Spark On With Neelu | Day 27 | Do I or Don't I?

by - August 13, 2016

I would like to address a frequently asked question today - "I am a fresh graduate who is unable to decide whether to look for a job or start my business / I have a 9 to 5 job but I really want to turn my xyz hobby into a business. Do I quit my job or keep it?"

This is a tough one to answer and depends a lot on your personal situation. What I am going to say here is truly my personal opinion and may or may not fit your circumstances.

The passionate, creative side in me would like to tell you - go on, just start your business, forget about the job. However, the rational, experienced side in me would ask you to keep your job and start your business as a side hustle. Why?

Years ago, during my undergraduate studies, I also worked at my Father's company. I would work in the morning and attend evening classes. There was a side of me who enjoyed it and the other teenager side of me was extremely upset that I didn't get to enjoy my college days like a normal student. After 3+ years with him, I worked as a Travel/Tourism Agent and later as a Motor Insurance Assistant. 

When I look back now, I have to say that I am extremely grateful for those gruelling years. I learned a lot from these roles - handling customer calls and inquiries, sending emails, managing multiple tasks at once, typing quotations, filing, making cold sales calls, a bit of spoken Arabic etc. 

One, your job will teach you the basics of running an office like I explained above. These skills may sound very elementary but are crucial to keep a business afloat. 

Two, you have a steady income to fall back on incase your business doesn't work out. 

Three, you will have an opportunity to see whether this is something you really want to pursue. 

Four, you can figure out whether there is enough demand for your product/service. 

Five, you can build an adequate cash flow during the initial stages of starting a business using your salary/savings.

Let me tell you, working a 9 to 5 job and building a side business is NOT going to be easy but it isn't impossible either. If you really really want it, you are going to figure a way out to keep doing both. ❤

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