Author Topic: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE  (Read 2207 times)

Calvin

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Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« on: August 06, 2015, 12:56:06 PM »
Hi All,

I am 27 and work for a large insurance company. I have been working on the side to start up an online side business to sell some information products (study aids for a credentialing exam). I think this business could work out well and support me. I'm really excited about it and have been consistently unhappy at my company even though I've held a few different roles.

Long and short is that I'm planning to either quit or go part-time so that I can focus on making this business because that's where my heart is and I don't think I can do a full-time job and do justice to this project at the same time. My performance has started to fall at work and I want to change my circumstances before I get a reputation for being a slacker because I've always had great performance reviews up till now.

I've saved and saved since starting, so I have a net worth of $300k (almost all financial assets) with zero debt. I live on ~$25-28k a year so I have over 10 years of expenses saved.

So, my plan is to have that as my FU fund and ask to go part-time (2-days/wk) in a less demanding position. Otherwise, I'll turn in my two weeks notice. My job has been a constant source of unhappiness/stress, so I'd like to try something else for a while and see if I can make this business work. If not, I'll go back to work at another company until I hit FIRE.

Any thoughts on this plan? Anyone do something similar of taking a career break halfway to FIRE? I feel like I'll get told that I'm throwing it all away or that I'll be unhireable if I try to get back into the profession.

AZDude

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 01:05:29 PM »
I've worked part time for a short time for a company, but it was like you in that it was a company I had a good relationship with. No problems, although it was just a temporary thing. Worst case though, they say no, so you are no worse off.


MonkeyJenga

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 02:02:34 PM »
I completely understand the urge to quit, and you clearly have enough assets to live on for a long time in the case of total side business failure. Great job in saving so much money at a young age.

How developed is the study aids idea? I think if it doesn’t have any real income yet, you should give yourself a couple months to really delve into it and see what a reasonable income is, before you leave your job completely. Yes, it will take up a lot of free time, but if it doesn’t pan out, you can easily jump to another company.

Calvin

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 03:53:35 PM »
I completely understand the urge to quit, and you clearly have enough assets to live on for a long time in the case of total side business failure. Great job in saving so much money at a young age.

How developed is the study aids idea? I think if it doesn’t have any real income yet, you should give yourself a couple months to really delve into it and see what a reasonable income is, before you leave your job completely. Yes, it will take up a lot of free time, but if it doesn’t pan out, you can easily jump to another company.

The product is pretty far along. It's mostly on paper. I need to finalize the draft and then get it put into digital form. There are a couple other products on the market for that exam but those are just part-time efforts by others and they're objectively not that great. Also, my study aid is differentiated and similar to a successful study aid that someone sells for one of the other exams. I would be able to sell this for ~$300.

Overall, if I can get the time to put something really solid out there I should be able to clear at least 10-15k the first year and next year I can ramp up and create a higher profit product of an online seminar that can sell for ~$1200. I've definitely crunched the numbers and there's a good market opportunity to make solid income with a good product and the bar is pretty low if you look at what's out there now.

mozar

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 06:04:26 PM »
Quote
I would be able to sell this for ~$300

So you haven't sold it yet? I would start selling the products first to see if there is indeed a market. Get to the point where you are making 15k a year and then quit. I plan on doing something similar, once I get to 300k but I plan on starting the business now and work full time for the next five years while I build it out.
For being able to go back to work the longer you are out that harder it is to go back at a similar level. Over 2 years it will be hard.
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Papa bear

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 06:43:47 PM »
I am in the middle of a very similar situation.  I quit a very high paying job in order to start my own business. (Mostly FIRE due to rental real estate though).  I've been at this for a year, made a modest amount of money, but absolutely LOVE the freedom, time off, no boss, etc. 

I can work as hard or as little as I want and have plenty of time for other side hobbies and projects.

Do it. Don't look back.  You can get another job if your business doesn't go as planned or you decide it's not for you.


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KMMK

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 08:32:52 PM »
I'm half FI and quit to work just for myself. So far it's the best thing I ever did. I try to keep my expenses as low as possible so I have less worry about money.
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MonkeyJenga

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 09:14:22 PM »
The product is pretty far along. It's mostly on paper. I need to finalize the draft and then get it put into digital form. There are a couple other products on the market for that exam but those are just part-time efforts by others and they're objectively not that great. Also, my study aid is differentiated and similar to a successful study aid that someone sells for one of the other exams. I would be able to sell this for ~$300.

Overall, if I can get the time to put something really solid out there I should be able to clear at least 10-15k the first year and next year I can ramp up and create a higher profit product of an online seminar that can sell for ~$1200. I've definitely crunched the numbers and there's a good market opportunity to make solid income with a good product and the bar is pretty low if you look at what's out there now.

What specifically is left to do, and how much time do you think each step will take? From a pure time allocation perspective, it seems like you should have ample time to polish off your draft and get it out there while still working normal hours. Spend an intense week nailing down the final product, another couple weeks marketing it and getting it onto a custom website or existing sales channels, and see what you can actually sell. Quitting your job, or threatening to quit if you can't get PT, is gutsy without a final product or a single sale. If you can do it, though, more power to you!

Calvin

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 06:43:39 AM »
I appreciate everyone's replies. I believe I'm going to ask to take some time off and move into a part-time role, mostly just because I'm completely burnt out. The path I'm on really isn't a long-term career for me and I don't like the company, so I need to make a significant change. If that's not allowed, then I'll make a decision about quitting.

Jon Bon

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 05:35:14 AM »
Calvin,

If you want to hedge see if they won't give you a leave of absence for a month or three. I'm toying with he idea myself. That way you can give your side gig all your attention. From there you can see how profitable it is and how much you enjoy it being your main focus.

I guess the question we should ask is how many people have quit their job to make their side gig their main gig??????!

My guess is going to be almost no one!!

retireatbirth

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Re: Quit Job to start business (or go part time) half-way to FIRE
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 11:50:14 AM »
Two years after this thread started I find myself in this situation. 

Did anyone in this thread make the leap? How did it work out?