This is a scary question because the answer is different for everyone. I struggled with it myself for quite a while before I finally made the decision to quit my job and build my own online business. While I can’t answer the question for you, I can offer you some advice based on my own personal experience.
The Balance of Time
I knew I had to make a decision when I reached the point where I was turning down online opportunities because I wouldn’t have time to work on them because I was spending 60 hours a week at my job working for someone else. For a while I was passing up the “chance” to make money because I had a full-time job where I was guaranteed an income. I waited a few months more until that “chance” turned into more of a “sure thing” before I quit my job.
When you get to the point that you’re turning down solid online income because you’re working for the man, then it’s time to think about quitting. That doesn’t mean you have to completely give up that “guaranteed income.” If you know you could improve your own business if you only had more time to work at it, consider replacing your full-time job with something that’s only part-time and gradually shift your focus to your own business. Then it won’t be such a shock to your system.
Consider the Risk
Everybody has a different threshold for risk. You may be single and perfectly willing to live in a one-room apartment, surviving on Ramen Noodles and Diet Coke while you build your online business. On the other hand, you might have a spouse and children that you need to provide for and you might prefer to be a little more financially secure before you quit your job.
Trust me. I know from experience that owning your own business is financially risky. But these days, it’s actually more of a risk to rely on that full-time job. Just look around at the current unemployment statistics and the number of businesses that are closing their doors or moving to another country where they can hire cheap help.
Again, I go back to my first bit of advice: If you’re turning down guaranteed income online then it’s time to take a serious look at your business vs. your J.O.B.
How Predictable is Your Online Business?
The first time I made money online it was a whopping $11 commission for a Clickbank product. It was another four months before I saw a sale and that time I made $275 when I flipped a website I’d built. At that point, I’d been working online for six months and I thought I’d found the secret to success… so I quit my job. It was another month before I made any more money.
Keep in mind, my experience and skill levels are completely different than yours. It took me more than two years to develop a somewhat reliable business and even then it was touch-and-go every time the rent was due. It took another full year for me to develop the business skills necessary to start putting together a solid foundation for my business. After a little more than three years of working online full-time, I finally had a predictable income.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. And it all goes back to my first bit of advice. Had I continued with my full-time job I firmly believe it would have taken me at least six years to get where I am today, and even that’s iffy. My job required 60 to 80 hours a week in the shop and then I brought paperwork home at night.
I had a few bucks set aside and thankfully, I love Ramen noodles. And when it became obviously clear that I was turning down income so I could keep punching that time clock, I made the leap.