Don't Quit Your Day Job to Run Your Blog

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
November 12, 2007

Don't do it. No matter how bad you want it. I don't care if you don't like your boss and coworkers. I don't care if there is too much stress. I don't care if you hate getting up that early. Don't quit your day job just to blog all day. Unless ...

It is okay to do those things if you have at least 6 months salary in the bank. If you save your money and then when you think you can't stand it another day. Then I say go for it. Could be the best thing that ever happens to you.

I was reading another blog today by Caroline Middlebrook on the importance of flexible goals and plans. In her blog she mentions quitting her day job without savings and with no secondary income. Ouch. Plus, from previous posts on her blog, she didn't really have a solid plan for producing income right away.

Now that is just silly. How do I know? Because that is exactly what I did 22 years ago. I thought I was smarter than everyone else I worked with and definitely smarter than the people I saw out there making money on their own without a boss. Let's face it. If they could make money as their own boss, then I was going to be a millionaire in my first year.

What's that old saying, "if horses could fly everyone could have one." I don't know what that means, but I can tell you that I wasn't so good at being my own boss. If you want to take the plunge I would like to offer you these steps.

You should have money in reserves. Either don't quit your day job or save your money. At the very least have 6 months of income in the bank before quitting your day job. You should be more scientific than that by answering these questions. Have you ever made money doing what you want to do? Do you now have a stream of income from this line of work part time and by going full time you will be able to match or exceed your current income? Can you motivate yourself or do you need someone pushing you every day? What part of your personality and characteristics do you need to counter balance with either another person or with other services to succeed? These are just a few questions, there are a million more you need to answer before turning in your notice to quit.

Have you ever made money doing what you want to do?

If you have never made money in this line of work, what makes you think you will make money? I have had people tell me that I should be in sales, but you know, I hate sales and trying to talk people into giving me their money. To go off into a business of your own you should feel you are an expert in this industry and that people need the services you are going to offer.

Do you already have a small group of customers and you just need to increase your customer base? How are you going to accomplish that task? You can ask each of your current customers to recommend a friend for you to show your product. You can advertise more. This requires more money. Make sure the cost of advertising does not cost more than the amount of money you can earn. You can open a store front and hope you get foot traffic in your store. You can open a website and using your talent with Search Engine Optimization you can just reap the rewards available on the internet. You can blog and with the notoriety of your witty writing can increase traffic to demand you sell your product or service to them.

But, what are you going to do if those methods don't bring in the traffic you anticipated? Then are you ready to reduce costs, reduce your personal spending and really discipline yourself to make ends meet? Making money on the internet is not that easy. Don't believe everyone that tells you they are making a ton of money. Some people are liars and just want your money. Brian Tracy likes the quote, "When a man with money meets a man with experience; the man with experience will have more money and the man with money will have more experience."

Do you now have a stream of income from this line of work part time and by going full time you will be able to match or exceed your current income?

If you are already making some money from this line of work, your chances for success go up exponentially. If I were to quit my job today, my opportunities for success would be much higher than they would have been 4 or 5 years ago. I have been on the internet for a while. I have had some successes and many failures. I could probably write a fairly strong business plan if I needed to bring in some outside investors. But, I would still have fear and trepidation, because taking a small part time business to a full time business requires a different skill set.

If I currently have 20 customers a week, but I need 200 customers a week to go full time, where will those customers come from? Will the market be able to supply me with 10 times more customers than I have now? What market research supports that belief? Are other people succeeding in this same industry?

Years ago I worked with Tom North as a bookkeeper in his 5 Hardee's fast food restaurants. He explained to me how Hardees had a system for determining how big an area was needed to support one restaurant. You needed a mix of residential and business. You needed the right group of people to work the restaurant. You had to be close to your competitors, but you also had to stand out from your competitors. If you had a successful restaurant, what would happen if a new restaurant (McDonalds?) opened up across the street from you? Would you survive? Could the market support two fast food restaurants?

The thing to remember about an internet business is the cost for entry is very small. So, what is going to separate you from your competitors? If you start blogging about a certain niche market, what will keep me, with more time, resources, money and internet friends from competing in that same niche? Nothing. What is your competitive advantage? Is it enough to keep you in business? Have you created something that will take others years to match? Do you have specialized insider information that competitors can never get from you? Do you go drinking with Britney Spears so you can take photos every night that your competitors will never be able to get? These are marketing questions you have to ask yourself BEFORE you embark on your journey.

Can You Motivate Yourself

Sometimes working for someone else is very comforting. You don't have to go out and meet people and get them to part with their money. You don't have to call up customers that don't want to pay you. When the newspapers find out about a problem in your business you don't have to answer to them. You don't have to take responsibility for the payroll. A good business person knows that it is their responsibility everyday to make sure the business earns enough money for their needs and to support all their employee's families. Are you able to take on that responsibility?

I love the people that say, "when I go into business for myself I am not going to get up until noon." Now with an internet business that might be okay since your customers could be coming from all places around the world. But, you still have to motivate yourself to make sales calls, write that blog everyday, check statistics, deposit revenue, answer emails, write advertising, create new products and still show your spouse and family you love them. Brian Tracy has another quote I like, "When you go into business for yourself you only have to work half days. All you have to decide is which 12 hours you are going to work each day." You have to be able to motivate yourself to do the things each day that must be done to succeed.

Can you determine what is important and separate the unimportant from the things that must be done? Many a business has failed because the principle leader became distracted from the methods and processes that created income. They started to take long lunches and visiting with friends instead of finding the FIVE most important things that must be done each day and then doing them.

Do You Need A Partner

What part of your personality and characteristics do you need to counter balance with either another person or with other services to succeed? Some people are great at writing but can't sell a thing. Others are wonderful with people, but are horrible with the details. What is your strength? Is there something that you are lacking? Do you know you could succeed if you could just find someone to sell the product? Are you great at production? What's your strength? Do you need a partner?

And it's important to ask the reverse of that question. Do you have a partner that isn't doing their job? Are you supporting two people and just barely surviving? When if you just jettision your partner then you could still succeed because he wasn't doing anything productive. Is your partner holding you back from achieving your goals. Maybe, they don't want to enter that new market. They don't want to add that new product line because it will require them to work another 10 hours a week. Pick your partners carefully. Just like marriage. And put everything in writing. I don't care how close of friends you are.

I was watching a show on TV not too long ago. Two friends decided they were going to flip a house. You know. They were going to buy an older home that needed work. They were going to add their money, some fresh paint, add a room and nicer landscaping and then sell it for a massive profit. They were going to do it all in 3 months.

Guess what. They almost lost their friendship. One guy spent more money than they had planned. The other guy didn't work like he said he was going, too. He didn't spend the time on the job site that was needed to finish the work. The contractors they hired didn't perform the tasks in a timely manner. A year later they finally sold the house and made almost no profit. Pick your partner with great care.

Keys to Business Success

There is no gold key that fits into a special door that guarantees your success. It is hard work. You can help increase your chances of success. Educate yourself on the industry you want to enter. Talk with others. Ask someone in the industry, "If you weren't in this industry and you know what you know now, would you open that shop?" Some might tell you "no way!"

Make sure you have enough money to succeed. It takes more than 3 months to succeed in business. Can you survive 3 years on a combination of saved money, other people's money and money to be earned from the business? I know of a corner shop that over the last 5 years has seen 4 different restaurants and businesses. There has been a pizza place, 2 Mexican restaurants and some other little shop in the leased space. You know who is making money? The landlord.

I can offer you to read Web Success - Learn to Strike it Rich on the Internet. The article won't make you rich, but it will begin to give you the tools to succeed. I love reading articles and maybe you do too. But, can you make the leap to ACTION. The only real skill that guarantees success. Action everyday. Action doing profitable steps. Before doing any task, ask, "will doing this make me any money?" If you can measure a customer by replying to 100 emails, then that is a task worth doing. If you read 100 blogs, but never do anything then that is task NOT worth doing.

I apologize for not making it easy for you. But, I think you can succeed. Just be prepared for hardship, hard work, and failures. Once you are prepared then you are more likely to be able to handle the many ups and downs that come with great success!

Becoming a Top 10 Blogger - Climbing to the Top 10 Percent in Your Field. Are you in the Top 10 percent in your industry? Is your company a top ten company or is it further down in the list? Are you one of the best in your line of work? When people you work with are looking for answers to their problems, do they search for you? If they find you, do you help them with their problem or do you send them off to find someone else?

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