Should You Quit Your Job and Start a Business?

Starting your own business and going full-time self-employed is one of the best and easiest decisions you’ll ever have to make. It’s also one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make. There’s a ton of opportunity in front of you, but you have to leave a lot on the line in order to pursue this opportunity. How do you calculate the risk and decide for sure if this is the right thing for you to do, I’m going to give you one question you need to ask yourself to help you figure this out.

We’re also going to talk a little bit about what to do when voices inside you and outside you start to cause you to doubt whether or not this decision is right for you and how you can pursue your dreams without burning bridges with friends and family members.

I’m really excited to have this conversation with you. Let’s dig in.

Turn with me to Mark, Chapter 14.

…Oh, you didn’t know we’re having a Bible study today? This week, I was really struck by a sermon I heard preached on Mark 14. Obviously it wasn’t written and preached with the intention of it being used as a business illustration, but I think there’s a lot in here that speaks to the topic we’re discussing today.

Jesus is having dinner with his disciples and some other people in the town of Bethany. And there’s a woman there who has done some soul searching and she’s about to do something pretty drastic.

She’s brought with her a flask made out of alabaster. And inside it is a very valuable perfume. She cracks it open and everybody turns to see what was that sound. And if somebody didn’t hear it, they certainly probably started to smell the perfume wafting through the room, and they watch as the woman pours all of this perfume on Jesus head. Anointing him in this act of worship.

This is not some cheap dollar store perfume. This was pure nard. This stuff is processed from a plant that grows only in the Himalayas and has to be transported all the way to the Mediterranean. The quality of this oil and the whole ordeal needed to bring it to market makes this dollar for dollar probably right up there with HP printer ink. It’s expensive.

In this bottle, there was approximately a full year’s salary worth of perfume. She didn’t just take the top off and dab a few drops on his head. She cracks it open — no going back — and she dumps the entire jar; potentially her entire life savings out.

Everybody else in the room draws back in astonishment at how beautiful this gesture is. No, they actually lose their mind. They get mad at this woman. “What are you doing? Are you a fool? Do you know how much that’s worth? If you didn’t want it — if you’re just going to dump it out — I would have taken it! We could have sold it and done something useful with it!”

They just couldn’t wrap their minds around what she had just done. Jesus, chills them out and says, Guys, what she did was actually really beautiful. And this act of worship is going to go down in history.

And to that point, we’re talking about it right now over 2000 years later on a YouTube video. So he was right.

Obviously, there’s some deep personal and spiritual implications to this passage regarding why she did it and how Jesus responds, but I want to take a look at two things in particular and line them up with how we make decisions in our lives.

Number one, what the woman did (by the way, her name was Mary — not Mary Magdalene or Mary, Mother of Jesus. This is a new Mary) was by no means impulsive. This was calculated and planned. Nobody carries around a year’s salary in their back pocket. I usually don’t have more than $30 in cash on me. So it wasn’t like, “Oh, I just had this on me and I was just moved in the moment to do something kind of foolish.” She either had this stuff saved up for special occasions, or maybe she took potentially her life savings and bought it before heading to the party.

Now entrepreneurs are often first movers. They go into uncharted and untested territory, but it doesn’t mean that they’re just doing something Willy nilly. Hopefully they are actually doing some math and realizing that the potential reward is worth the risk. So here’s a question you can ask yourself to help figure out whether or not self employment is the right direction for you to move in.

Is there more opportunity in front of you on this new path than what’s available on the path you’re currently on at your current job? Asked another way on which path do you see the most hope for your future? I think that’s the question that Mary of Bethany asked, and she decided that Jesus is my best opportunity for a hope for my future. I’m not going to tiptoe into this. I don’t know if I’m going to have another chance to be with him.

I’ve made up my mind that he deserves this. Nobody else does. So I’m going to give it all to him. So back to you when it comes to your time and your talents, which path deserves, what you have to offer and which path can offer back to you the greatest potential for growth if by walking away from your current job and freeing up your time and mental energy to focus on starting a new business where the only limits are the ones set by yourself and by the market circumstances, do you have more potential for growth there or back over here as an employee.

Now, to be clear, the answer isn’t always yes over here.

Self employment, you might have plenty of opportunity and plenty of fulfillment in your current workplace. You might be a part of a very nurturing team with a supportive boss and lots of opportunity to climb up and do more work that you love, that you feel is important and will make a difference, or you might not have that. And really, the only thing that your current job offers now is predictability. But on that note, I will point out that we just went through a pandemic. We’re still going through a pandemic and predictability is kind of going out the window along with a lot of people’s jobs.

So a lot of things that used to be sure things are not sure things anymore. And the risky path might actually be a much safer bet that the people who have already decided to make the leap and are kind of struggling with some feelings of doubt. Do you want to go back there? Is that a safer bet? Are you going to be happy?

Are you going to be fulfilled or do you like what you’re doing now? I mean, maybe you have stepped out and you tested this and you realize maybe it isn’t for you. If you’re feeling tired and angry and you’re just having a bad day, take a breather, go for a walk, give yourself some time and another chance to hopefully fall back in love with your business. But if you’ve been working at this for like a year now and you’re finding that it’s just really unstable and you have a family who relies on you and you’re just really struggling with being able to provide for them the way that you’d like to and looking at an available full time employment situation might actually be a really good thing for you right now.

There’s no shame in backpedaling and having to pivot at least temporarily.

Ultimately, you need to weigh all of these things and make the decision that’s right for you. But again, the main thing I want you to consider is where is your greatest opportunity? Which path provides the most hope? Now, real quick. I want to talk about how to respond to hate.

There’s a lot of people in this space who put a big emphasis on positivity, and they’ll even say you don’t have time for anything that isn’t affirming. Surround yourself with people who are going to be nice to you and to tell you everything that you want to hear that doesn’t really sound very wise to me, though. Maybe you’ll be affirmed, but I don’t think you’ll learn much by only surrounding yourself with people who agree with you. I would go as far to say that many of the problems we’re facing in our world today are a result of our unwillingness to hear things that we might not want to hear.

Now, if there are people who are just toxic, obviously, you want to limit your contact with them.

But if people are just misunderstanding and they’re not seeing what you’re seeing, I think the best response to people like that is patience.

At the party, the disciples were freaking out, but soon their attitudes changed completely. In about two weeks time, everybody in that room except for one, was going all in themselves. I always like to give people the benefit of a doubt. If a trusted friend or family member is challenging your decision to go full time, self employed, assume in your mind that they are coming from a place of genuine care and concern for you. They just don’t want to see you get wrecked up, so receive that.

Don’t push them away. When we’re confronted by people who don’t quite understand what we’re doing, it’s a great chance for us to re up our convictions and clarify the plans that we’ve set in place in time, they might end up being your biggest fans and important people to have in your corner. Other reasons people might respond critically to a decision is maybe they’re intimidated by it. Maybe they see you doing something that they kind of wish that they could do, but they just don’t feel like they have it in themselves to do it, too.

So by digging into you, they might actually be trying to dismantle that as an opportunity for themselves.

Does that make sense? I don’t think it’s as cruel as they don’t want to see you succeed if they can’t succeed, but it’s kind of like that. And if our answers don’t really stand up to the heat of the challenges, then maybe there’s something to learn there. Maybe there’s a pivot that we need to make. There’s a lot more that we can unpack.

I just want to take a few minutes to offer some guidance and encouragement as you’re making some pretty difficult decisions. Or if you’ve already made the decision again, it’s an ongoing process. You’re still making the decision to stick with it. So if you’ve watched to the end, it probably means you’re trying to figure something out, and hopefully this helps you do it. If you’d like some more help figuring stuff out.

I’d love to have a conversation with you. You can reach out to me on my website. In the link below, drop a question in the comments I read and respond to every one of them. Or if you’re the quiet type, you can just hit the subscribe button and follow along as I share more helpful resources and interviews with other business owners sharing their stories and how they’ve navigated some of the challenges of running their own business.

I hope this was helpful. I’m cheering you on.

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