The real reason why you should quit your job and create a startup

1991

Just because you wake up one day and don’t feel like going to work doesn’t mean it’s time to build a startup – you need to have the right reasons.

You hate your job. It’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe it’s the office, maybe it’s the commute or maybe your co-workers are idiots. But the chances are it’s really because you hate your boss.

So you want to get out of it. That’s only natural. Here’s what that thought process probably looks like:

  • Working for your boss really sucks.
  • Working for anyone really sucks.
  • You’re good at what you do.
  • You should be able to do it for yourself.
  • You should create a startup or a small business.

Hating your job is a great reason to call in sick. It’s a great reason to quit. But on its own, it’s a terrible reason to start a business – and you’ll fail.

When you start up, you aren’t actually getting away from having a boss. All that happens is you get a new boss. And she makes you work long hours. You soon find you’re working just as hard as you were before.

In fact, you’re probably working harder. Your new boss isn’t a big fan of giving out sick days or annual leave or vacation time.

She’s tough. And she feels kind of mean.

Because now your boss is you and there’s no getting away from yourself.

Business is hard. Startups are hard. When you take the plunge into building your own company, you are immediately opening yourself up for a world of stress, hard work and hurt.

The chances are, statistically, you’re probably going to fail. If you even get off the ground, it might not last long. I know that sounds depressing, but I’m not here to hold your hand.

80% of all small businesses shut down in their first 18 months. 90% of all startups fail and are abandoned or shut down.

You can’t argue with that. If you start your business for the wrong reason or you start it simply because you want to get away from your job or your boss, then realistically you won’t be in the 20% or 10% who make it.

You have to start a business for a good reason or the right reason.

You can start a company because you honestly believe in your product or service and you’re ready to turn that belief into real world action and effect.

You can start a company because you have what it takes to fight. Fight with your competitors, with your customers’ many and varied distractions and fight with the best and the worst of yourself.

You can start a company because you have the skills and resources to make it work, technically and strategically.

These are all good reasons. And there could be a hundred others. Some of them that apply to every single business and some that only apply to your own case.

But my favourite reason comes from Aaron Patzer, the founder of Mint.com: “You become an entrepreneur and you create a company to solve a real problem”.

And if you’ll pardon the pun — he’s on the money.

This article was first published on Medium.

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Jon Westenberg is an entrepreneur, startup advisor and writer.
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  • Joseph blow

    There are many reasons people become entrepreneurs and one of them is that they don’t like working for someone else. While it is true your customers become your new boss, you have far more control over your destiny than working for a dictator.