Going All In
I see a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with the decision to go all in and make their startup a full-time job (i.e. quitting your “Office Space” job). I had a similar decision when I decided to go out on my own.
3 years ago, I walked into Fidelity, cashed out all of my retirement funds (complete with penalties, taxes and crazy looks from the Fidelity employee) and started my law firm. Ironically, my new law office is located right next door to the Fidelity.
It wasn’t an easy decision at the time. I had a new mortgage and a 3-month old. But I figured there would never be that “better time” to start a new firm/company.
In retrospect, it was probably pretty stupid to launch a law firm without any clients or local contacts. But the back-against-the-wall nature forced me to work hard and give everything I had to my company.
I’d say about half of the startups I work for have founders with day jobs. And I don’t find anything wrong with that. We each have our own reasons, pressures, and risk tolerances. I respect decisions either way.
But there are 100 reasons why a startup can fail. And if you aren’t working full-time at your startup, there’s now 101.