bother. There has never been a better time to start than now. Yup, another cliche, but it's true.
Because you have access to all the knowledge, information, advice, training, that you can lay your hands on. Not to mention all of the cool tools and tech you need to start creating.
It's called... The internet.
But seriously, here's an interesting statistic -
97% of self-employed entrepreneurs would never go back to traditional employment. - Source
If it's any other business you want to build, start taking steps to make that dream happen today.
OK, so before you go about turning your amazing idea into an online business, let me fill you in on a few things you need to do first.
These are essential if you are starting from rock bottom and really want to make this a successful venture.
As I mentioned earlier... Don't quit your job before you start your online business. Start your online business first, and then a year or two down the line quit your job.
This is advice you probably won't want to take notice of, I know. But it's important.
By doing it this way, you ensure that you have a stable income coming in every week or month. Even though you might hate your job so much, patience is a virtue.
This is exactly what I did in 2004. I spent a good year and a half building my eCommerce site and stocking up on artwork and making my first few sales before quitting my job.
When the time came for me to quit my day job in April of 2006, I was already earning $1,500 a month from my art business. Not a huge amount of money, I know, but it was enough for me to not have a day job.
At the time, I was living with my parents, so I really didn't have any overheads as such.
Knowledge is underrated. Don't ever think you know enough. Seriously, knowledge is so valuable when you're starting an online business. You simply can't put a price on it.
It's like this:
The more you learn, the more you earn... Apparently, anyway. That's what that Buffet guy said once.
Once again, for the most part, a lot of the knowledge you need is freely available on the internet through blogs, podcasts, and videos.
In addition to finding the right knowledge and resources online, read educational and self-help books on internet business and entrepreneurship.
Enroll in mini-courses on Udemy. Learn all about digital marketing and how to create a website. Learn as much as you can, and remember what I said earlier, never think you know enough.
It's exciting starting your own online business and you won't be able to help yourself but to dream big, and that's good.
Remember, though, you have to take baby steps in order to reach your ultimate goal.
When I started my online business back in 2004, I didn't even have my own computer. I used the family computer when I could get my hands on it, up until I was able to afford a laptop for myself.
One of my dreams was to someday have a beautiful home office in which I could work. It took me 16-years to reach that goal.
So, don't think that you've got to go out and invest in expensive equipment to start, because you don't. Start small, take incremental steps. There's no elevator to success, only an old and battered stairway.
Once your online business is making enough money, you can start investing in the right tools to help your business grow and succeed.
Fear is one of the biggest reasons why so many people don't pursue their dreams. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure or that it might not work. Fear that you might be wasting your time. Fear of being ridiculed by your friends and family.
When I announced that I would be quitting my job with a stable income to pursue a career as an artist, I lost everything.
I literally mean, everything.
My girlfriend at the time broke up with me within a week. We'd been together for almost 4 years.
My mother, as much as I love her, threatened to throw me out of the house if I didn't find another 'real' job. Luckily, I was able to convince her that this was my passion and I wanted to be my own boss.
As for my friends at the time, none of them could take me seriously.
It wasn't their fault they reacted this way, they didn't know any better.
Any dream or passion they had were nothing more than pastimes or weekend hobbies for them. They never saw things the way I did and still don't today. To my friends and family, fear will always get in the way of their dreams. For the most part, they know this too, which is why I'm comfortable expressing it.
They were also afraid for me. Afraid that I would fail and end up jobless. But, none of that mattered to me. I didn't care if I failed, because my passion to succeed with my online business was bigger and more important than anything that I had at the time.
I hated my day job, which was one of the biggest reasons I knew I had to succeed.
As a follow-on to the previous part - Don't let the opinions or fearful advice of others define your destiny. When I was in full-time work, people used to ask me -
Fabrizio, are you sure you're doing the right thing! It just sounds like you're chasing a fantasy job. I don't know anyone making money from selling their art!
You're going to be an artist selling paintings online! That's not a proper job, is it?
Oh my! Can you imagine what their reaction would be if I had told them I would be starting a blog for a career?
Here's the thing -
Words like these can make you doubt your own abilities. You've got to block them out.
You have to be strong and wise enough to rise above the options of sheep. Heck, even if you have a fire in your belly and a mindset like Bruce Lee and think that nothing will get in your way, sometimes just a single shred of doubt from someone can make you think twice.
Don't let that happen, always follow your inner voice.
Now, let me remind you -
Quitting your job right now to go and start an online business sounds great, right? But, there is a correct way to do it.
First, you need a plan or an exit strategy from your day job.
Once again, the idea is to start building your online business, your equity, your personal brand, all whilst you're still working and earning a regular paycheck.
Give yourself 12-months, or more if you need to. Then make it your mission to focus on building your future-proof business.
Set your quit date even and work towards that date. You can always change it later if you need more time.
If you want to quit your job and be your own boss, you've got to sacrifice a few things along the way too. At least to start with.
Focus your efforts on building your dream online business.
Right, with all that said, here are some useful links blog articles to help you make a cracking start on your online business venture in 2022, and also to inspire you too -
Finally, I want to list a few of my favorite books from Amazon on starting an online business.