This is the third post in the "Mistakes I made" series, where I share the "donts" of my startup experience.The biggest mistake I ever made in my life as an entrepreneur was - not quitting my fulltime job in time. Even after Jitbit Software was making a four-times bigger income, I was still afraid to quit working for the big boss. Don't make that mistake.
It took me years to realize I'm "safe" to go. You know - family, kids, parents I have to take care of... I needed that "safety" feeling. I was terrified - what if everything just falls apart overnight? Heck, I still am terrified, what if Jitbit just collapses?
Then I realized what I was actually afraid of - leaving my comfort zone. And that being afraid is... fine. Fear can even keep you going and drive you in some way. Being afraid is OK. What's not OK - is thinking that having a fulltime job protects you from all those risks.
Also, it took me years to realize that I had the right to leave the company. It took me years to fight that guilt of "letting people down". I was a Deputy-CIO, for Pete's sake. I had a heck of a lot of balls to juggle. And users to support (actually, that was when I came up with the idea of our web-based help desk product).
Again, feeling guilty is fine. But remember that your employer is not the only one who deserves your guilt. How about your kids? Don't you feel guilty about not spending enough time with them, because you work late for a big corp?
Your time is precious. Stop wasting it like I did. Now I have the perspective to say that quitting was the best decision I ever made. Even though I still do some part-time consulting at my previous job, I now have all the time in world. All the quality time.
Today I saw this ad:
"Come work with us! Best people in the world work right here! We’ve got enthusiasm, responsibility, drive and unlimited growth potential. We’ve got bonuses, flexible schedules, benefits and jobs that can turn into satisfying careers."Who's ad do you think it was? McKinsey? Goldman Sachs? Microsoft? Google? Nope. It was McDonalds. See - they all sound the same.