While thinking about the long-term plan for my computer consulting business, I’m constantly struggling between two scenarios: continuing to run my business part-time indefinitely along side my “regular” job working for someone else, or making it my full time gig. Should I try hard to turn my little computer repair business into an all-consuming career, or simply keep it as a side-operation to supplement my stable, well-paying corporate job?
It’s a tough question with no easy answer. I’m satisfied with my career and how it’s progressed thus far. Some days I feel like it’s a bad move to throw a wrench in the spokes of a fast moving successful career working in the IT industry, but at times the fire in me burns for something more.
To try to alleviate some of my anxieties and make an attempt at understanding it all, I decided to pit full time against part time in a battle royal of ideals, realities, and everything in between.
Keeping my business Part-Time
- Steady guaranteed paycheck from my “day job” in addition to the extra income from my part time job.
- I can use this extra income however I please: save for retirement, travel the world, or buy lots of cool stuff.
- No worrying about where my next customer will come from.
- I can choose to drop the business without suffering any major consequences.
- Or, I may be able to put the business on hiatus for a bit if I get tired of it.
- If for some reason I do get laid off or fired from my “day job”, I already have an established income stream as a buffer until I find another job.
- I will not be able to put the same time and energy into other things in my life.
- My performance at my “day job” may suffer, putting my employment there in jeopardy.
- The business will never have the opportunity to see it’s full potential.
- I’ll only be able to offer limited hours to my customers (evenings and weekends).
- Even though I’ll have all this money to spend on travelling the world, I’ll have to do this travelling within the confines of my vacation days and “day job” commitments, which are very limiting.
Taking my business Full-Time
- I will have the ability to put my full energy and resources into my business.
- I will have the freedom to work when and how I want.
- I wont have to answer to anyone but myself.
- I’ll be available more for my customers.
- I will have the time to grow my business and potentially make more money than I would in the corporate world.
- This could be the gateway to other more profitable and fulfilling projects.
- I would love to be able to write and perform more music as a singer/songwriter and this may give me the flexibility to do that.
- I really like my day job and it will be tough leaving it.
- Even harder, I’ll have to leave behind my daily interactions with peers.
- If my business doesn’t take off, I will have lost career momentum and will have a tougher time going back into the workforce.
- I may never make enough money to live the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.
- I can’t afford to be lazy and will need to relentlessly seek improvement in order to stay successful.
- It will be ALOT of work at first, and may continue to require lots of work, therefore mitigating numbers 2, 6, and 7 of the pros.
Above I listed of every pro and con I could think of for each scenario. Now I’ll tally the results, giving points for the pros and subtracting points for the cons.
The final tally:
Part-time: 6 pros – 5 cons = 1
Full-time: 7 pros – 6 cons = 1
It’s a tie. Hmm.
That doesn’t really help me out much. What this means is that this will still be a difficult choice for me. For now, I’m going to stick to my 5-year plan and continue my business as a part-time project, with ambitions to take it full-time later on down the road. This will ensure that I’ll have some buffer money to keep me afloat when I do choose to go full-time, but that still doesn’t help with the decision to take the leap.
I will definitely be sacrificing certain things by quitting my day job. The choice to start a full time business in not the safe choice, but I think it opens the most possibilities for me later on. I’ll need to continue to weigh the options and see what is truly important to me, but I am comforted by the success stories of countless entrepreneurs and businessowners that came before me.
What do you think about my list of pros and cons? Did I miss anything?
“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson