Don’t Quit Your Day Job… Yet

July 16, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz

I occasionally receive e-mails from readers of my blog (or those who may have read about me in an interview or article somewhere) telling me that they want more independence and would love to quit their job and work for themselves online for a living.

Some would like to strike it big, making a lot of money online, while others would simply be happy to make enough to pay the bills but still be able to work from the comfort of their own home like I do.

Unfortunately, I believe that a lot of people are misinformed as to just how easy it is to make a living online. Sure, the online entrepreneur life can be easy, but it doesn’t mean that it didn’t take a lot of hard work, skill, and a little bit of luck to get there.

In this post, I would like to reply to all of those e-mails I get from people asking me if they should quit their job and/or how they can do this for a living.

1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job

First, don’t quit your day job to try to switch careers with making money online. Even if you had a $50,000 cushion, I still wouldn’t recommend it.

The only time you should feel safe to quit your day job is when you’re consistently making money online. It doesn’t matter if you suddenly started making $5,000 a month for the past 2 months online, if before that you were making only $50. Things happen a lot quicker online, and your newfound $5K a month could disappear in a few month’s time, leaving you both broke and without a job.

Once you start making enough online on a regular basis to cover all of your living costs and then some (for savings, recreation, emergency, etc.), then you should feel safe to leave your job. By a regular basis, I would recommend at least 6-months, but preferably a year.

Now, I know that a lot of people will disagree with me on this, and yes, working a full-time job leaves very little time to be able to work on your online projects, but especially in today’s economy, where landing a decent job is such a battle, it’s really too risky to quit your job with the hopes of trying to learn the ropes of the online business world.

But keeping your job has more perks to just being a safety net… which brings me to my next point:

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Invest!

If you have a job, you have a massive advantage over the 15-year-old whiz kid nerd who is busy learning PHP and MySQL to try to be the next Zuckerberg.

Sure, he has time on his side – which is nothing to sneeze at, but you have capital.

Take some of that hard-earned cash from your day job and invest it into your online business. Sure, you might lose it, but you will gain valuable experience and be able to leap-frog past others who are trying to do things the slow and hard way.

For example: let’s say you had an idea for a website where people could list the ingredients they have in their fridge, and the website would spit out recipes that contained only those ingredients – a perfect site for poor college students.

The slow route would also be the cheap route: you could learn PHP, Photoshop, XHTML, and even host your site on a free hosting site without your own domain. It’d be free and would cost you nothing except a crapload of time… which is the most precious resource.

Or, you could invest a couple weeks worth of wages from your day job and outsource your idea to a developer and have them do all the work for you. This route might take a month, whereas the slow/cheap route might take 2-3 months.

The point is, you can totally kickstart your way into the online world by investing some of what you make from your day job, online.

One of the best ways may be to simply purchase an existing site on Flippa. Most of the hard work is already done for you then, and you can save a lot of time trying to built a site up from scratch.

You could even work for a year or two at your day job and save $50,000, to then invest it online by purchasing a website that’s making $3,000 a month.

Besides, if you quit your job and have little-to-no experience with making money online, it’s likely going to take a hell of a lot longer than 1 year to learn the skills to build something that you can live off of.

3. It’s Not Really as Easy as You Think

As I said in my intro, a lot of people think that making money online for a living is a dream job, as if you just sit back and hold down F5 all day, watching your 5 digits turn into 6.

While that can –and does- happen sometimes, the truth is that it takes a lot of work, knowledge, and experience to be able to make money consistently online.

It’s so easy for people to become confused, because people – myself included – will often brag about how awesome it is to do this for a living, and how you can work only a couple hours a week if you wanted and still be able to handle things just fine.

But this is usually the case AFTER all the groundwork was done. AFTER all the sleepless nights of server difficulties, programming woes, and no-traffic syndrome torment your mind for weeks on end.

Unless you have a lot of experience as a programmer, designer, or server administrator, you may be surprised at just how much knowledge is really needed to do this for a living, that most people in this industry take for granted.

Offline, people will often ask me what I do for a living, and when I tell them, they tell me how they’d love to do that as well. Often, they even ask me how they can get started.

When I start telling them, I start to realize just how unlikely it is that they could ever do so, unless they really worked hard and were very serious about it, because they’ll start asking me the most basic questions… such as “Wait a second, what’s a domain?” or “What is a PayPal?”.

There really is a lot of technical knowledge that you need to know in this business. Even buying an established website that is 100% complete actually takes a fair bit of technical knowledge, as you’ll likely have no idea how to transfer the domain and website to your registrar and web server properly unless the seller or your web host (or somebody else) does it for you.

And the technical side of the industry is only one set of skills that is required (or highly recommended; you can always hire people to help you with that). Marketing, design, creativity, etc. are just a few more examples of skillsets that are usually needed in this industry.

Making money online can be very “easy” once you build up to a certain point, but getting up there is most certainly not easy.

Don’t Let That Scare You

Don’t get me wrong – I love working for myself by making money online at home, and know that is true for every single other person I know who is doing so as well. It is insanely rewarding (both moneywise and timewise) and offers a mostly stress-free life, at least compared to a regular 9-5 job.

Once you start doing this for a living, you’ll never be able to work for somebody else again… it’ll seem so foreign and obscene to you. And if you think you have the drive to succeed in this business, then I’d encourage you to jump in as soon as possible.

But please do not think that this is an easy gig or simply a job that you can just choose to jump into. It takes a lot of work, drive, and skill, and thinking that you can just somehow quit your job as a mail carrier when you “know how to use Word and send e-mail with attachments” and somehow start making enough online to support yourself with in a couple months is just insulting to those of us who do do this for a living.

This post is starting to get fairly lengthy, so I think I’m going to abruptly end it here. I’m not sure if what I wrote above is written in a lucid manner, as I’m writing in a very tired state, and am not going to bother to proofread my post as I usually do.

I apologize if it sounds like a rant and/or not helpful. And remember, this post is targeted mostly to those who are not making any money online and likely have never even developed a website before and suddenly want to be able to do this for a living.

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Posted: July 16th, 2011 under Articles  

34 Responses to “Don’t Quit Your Day Job… Yet”

  1. used tires says:

    You definitely need a safety net. Its amazing from my past experience just how fast you can fall. The internet is a fast paced world, and things change constantly, just because you can make 5,000 a month, there is definitely no guarantee in the future, and like you said, 2 months in a row is not significant. Really in my opinion, once you’ve got a nice solid foundation, with a few different eggs in the basket for income is when its safe to pull this off as a full time gig.

    The biggest hurdle in my opinion that people will face is self motivation. Its too easy to turn on a game of Starcraft or any other game for that matter and be distracted from your work. If you can dedicate yourself consistently, then your chances of success are better.

    -Jean

  2. Jimson Lee says:

    Haveing a technical background really helps. Steve Pavlina and John Chow are good examples on how their IT experience helped them to who they are. If you are a newbie, you will spend a lot of time with terminology, technical terms, learning WordPress, and even blogging lingo (i.e. trackback, ping, etc)

  3. Dave Starr says:

    Great article, Tyler. As you know, I don’t have a regular job. And I make money online. But let me be quick to tell the world, that although I have been building up my online income quite nicely over the past few years, I am no where near at what I could call making a living on line. (I have a comfortable income from several pensions I’ve earned for those who may wonder).

    I also live in the Philippines (I’m US bred and born) and there are a lot of people who get in touch with me about moving here and living here and the subject of supporting themselves online comes up very often.
    At least once a week or so I get someone asing me if they should quite their day job and move to the Philippines an “make money like I do”.

    They seldom like my standard answer. I tell them, start making money online now, while you have a job,and when your online income reliably equals your current income, then come back and chat.

    “But I don’t have the time” is the usual refrain. My standard answer to that is, “BS, make the time. If you want something bad enough, you will find the time.”

    Especially in today’s economy a regular job is a blessing and a very important support structure. Instead of quitting your day job and struggling, in the time and work your income up to the point you not only can quit, but you can make your current boss beg you to take him with you when you leave ;-)

    Most modern jobs are approximately a 40 hour week. The concept of man working 40 hours a week is simply an artificial construct we have grown used to.

    Ask any farmer about a 40 hour week. Or the rancher who raised the hamburger you just ate. Or an over-the-road trucker. Or ask the guys on Deadliest Catch about their “40 hour week” ideas.

    If you want to make a good living online, just do it. If you feel your current job is the reason you can not, I’d submit it’s very possible you are just using that day job as an excuse, and if it went away tomorrow, another reason would pop up to prevent you from getting it done.

    Nike said it best, “Just do it”.

  4. This is so true there are so many people who believe that there is a magical way to make money online by just sitting on their chair without realizing that it requires hard work (especially in the start) and skills to even make a few dollars

  5. Many people have after several years of study and work training started to work their way up the career. So why change because you think the internet and blogging is fun now. Unfortunately, it is equally tough in the blogosphere as in the workplace.

    “For many are called, but few are chosen” —Matthew 22:14.

  6. Matt Coddington says:

    This post touches on the main reason I sold my blog. Most people just don’t get it. You can shout and holler all day about how it takes YEARS of experience to get where people like us are and how you have to have real passion to be successful online. And people just won’t get it.

    I’ve had friends ask me constantly how to get started online. After a 30 minute synopsis (of pure gold mind you) they almost always respond with the same line: “yea but I just wanna do x”. X to them is always some ingeniously simple idea that they think nobody has ever thought of. I then have to explain to them that even with their stupid idea they still need YEARS of experience to make a living off of it. They usually then disregard me as crazy and change the subject.

  7. Paulymath says:

    There’s also a difference in “making money online as a blogger” versus “making money online as an affiliate” versus “making money online as a consultant” etc.

    I know quite a few people who work from home, making money online as consultants – programmers, designers, coaches, etc. but they don’t make money as Bloggers or Affiliates for example. There are jobs you can also get working from home. Some part time, some full time. Those can be a good in-between as an income source to hold you over while you build an online Blog.

    For consultant type work online, the biggest skill I’d add in that you need is the ability to sell yourself to people or businesses. You can have the best, most valuable service that you offer but if you can’t sell yourself, then it will flop.

    Most solo-entrepreneurs have to be jack-of-all-trades types to make money online. That is why so many people have jobs, as that allows them to focus on their strengths and let another employee compliment their weaknesses.

  8. Great post Tyler uncle :D

    Recently I have been receiving lots of emails/messages and it looks like many of them think that making money online (big money) is as easy as 1, 2 and 3 from Day 1 with no expertise. That’s really a bad thinking and I will be just sharing this post with them.

    PS. You should add some share buttons Tyler on your blog ;)

  9. Michael says:

    Another great post here Tyler. I agree with all your points. I won’t be quitting my day-time job anytime soon. Once I get a 100% stable base and am making a ton of money online consistently I’ll look into making the switch. But not until that point.

    It is really hard to get a job so it makes sense to hold onto it until you can’t afford to get ride of it.

    Great points and something I totally agree with and follow myself! Hopefully I hit this point where I can switch sooner than later though!

  10. Jasmine says:

    Really interesting topic! I just wonder if it would be easier if I were to move to Philippines since the living cost is relatively lower there?

  11. I totally agree with you Tyler.

    Well, I’m the “18” year old wiz guy, lol not so wiz about programming, but yeah I love creating websites and see them ranking in Search Engines.

    Since I have a lot of time and a bit lack of capital, the scenario you mentioned actually fits my situation.

  12. Boy Games says:

    It’s crazy that most people have the misconception that making money online is some crack pot idea or that building a profitable website requires some far out knowledge of programming, but in reality many people can earn a decent monthly income from a fly by night WP theme, some decent comment and a few adsense ads. I also agree with Jean, making money online does in fact require some self confidence; gotta block out all the distractions and keep money on the mind!

    Great post!

  13. Stuart says:

    Interesting read.
    Its good to hear the truth about how much hard work you actually need to put in. There seem to be too many people who believe the overnight riches and 0% effort needed BS stories and give up their day jobs just to be disappointed when they find out how much time and effort it actually requires (especially at the beginning!)

  14. d3so says:

    Yeah, I view it the same way. I’m still working a day job but am trying hard to make it online. It would definitely be challenging for a non-tech savvy person.

  15. Matt Smith says:

    Hi Tyler,

    Its refreshing to hear a successful blogger state that it takes hard work to make it online. Too often, people claim that it is really easy to make loads of money online. Like anything in life, it takes hard work to achieve something. If your not prepared to put in the work, you can’t expect the rewards

  16. [...] com lifestyle” to be very alluring, but Tyler Cruz has a big piece of advice for you: don’t quit your day job yet. Making money online is not nearly as easy as it may seem and earning consistent income will be a [...]

  17. Samantha says:

    Many people believe it’s easy to make money online, because there are unscrupulous marketeers out there telling them it’s easy. They are always promoting ebooks or software that scream “make money online on autopilot”or “how I made $15,479 in 1 week” You can make money online, but it takes hard work and is certainly not easy to do!

  18. Hi Tyler I agree with you. Thanks for this articles. I’ll tell my friend to read this one.

  19. Martial Arts says:

    Very good post, Tyler. I’ve been a long time reader and saw your first post on a different forum (don’t remember it anymore) where you started with making just $xx/day. (I think you used to update quarterly as your signature)

    Great advice on investing. I have both online business with small but steady income and a full time job. I’ve been investing what I earned online back to online business but since it’s small I’m not making as much progress. If I take the money from my job and invest into my online business I can certainly speed up my progress.

  20. Reese says:

    I have been working online for a UK company for the last 5 years. Of course the pay is really good considering that I am not living in the West. However, the real perks in doing online jobs is that you learn from experience. I have at least 4 websites now and all of them are earning great, in a year’s time, I am forecasting that my online earnings from my own website will surpass my online job’s. In this case, I will be quitting my online job very soon :)

  21. Work At Home says:

    Just another opinion, working online or earning online is never an alternative to actual work. If the sum of money one is getting from online job amounts to 5X, STEADY INCOME against his current day job, then I guess he can comfortable retire. We all live in a fragile world and there is no assurance that your day job will be there as well as your online job. Luck + perseverance is all you need in life. Now, this is corny it’s like I’m preaching philosophical thoughts haha.

  22. alansm says:

    Many people think make money online is easy and join in, they spend sometime and did not get much money, they will give up. You have many good tips for beginner.

    Thanks

  23. Tyler, I’m glad you are advising caution as too many “gurus” out there brag about how easy it is to make money online and all that does is set people up to fail. If it really was that easy, everyone would be doing it.

  24. Direct Axis says:

    Wow…I thought that all Internet Entrepreneurs had it easy – or something, because it has been quite a hard journey for me. I like the honest way in which you write your articles. It give the normal person a realistic view to what must be doen to be succesful in an online campaing. Thanks for sharing. Great article!

  25. those are such great advices that myself recommend to people. dont quit your day job folks!

  26. I just sold my first site, coz I needed some capital to invest.

    It was really hurting but that was something I had to do… :(

    What do you think tyler?

  27. This is a good post. There are too many sites out there telling us all how easy it is, almost to the point of brainwashing, that many get suckered into it and put in a lot of their savings only to realize it may have been a mistake.

  28. Great advice Tyler – just remember all those make $15,000 a week with our simple push one button magic formula sales sheets – if it sounds to good to be true …it usually is!

  29. Thanks for this post Tyler, I am thinking of getting into online business and I won’t quit earning money the normal way until things have been going well a long time.

  30. making money online is a good option,but it should be taken as a secondary source of income. Once you start making some money you can devote more time. But it is always imperative to keep doing your regular job.

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