Let me start by saying this. At a fundamental level, it doesn’t really matter if you want to be a professional blogger, web developer, affiliate marketer, freelance writer or anything else. If you want to grow your online business to the point where it can fully replace the income you’re receiving from your day job, then you need to quit your day job. It is only when your online business becomes your sole professional focus that you can grow it to its full potential.
And yes, it’s true that not everyone is going to succeed. Sometimes through no direct fault of their own, nothing works out. Or maybe they give up too easily. Or maybe they didn’t have the right business strategy for the current market. It could be any number of things. But you also can’t wait for all your ducks to get in a row before you decide to take the plunge. You just have to decide to take that leap of faith and absorb those failures in stride.
Maybe you’re not ready to abandon your day job altogether and that’s okay too. It’s a personal decision. Maybe you don’t actually want to quit your day job at all and you want to pursue your online business as a side hustle. While it won’t ever really reach its full potential that way, this might be the right decision for your circumstances. Maybe. That’s up to you.
The Most Important Thing
Here’s the thing. So many people never get started at all, because they assume that if they can’t dedicate themselves full time to their online business that they shouldn’t even try. And that’s hardly true.
I argued a few years ago that making money online is actually more stable than a regular job. I encourage you to go back and read that post if you haven’t already done so. Even if you hold on to your day job, you can think of making money online as your security cushion. Through circumstances beyond your control (or even within your control), you could lose your job tomorrow. You could get fired or laid off.
If you decide to start your online business from scratch after you’ve already lost your day job, there’s a good chance that you might not make any money at all for the first several months. Are you prepared for that? By contrast, if you’ve already gotten started and your business is already generating some modest revenue, you can at least rely on some positive cash flow as you now dedicate yourself to growing your business even further (or looking for another day job if you must).
Saving for the Future
How much do you think the typical 40-something in America has stashed away in retirement savings? They would’ve been working for about 20 years at this point, so they should have a decent amount set aside, right? According to MSN Money, the average (mean) retirement savings at that age is about $81,000.
That’s not bad, but it could be a lot better. Experts recommend that you should have about four times your annual salary saved at that point in your life, which for the average 40-something American would be closer to $200,000. But do you know what’s even scarier? The median retirement savings for a typical 40-something American is just $6,200.
What this means is that half of the people in this demographic have more than $6,200 saved and half have less than $6,200. That’s not a very bright picture indeed and there’s no way that you’re going to retire with just $6,200 set aside.
Keep the Cash Flowing
How does this tie into an online business? Even when it’s just a side hustle, your online business can grow into another source of income. And the income you earn from that can be invested and saved, getting the money to work for you and to make more money on its own. The earlier you can start this process, the better.
And the earlier you can start this process, the sooner you can retire (and with more money in your savings too)… assuming you want to retire at all.