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Ask HN: Should I quit my job?
192 points by manceraio 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 124 comments
I'm working for a German automobile corporate in Spain as a project leader. I'm 29, I've studied electronic engineering, I don't have kids, and I'm not married. What I do at my current job all day is emails, spreadsheets, power points, and some electronic testing. I've been working there for already five years, and I've been climbing the ladder as much as I managed. I also work on the afternoons on a side project that is making close to $100/m

However, my day job is draining all my energy in a way that I am grumpy from Sunday night to Saturday morning. I wake up at 6:20, commute 45 minutes, work 8h, commute 45 minutes, arrive home at 18:00 and then I try to squeeze time for my side project, going to the gym, making groceries, hang out with my gf, etc. I probably push around 10h/week to the project. The worst part of it is getting home exhausted in a way that it's impossible for me to do any work done. It makes me feel miserable, depressed, and tied. I could create more value just by myself. During my office hours, my energy levels are, and the atmosphere at work is pleasant. Also, my salary is above the Spanish average, but nothing special, my uni friends are also making similar numbers.

My gut is telling me to quit my job and work for my products. I have enough savings to survive for five years. I don't think about going nomad or any of these hippie trends. I'm focused on building a business and feel accomplished by something I've done with my hands.

My biggest fears are: - To not stick to a schedule/routine once I am solo. - People's and family opinion. - Failing and losing motivation.

Should I quit my job and work on my stuff or search for another position that would give more motivation?




This will sound odd, but hear me out: assuming that whichever way you choose, it will be wrong, which would you choose? If you quit this job to pursue your side project, and that doesn't pan out, will you forever regret having given up this job? Or, if you don't quit this job, will you forever hate your career because part of you is wondering what would have happened if you just "went for it"?

Figure out which mistake would be less crushing, and do that one. If it happens to actually work out, great. If not, at least you won't be spending the rest of your life regretting.

By the way, for reasons I won't speculate on, this method (assume failure, which would you pick) turns out to be a pretty good way of picking the option more likely to succeed, actually. But assume you won't succeed no matter what, and use that scenario to decide which way to go.


A product manager I've recently worked with had a similar approach. Don't ask: Why is X important. Always ask: Can I skip Y for X? Can I not do X to invest the same time to do Y?

That kind of thinking has kind of put a very big truck into my thought train in a lot of situations. Not doing things suddenly seems a lot more appealing.

And don't get me wrong. I'm an operator with legal and other non-functional requirements at heart. But there's still many things to ignore as much as possible.


This sounds good, but it doesn't really work, at least not in the way you think it will.

There's no way you can imagine yourself in an unknown future. You can not estimate how much you will regret one thing or the other, because you don't know the situation you will be in. All the variables affecting you (economy, health, family situation) are constantly changing. You're not going to picture yourself as a homeless alcoholic who somehow is still really glad he built that app once and would do all it all over again.

The first bad thing that'll probably happen after he quits his job is that his girlfriend will leave him. Not necessarily immediately, but it'll be a strain on the relationship. Even though she will not admit it (perhaps because she isn't even aware of it), she is probably dating him because he is a guy that has a decent job, not some dreamer with a wacky business idea (unless maybe that's how she got to know him). Breakups can be really tough on men, why can negatively affect work and motivation. Not being the guy with the decent job, it will be tougher to find a new partner as well.

The second bad thing that will happen is the realization that "being your own boss" and "working on the stuff that is important to you" versus "showing up" and "collecting a paycheck" always sounds better when you're doing the latter. Doing the former is actually a lot of stressful work and you can not tell how it works on you until you have done it.

Lastly, living with regrets is not such a big deal. Who doesn't live with regrets? Whatever you do, you can rely on your brain coming up with rationalizations on why this-and-that just wasn't meant to be.

Having said all that, with "five years of savings" (more like two years, am I right?), doing a sabbatical just to try it out should be in the cards. There may not be a need to quit the job, many companies offer this. If after six months to a year you aren't on the right track, it probably isn't working out, but you will have learned a lot about yourself.


Well, I had a girlfriend who, when I decided to quit my job and go back to college, didn't want me to. I did it anyway, and sure enough, that relationship didn't last. I found another one in college, and married her. Later, when I wanted to quit my engineering job and start over as a programmer at a university, making 1/3 the money, she said "go for it".

Breakups suck, but sometimes it is a way to find out if you are with the right person (not that this is why you should do it of course).


Being a programmer at a university is still a "decent job", the difference in money isn't necessarily the crucial part. Instead, try telling her you want to quit so you can become an (eventually unsuccessful) painter and then observe how the relationship is working out some months down the line.

Also, what are the odds that a modern educated self-respecting independent woman would admit (even to herself) that she quit the relationship over that bit of money? If money really was the problem, she'd still have to come up with another reason to break up. Plus, it's not clear if you were already married, that's another threshold of course. Divorces are usually many years in the making.

Of course I'm not saying this is 100% exactly what will happen all of the time (though I've seen it happen shockingly often) and you will certainly find people whose dysfunctional relationships lasted a lifetime. That's called "survivorship bias".


You seem to have an interesting story. I'd really like to learn about it if you don't mind sharing. Thanks


While probably echoed in other comments, I want to second the sentiment in this comment. Personally, I don’t believe there is a “happiness optimization” algorithm. Instead, what I believe, and mentor, is a “regret minimization” algorithm.

Think through the choices in front of you, which of them do you think you would regret more when you are on your death bed.

I will note, there is a risk to this approach I didn’t fully appreciate while younger: you don’t always know what in the future you will regret.

However, at least in my life, I have very few genuine regrets by following this advice.


Wow! Sometimes it really is about asking the right questions!

This question seems to be the right question to ask, but whether it is or isn't, thanks for reminding me.


Jeff Bezos frames this concept fairly well too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwG_qR6XmDQ


Interesting! I will never make 1% of the money that man made. But, I don't regret that either. :)


That's a very interesting approach. Do you have more data/anectodes etc. on your point:

> By the way, for reasons I won't speculate on, this method (assume failure, which would you pick) turns out to be a pretty good way of picking the option more likely to succeed, actually.

I'm going to try to keep this one in mind for big decisions.


Anecdata: quit my job at age 29 to go back to get a Master's in EE, studying neural networks, in 1996. Quit my job in the semiconductor industry in 2004 to become a programmer at a university. Quit my job at the university in 2010 to go into the private sector. All three turned out to be the right decision, as far as I can tell, but in all three cases I was mostly motivated by knowing that if I did not, I would regret that more than I would regret quitting a position I was no longer interested in.

But, I wonder if it would still work well if, in the back of your mind, you were thinking "but it won't really fail, it always succeeds". You really do need to take seriously the idea that it will not work out, and only do it when you would still rather try it.


I am obviously in the minority, but I find this terrible advice. If you suffer a lot from 'regret' perhaps this approach makes sense.

But it completely sidesteps your inbuilt missile guidance system. A human being with a goal is a powerful thing. Just seeking to avoid the worst of 2 scenarios is a little sad.

Unless your goal is just to seek comfort, which is fine, but then be up front about that choice.


The idea is that the correct choice is the one that you will feel good about choosing, not matter how it turns out. Plenty of people who feel good about having done a startup, even though it turned out badly. But, plenty of other people who only did it because they thought it would make them rich and successful, and for any startup there is always a good chance of that not being the case. Most startups "fail", in the sense of they don't make anyone rich and eventually get shut down. So, only choose the startup if it's what you want to do, regardless of whether or not it will succeed.


I've also used the aversion to regret to make several big decisions. When I explain this to people, the reaction I sometimes get is pity. Having ones life dictated by the fear of regret seems repulsive to some people. I don't really understand that perspective myself, but it may be one to consider.


Living defensively may be good for one's chance of survival but is not that glamorous to tell. That should, as you correctly pointed out, be taken into account. What happens now when one's fear is ending up without having a life to talk about or not living fast enough? Joke aside, I think that, besides a fringe minority whose choices are dictated by kicks and thus subject itself to the high risk of natural (de)selection effect, most of us have lifes dictated by the self preservation instinct.


That's the thing, I usually end up using this metric to take the more risky choice. "Making decisions to avoid future regret" and "playing it safe" are two different things.

It's more closely related to Being Unto Death (https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/philosophy-of-heidegger...).


I really like the way you frame it: both choices are bound to be a mistake, so pick the one you can live with.


That's a really interesting way to put it. I once remembered and applied a quote something like "if you could choose one thing to do if you were guaranteed to succeed, what would it be?" Luckily and paradoxically, both questions have the same answer for me.


Thanks. That makes me feel a lot better about a recent decision.


Said like a true stoic!


I love your wording and the focus on the failure scenarios


Nicely said...thank you.


I'm going to add one anekdote fit thé author, but the parent comment is awesome.

Realise that 100$ / month of nothing. It's the income of a small blog and even my small side project earns me 500-600€/month consistently.

Then again, do what you will regret the least.


My advice, for what it's worth, based on my experience:

1. Every time when I delayed making a significant decision in my life related to big changes, I regretted only the delay. I was always happy with the outcome, but always wished I had made the decision sooner. I now take this into account and decide faster. Life isn't that long.

2. Starting something on your own takes years. Unless you are very lucky, building your own business will take at least two years until you can live off it. In SaaS that's because how it works, in consulting it's because you usually need to find clients and work your way up via referrals. The only exception is if you can get consulting work from companies you already know (such as your former employer). So don't quit your job without a very good idea of what you will do next and plan to live on savings for two years.

3. There might be other jobs that will leave more time for side projects, so changing your job first and then starting something as a side project first might be a safer path.


> Every time when I delayed making a significant decision in my life related to big changes, I regretted only the delay.

Just to provide a counterweight to this, I've never regretted taking my time to consider things well.

Plenty of people would have married their spouse a little bit earlier. But plenty of people would have done well to wait another six months to get to know each other a bit better.


Finding another position that is just less draining doesn't further your goal to build your own products. If your key goal is to build and sell your own products you have to look for ways to do that and not just the next less draining "job".

You could instead try and move to a consulting role with the company where you can control your hours and do more off-site. Seeing as you said a German auto, that may not be so easy to do. The other option is stay in your day job temporarily while you find a couple of consulting gigs (even PM type work or whatever you can) where you can basically have part time work and you know you'll have money coming through the door, but that will enforce some discipline on your days. Then use the time you have to build out your own products and get it moving. Also, the part time work lets you interact with other professionals and keeps you a little more engaged then you might otherwise get if you just solo out immediately, which is helpful.

My 2 cents, if you have any concerns about whether you can stay disciplined to make it work, don't just jump and start living off savings. Do one step towards being 100% on your own, but do it with some part time work which forces some structure. This will help you transition and let you figure out how you work best, and how to motivate yourself. I have seen this is where a lot of super capable people make their mistake initially. Having a little extra structure at first where you must deliver something for someone every week etc will help you. Also, the income you are taking in is a way to help offset just living off your savings since that can also be a scary thing to do, even if you have many years saved up already. When you only see your account getting smaller it is hard not to panic a little.


I’ve done the “jump” two years ago.

My life is different now. There is much less stability, constant fear of not making enough money to pay for my expenses, my retirement, etc... also, I’ve never been so tired in my whole life.

Having said that, I feel _happier_ than when I had stability in my previous draining day job. I also don’t have a single drop of regret.

If you have something work wise that you love, just make the jump. You’ll survive and learn a lot.


"You’ll survive and learn a lot."

That's textbook survivorship bias right there.


You are probably right, but maintaining a day job is not a walk in the park either. You have to devote a lot of time and energy into it, and things might suddenly turn against you and you may find yourself in a tough spot.


I often think about that. There are no guarantees for job safety as an employee, there is only the fact that you work within a statistical ensemble of other people having a very similar job and can use them to tell how well you're doing.

If you find paid work on your own, you learn different skills that could prove to be better for survival, since you're less dependent on an external entity.


My gut is telling me to quit my job and work for my products.

The best advice I ever got from my mentor: "Listen to your gut!" Passing it on...

I have enough savings to survive for five years.

What?!? Are you fucking crazy?!? What are you waiting for?!?

My biggest fears are: - To not stick to a schedule/routine once I am solo.

How will you know until you try? More to the point: how will you know how important "sticking to a schedule/routine" is until you try? (Probably not nearly as much as you think.)

- People's and family opinion.

Fuck. That. Shit. The first thing anyone must do when embarking on a new journey is to focus on the issues and ignore the pointless details. I can't imagine anything more pointless than "people's and family opinion".

- Failing and losing motivation. Why lump these 2 together? In my experience, failing is the best way to learn and learning is the best way to get more motivation.

Should I quit my job and work on my stuff or search for another position that would give more motivation?

YES! YES! YES! Do something, anything different! The worst thing you can do at this point in you life is stay the course. You'll just get older and more bitter. And posting the same thing on hacker news 2 years from now.

You can recapture money. You can recapture relationships. You can recapture your health. You can recapture almost anything, except for time.

Please don't make the same mistake I made by getting started in your 40's. Because you were too timid and pissed away too much of your life on what you know is the wrong thing.

I've responded to many similar questions over the years here on hn, but yours may be the clearest of them all: You already know what you must do but came here for confirmation. Now you have it. Take the next right step for yourself and please, keep us posted.

Best wishes and respect!


Seriously, 5 years of savings is the giveaway. That is a dream scenario for anyone starting their own business. Also reminds me that regardless of how much one has to live on, there's always a nagging doubt...


It's not just a nagging doubt, it's adding a "gap" to your resume - I've heard many employers view any sort of exclusive self-employment as basically that and it's something that actively keeps me hesitating.


I did it, and failed, and the gap year only hurt economically. My job prospects were better if anything after (and changing jobs netted a large enough raise that it soon made up for the gap year.) I do regret that I failed, but I think I needed to take the shot. I'm considering doing it again.


I see this excuse a lot. Maybe it’s a valid reason in some industries. But IMHO it’s likely just a convenient excuse someone plays to further procrastinate on making the though decision now so they don’t have to make a tougher, maybe-very-unlikely decision down the road if they want to re-enter the workforce.


I don’t think that is true at all, and in any you case you will easily find employers that view this as a big plus.


This needs to be top comment here.


Reading this, it sounds like depression/exhaustion is your problem and not necessarily your job. I recently had a bout of almost burnout, and I did a few experiments to see if anything got better.

One, I realized that I was drinking a ton of caffeine (coffee, soda, etc), and that maybe that was the reason I was high-strung and irritable all the time. I cut out caffeine on March 3, 2019, and within 1 week I felt calmer and more relaxed. I was less irritable, and I found myself listening more calmly to the people that irritated me.

Second, I started running every day for at least 1 mile. I've been a runner for years, but I've gotten out of the habit. A coworker challenged me to run at least 1 mile per day (~10 minutes -- totally doable!) and I'm currently on Day 58. When I wake up in the morning, I immediately go for a run. This has three side effects: 1) it's a great way to WAKE UP, 2) it gives me a kick of endorphins that keeps me happy and upbeat for at least the next several hours, 3) it kickstarts the metabolism and I've lost a few pounds since I started and clearly built up some muscle as well.

Third, and probably most importantly, I went to see a doctor about my mood swings. She prescribed a mood stabilizer which took a month to kick in, but I definitely feel better. I haven't been grumpy in months, and I'm generally happier and more productive than I was before.

I don't necessarily recommend that you do the above things, but it sounds like a change in your daily routine, plus maybe some professional help (there's nothing to be ashamed of!) might be a good way to get through your current slump.

Changing a job is one way to do this, but it's worth taking a deep introspective look to see if it's the job that's making you miserable. Who's to say that the next job won't _also_ make you miserable? So my advice would be to see if you can determine what you _can_ control that might help you feel better.

Hope that helps.


Personal anecdote: every time I quit caffeine, a week later I still had lethargy and headaches. It might take a bit longer than a week for it to pay off. 2-4 weeks and you feel more human


Interesting, I often drop caffeine for a week or so (without any real conceited effort, typically just when I'm sick or on vacation) and any withdrawal seems gone after a few days but then restart it within a week because it's just so damn good, especially when you only sleep 4-6 hours a night which is... every night for me.


The difference in the experiences of you two might be due to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP1A2 aka "the caffeine gene".


I definitely had headaches for a few days, but I really did feel calmer and more relaxed. It's damned HARD to stay caffeine free, though. It's really hard.


You may have explored this already, but just in case you haven't: get checked for chronic/lifestyle diseases (diabetes, fibromyalgia, IBD/Crohn's, etc). Many of these sap out your energy chronically, making you feel gloomy/depressed/irritated in otherwise "normal" life-situations. Even if you can't cure these, being aware of them lets you set realistic expectations about your body's limits (like, for example, you might NEED 10 hours of sleep at all costs, limiting the time available for other activities).

Also don't forget that physical and mental health are closely interlinked such that if you aren't doing well physically, then your mental health will suffer and vice-versa.


Similar story here. 29, had been working at a big tech company for almost 4 years. Didn’t really enjoy the work, definitely didn’t enjoy the 1 hour commute. Tried to convince my manager to let me work remotely but was rejected, so I decided to take the leap and quit* . I didn’t have a specific plan for what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to do some traveling, work on passion projects, and cultivate some new hobbies.

It’s been 2 months and I have zero regrets. In that time I started and finished a video project I had put off for 8 months, started playing drums, and just finished a month of traveling the US and Europe. I still don’t know what I want to do long term, but I’ve never felt more empowered to figure it out. Do it!

* Disclaimer: I have an open offer from my old company to come back any time (same role same compensation), so that took a lot of the pressure off of the decision. You should see if you can negotiate something similar with your job.


I always feel like I'm waiting for the "right" idea to come to me before I go all in and then quit my job, but maybe that's just a fallacy


It saddens me to death to hear words like: "To not stick to a schedule/routine once I am solo" from hyper-motivated people. It makes me hopeful to see that you're self-aware enough to mention other people's optinion as a fear factor.

This kind of social conditioning from the school system / society combined with never letting people do what they really want because they have "responsibilities" from the age of 5 is what keeps everyone in check... Go to uni ( no you can't take a year off ), go to work ( why take a year off? You are a slacker... ) etc. ( not to mention that you have no other option than to endure school until you're 18 with no saying what you want to do, and making it almost impossible to do shortcuts in that, even if you're capable ).

My opinion: people are usually want to do things. The school system makes you believe that the only reason people work on things is because they are forced to do is pure bull. People who still have these creative feelings at 29, after going trough all of these things are hyper self-motivated individuals, who don't need any external force to do things ( usually, of course there might be exceptions ).

Yes, after you quit your job you might slack off for a while, and you won't be productive. That might be because your mind needs it, or you might have thoughts in your mind ( because of the fears you've listed ), that block your creative process.

I had similar issues, but I've told myself that I'm not going to do anything but play video games for two weeks. After day 3 I didn't do any playing, and went trough 3 weeks of robotics lessons in two days without forcing myself.

The question of routine: I know this is not a popular opinion, but I think you don't necessarily need a routine, you will just do it, because you want it. Believe in yourself, what I mean is believe what you think of yourself, and try not to let these pressures in, which makes you believe that the slacker is in you. It is not in you.

You have 5 years of savings. Try it for a year! I mean, maybe you become homeless when you're 60 because of this decision ( worst case ). What do you want to be, a 60 year old homeless who made a gut decision, and it didn't work out, or a 60 year old man who never followed his heart?

I _really_ wish you the best!


I wish, for the future, that we'll be able to extend the (healthy) human life span. Imagine being able to start a new, education heavy career later in life. Heck, you are pretty much locked-in whatever you do if you're already in your 30ties.


No, having responsibilities like school does not turn people into slackers, the social conditioning from school etc is what makes us able to slog through hours of boring work because we know there it will lead to something good. This is one of the main reasons we have schools, to teach people discipline.


I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying that you shouldn't have any responsibilities, but I'm saying that there should be a balance. In my country an average 16 year old's schedule only consists of "responsibilities" ( I would say that a responsibility can only be something that you choose, and not force into, so involuntary schooling can't be one, but anyway... ), and has almost 0 own time. I think the balance would be better at 50-50: 6 hours of school ( with homework + commuting )...

What I mean is not that school makes slackers, but school makes people believe that they are slackers, because they never had the chance to experience that they can perform without external pressure. Some people do need pressure to do things, but many people don't. I don't. I mean even if I feel pressure, that's coming from within, and not because my parents/peers would disapprove if I get a C.

But I generally agree with you, school makes people accept that they can't change their life, they need to be slaves/pressured into working ( otherwise they would slack off ).

Also, I would not say that accepting what is forced upon you is discipline. The most disciplined people I know discipline themselves without being force, and that's not something that you can learn in school.


It helps your discipline to do things you don’t like, even if in some sense you are forced to. You are not strictly forced to do them of course because there is no law against slacking off in school, you just need to attend. And high school generally is not compulsory.

I don’t know where you are from, Korea perhaps? But when I was 16 I had oceans of time for mischief, parties and endless amounts of skateboarding and just slacking.

I’m not saying that people can’t change their lives, or that they have to be slaves. I am saying that school teaches people to sit down and concentrate and do something that’s maybe not very interesting and probably a bit difficult but has a reward waiting down the line in the form of good grades and graduation. Deferred gratification is the most important life skill of all.

And people can definitely change their lives, in most countries there is no outside force stopping you from doing almost anything, starting a company, begging, travelling or whatever. But most people are neither very interested nor capable of doing anything out of the ordinary. Most people just want to swim with the current. And that’s a very good thing because we couldn’t have society and civilisation if everyone was an iconoclast.


You'll probably hear advice that makes silent assumptions about personality types. I'm the type that can't have a cushy FT job while also building my own business. Hasn't worked. It sounds great in theory, but I make far less real progress on the business than I think I do. I also think having a cushy full-time job inherently steers you towards "taking it easy" and distracting yourself with "lifestyle" things, relatively random hobbies, etc.

Quitting my job to pursue my own project, with a few years of runway, massively accelerated the development of my project, accelerated my rate of learning - ideal for staying employable, while basically subconsciously removing "lifestyle" distractions that come with making > 200k/year.

So yeah, chalk it up to personality type, but if you're serious about building your own business, the best advice, since you have the runway, might be to quit your job as soon as you can.


> You'll probably hear advice that makes silent assumptions about personality type

Interesting. Why kind of personality type do you have?


Given this;

>It makes me feel miserable, depressed, and tied.

And this;

>I have enough savings to survive for five years.

I'd say leave immediately.


Move closer to work so that your 45 minute one way commute is cut to 15 minutes. If you also shift your workout to your lunchtime you will have ~2 hours to work on your own projects. If no one at your work seems to notice your midday workout routine then start leaving an hour early as well.


Or is there a way for you to work from home some days? Then you can save on the commute and have more time for yourself.


I'm assuming that, by inclusion of the point of being unmarried/29/no-kids, you're implying that eventually want to get married and have kids.

Once you are financially responsible for other human beings (in part or full), this decision gets more complex. Without adequate planning and savings, leaving your employer may be downright irresponsible. But that's not the case right now it seems - all you'll affect is yourself.

So another angle to consider is that - if you're 5-10 years in the future and have all these responsibilities, which path would you have rather taken?

I took 3 months off work once to pursue something when I was at a similar stage in life as you, with the view that I'd delay the decision to come back if I made good progress. Keeping to a schedule was something I didn't do - and if I could go back that's the main thing I'd enforce (and probably allow a little more time, and quit instead of take extended leave). Unfortunately it didn't work out for reasons of progress and other responsibilities I still had at the time, and I just went back to work. No regrets, I might try it again in the future and I'd be better placed to do so.

As for managing others' perceptions - framing it as "trying something out before getting another job" is seemingly more socially more acceptable. But just be careful not to let that mindset reduce your valour in the endeavour.

Best of luck whichever path you take!


If you have five year's worth of savings it's a no-brainer. Give it six months and then get back to employment if you don't succeed by then. Then work for anther 12 months and repeat the process if you have a new project.

As long as you are strict with yourself in only giving it 6 months, it should be fine. Tell everyone you know that this is your plan. If you don't get any traction within six months it's very unlikely that it makes sense to drag it out longer. Just cut your losses and move on.


6 months. General advice is always n months, however that advice is so generic as to be meaningless.


Yes quit. But life is not binary. I personally slip into a schedule of 4am sleep and noon wakes when I'm not obligated to be anywhere. I'm 27 and it's a struggle to find my place in the world. However, I tried to ride out a similar situation until I found a different job, only to be fired when things went too downhill for a variety of reasons. Your situation sounds like my nightmare, but many peoples dream, what you decide can't be wrong, and if you have any resilience in this world then you'll figure it out. I highly recommend fucking around a bit—perhaps as the Nomad you decry. It's fun, and when you haven't had fun in a while, it's awakening. It's a bigger and more damning risk imo—if you have savings—to stay put and not change things up. I think it's better to work hard and suffer in a positive way to find something that brings you and others value—and you positive mental health state—than to suffer in a negative way for no discernible positive outcome other than money. My overall recommendation: Don't trade your life for money and perceived safety. Try something else and let your damn hair down. True hippies btw are awful, nomads just like to explore and basically just tend to get out of stagnant corporate grinds.


Just do it. You will learn a lot and no matter what make a bunch of mistakes. Just don’t burn out. Work hard but make sure you spend time with friends, your partner, and most of all yourself just relaxing. Evaluate how you are working regularly and make changes. Forgive yourself for mistakes, errors, flawed thinking and keep hacking. It will not be smooth but entrepreneurship is awesome and you should go for it if you have the itch.


No - keep a job, but possibly change jobs [no idea other alternatives you have]. Regarding your side project: Use some of your income to pay a freelancer to grow the business in areas you cannot. Growing from $100/month - $5000 month, etc will take a while to figure out. Spend lots of free time doing that - but while you have income. Then turn on the gas. The stress of no income happens much faster than you'd think.


If you're 29, you could quality of a Holiday Work Visa for several countries. Look them up, they're very cool and cheap. I got one for Australia when I was 29, got one for NZ before I turned 30 and then aged out of them. I had two big breaks in my career, one where I lived off my savings for 11 months (3 of those were with my girlfriend in Germany) and I took a road trip across the US for 5:

https://khanism.org/perspective/minimalism/

https://khanism.org/perspective/a-tale-of-two-journeys/

It will set you back a bit. I used up a good amount of savings, but I never had to dip into or borrow against retirement. I probably wouldn't do it again (unless I get accepted into a PhD program; one of my big goals), but I'm really glad I did. I literally traveled around the world and lived in three different countries. How many people can say that?


Just eat it up. Your side project isn't as successful as your career has been. 100 euro a month is nothing.

Maybe you are just grumpy because you don't respect the privileges in life that you had.

It is entirely YOUR choice if you are happy or not with your life. Maybe you read a lot of entrepreneurial things and let them manipulate you, so you are always frustrated and started looking for another escape.

Just imagine if you where 18, with all your life ahead, with a lot of chaos, whether you will be successful, manage to find a job and find a good gf. You are doing just fine.

There is a lot of people that suggest that you continue with your side project and when it finally reaches to a point that you can live well off it, you dedicate full time.

Sometimes people believe that being able to dedicate more hours to something will amount to more money or productivity, but it's not always the case. Generally, the essential takes 1-2 hours a day to build.

If your project is any good, I can try to help you to develop it. I'm also based in Europe. Feel free to contact me.


I think the first thing is to establish why your current job is making you so miserable and exhausted, and what you can do to organise your day so that you are not left wrung out at the end of the day. Optimising your time and energy is a better option than quitting a job and dipping into your savings. Once you’ve worked that our THEN you can think about whether to quit your job. Because the problems you are suffering now are unlikely to go away if you make such a major and fundamental change in your life. They might - but they might get much worse.

Working with a therapist or a coach might help you unblock whatever is holding you back and identify how to increase your energy and reduce frustration. That would be a better use of your savings - right now - than quitting your job.

You also don’t say whether you have any experience on the business side of things. A side project supported by a stable job is very different to something being your primary source of income.

I’m not saying don’t take the jump - but get everything lined up and address the disorder first.


Negotiate a shorter workweek, e.g. 4 day workweek. Less exhaustion, and you can work on side projects on your remaining day.


Been there. Where it helps is in having all this extra time for understanding what you actually want from life, and crucially also job search and interviewing (whilst the employer is under false impression you're now more loyal). Side projects - not so much. The thing is, those fundamentals that are causing the bad mental state stay the same no matter how many hours you work, shorter work week allows to disengage a bit more but that's just postponing the only working solution which is quitting.


I am surprised that this is not suggested more often.


I quit my job in 2010 after matching my income with my side project. I’ve ran it full-time ever since, but despite the best income I’ve ever had, I still wonder if it was the “right” decision. Should I have stayed two more years to finish my Master’s degree loan-free? What if I stayed and saved all that side money I made instead? Etc.

On the other hand, I watched a colleague leave a stable job to start a project from scratch. He had a good reserve, but he burned through it and the project didn’t make any money. Last I heard, he got a new job.

There’s probably not a right answer to your question, but my advice is this: if you’re not happy with that you’re currently doing, it’s probably time to move on one way or another.


> On the other hand, I watched a colleague leave a stable job to start a project from scratch. He had a good reserve, but he burned through it and the project didn’t make any money. Last I heard, he got a new job.

This, for me, leads directly to the correct answer to OP's question.

Worst case scenario, you get another job. Of course you quit and give it a go. What have you got to lose? Your savings & potential earnings are likely not that much, and you don't have to burn through all of it anyway.

Do it.


I think others here have covered the stability vs satisfaction you might get by on quitting and just working on your own stuff.

However, beyond information people can give you, it still sounds like a very personal decision. For what it's worth, I'd recommend writing about it in a journal/diary. You really have to figure out what you feel about it, and I've found that writing really helps solidify muddled thoughts and feelings. Just get a blank page and write about it for half an hour. Do it on several different days across time and find out how you really feel about it.


I quit my job to work on my side project. I have a years worth of savings to get the project in a place where i can either successfully monetize it or raise VC money. I am in month 3 and will be ready for launch in month 5. Here is my routine M-F:

wake up at 730-8 and gym. start work by 930-10. pause work at ~5pm to take dog for walk & cook dinner with gf start work again around 8pm to 11-12.

Its been pretty sustainable for me and my gf isnt unhappy. Quit your job and go figure out if this things works or not. Worse case scenario you fail and then you go back to a corporate gig.


A little more than a month ago I left my job to pursue my side hustle full time. Very similar mentality to yours about the job; I had done the same analysis on my day, squeezing every drop of extra time I could into building the life I wanted. Same conculsion -- The job was draining my day, my career, and my mental health to a place I didn't need those going.

The best advice I received was to have evidence that you're not languishing after leaving the job. I am accomplishing this with https://www.100daysofcode.com/ . The work I'm doing is related to my side hustle, and it's keeping me focused on producing progress every day.

Oh, coming from a recently single, kid-less, 29 year old with 18 months of runway, leave the terrible job. The mental health benefits are so difficult to describe without experiencing them. Probably the best one is you'll shed the bad work habits and mentalities you may have had seeping into your life. It's tough to notice these without the time apart from the job. I was bringing my C-game the last six months of my old job; Pursuing your side hustle will force you to being your A-game. You'll have to be a better worker, which then makes you more employable if you get back into the job market.

Idk how the job market is for your region in your line of work. I know I can go back into the job market and compete for jobs that would be a 20-40k raise on my last job, so it's a soft cushion for me to land on if my side hustle goes poorly. I hope you are as fortunate. Best of luck!


Consider taking as long of a vacation / sabbatical as you are able to simulate what leaving might be like and using that time to see how well you are able to stick to a schedule / routine, be internally motivated, etc. It of course won't be quite the same as if you actually leave, e.g. you may be less motivated than if you actually quit since you know you still have the job to come back to, but should still provide some useful info re: your concerns.


> I have enough savings to survive for five years

Then do it. And do throw your whole self into it. Make at least one attempt, otherwise you'll regret never having tried. You'll generally figure it out as you go along and it's never as bad as you think it's going to be.

PS: Currently doing the same thing (working on a product) and I'm almost out of savings which is very very stressful, would do it again in a heartbeat, only this time with far more conviction.


I'm Spanish, 28 years old and an Electronic Engineer. I happen to be in a very similar situation, wondering if I should just go for the side project.

I understand you very well because in Spain, most people value a lot the stability of a permanent position. And permanent roles are quite rare these days in Spain.

Whenever I face these kind of decisions, I found that fear to the unknown is what hurts me the most. Therefore I try to make a risk assessment, that usually clears my mind.

Firstly, I think that if your side project is already making some money, it is likely that if you put the hours, it will work out and make more money, probably enough for you to live out of it with your current condition.

Regardless, you have savings and there are lots of opportunities if you want to come back to the standard job market, specially for an experienced leader with a competent level of English. So the risk of failing to come back is quite small.

Now, about your discipline and motivation, those are very tricky and I think they are my greatest fears, but anyhow it'd probably be a good opportunity to learn and master those skills.

By the way, I decided that from August, I'll work full time on my project for a few months and see how that goes. Feel free to contact me www.carlosbaraza.com!


Your situation sounds above-average, by US American standards.

If you're unhappy with your situation, you should try to improve it.

Feeling depressed can tell you that it's time to improve your situation, but it can also be a barrier to improving the situation. Immediately, make sure your nutrition, exercise, and sleep are good. If you can get a doctor checkup and blood tests, that can also rule out some possible contributing factors. Also consider talking with a counselor (if that is a thing in your country). In addition to all those, you can experiment with things like getting more daylight, standing and moving more than sitting, etc.

If your situation isn't unbearable, don't quit before you have a plausible plan for what to do instead. Such as a signed offer for a job that you want to do instead. Or a plan for exploring a startup, with conditional plan branches for what to do if it doesn't hit certain milestones within certain timeframes.

If age discrimination is a thing in your field and country, don't predicate your plan on assumptions of how easy it was to get a job 5 years ago. If you do a startup for a few years, then decide to go back, consider how different you might be perceived, trying to go back in your mid-30s. (Many companies like to hire impressionable young employees without much family commitments, and focus their hiring on those. And there's a good chance you'll be interviewed by some 20yos who have interesting theories about already knowing everything of value themselves, and about the sudden onset of severe cognitive decline afflicting anyone on their 30th birthday.) So, if your conditional plan includes possibly going back to this, try to plan for how that can work despite any age discrimination.


I used to work for a well known automobile company as both an employee. I've also worked for other auto companies in as part of a consulting job. Auto companies are typically big, slow, and focused on selling a product that takes years (e.g. 3+ years for mid-model refresh, 6+ years for new car model) to take to market. Decisions are very consensus based because all decisions (even marketing) are longer term decisions.

All of that is reflected throughout auto companies. Even the latest technology such as telematics for predictive maintenance and electric charging are highly dependent on the market, suppliers, and government forces that drive infrastructure changes.

The IT org and most technical jobs exists to support that slow moving structure. If you are the person who wants to move fast and be entrepreneurial you are probably going to struggle in an auto company. Just something to keep in mind as you decide if you want to stay in a job or start something on your own.


Work just enough hours part-time to cover your bills.

I was pretty much in your situation about 5 years ago while working in finance (I basically had a dead end glorified sales job) and I had the choice to work part-time and I did. A year later I managed to break into my new career path thanks to me having a lot of free time to focus on myself and my career switch.

Best decision ever.


Have some fun in your life. Spain’s nightlife is legendary. Grab a RyanAir flight to somewhere new. Sometimes when making a difficult decision you’re doing so from a place of being emotionally drained; you’re running on fumes. Fill up that tank before you make any decisions of this magnitude. You’ve probably got the money to enjoy yourself a bit.


Did you consider working part time on your day job? 4 or 3 days a week.


Do it. You will never know until you try.

With 5 years to figure it out, at 29, with no kids, with a career in a profitable industry/segment that will employ you again quickly, and in a country with a solid social safety net, you're not really risking anything other than your ego getting bruised.

Source: I did it, in a situation not that different to yours.


Spaniard here. If you live in Madrid/Barcelona, try to find a new position in a smaller city. I don't see myself living there.

In my opinion, if you are losing your motivation, maybe your guts are not the best advice you should follow. I always try to take risky decisions when I feel comfortable with the current situation.


You may be at a local maximum of freedom to quit your job and work on your stuff, at least with respect to economic constraints.

Concerns about others' opinions and about your ability to persevere solo are internal constraints.

To the former, does your employer have a leave of absence policy? Could you take a year leave to try your own thing, with the ability to return if now isn't the time?

To the latter - breaking away from excessive conformity to others' opinions is a good thing, IMHO, and if all you accomplish in this exercise is that, it's net positive.

Sticking to a schedule: find a mentor, advisor, somebody to check in with you weekly and review projected work vs. actual results. This will help you stay on task and find workarounds when you get stuck.

It seems like you're well positioned to strike out on a different path. Best of luck to you.


Do you like the people you work with? If so, stick with the job and turn it into something better.

You write spreadsheets and powerpoint, so is it safe to assume the your work computer is Windows and you are using Office? If so, your computer has PowerShell on it and you can read, write and manipulate Excel and PowerPoint using it. You can use the Task Scheduler to run scripts on a schedule. See if you can automate portions of your workflow and free up your time to automate others (and take on things that can be automated). See if you can predict what others want before they ask for it. Make it a game, if you will. Write about what you are doing, even if you never publish it. Revise what you write. Turn it into documentation that reads like a story.

It can be satisfying even if the job isn't exciting.


> I have enough savings to survive for five years.

That's three to four years more than most people who make the jump.

If you're already making money from your side project, again, you're ahead of most people who make the jump.

Sounds like you should go for it!

The biggest thing to watch out for is getting lonely. When I went off on my own, I had a wife and kids. So I get to see them every day. If you work alone, you may not have any human interaction for a day or two, or longer. Human interaction is important to maintaining sanity. So make sure to make up for it somehow. Go to meetups, join a social club, be proactive about meeting up with friends, something to get you out of the house and interacting with other humans daily. Even if you're in an introvert, you still need human interaction. Find something that works for you.

> To not stick to a schedule/routine once I am solo

A lot of people have that fear, and it's pretty easy to solve. One trick involves starting every day with a walk around the block and ending each "work day" with another walk around the block in the opposite direction. This is your "commute" and puts you in the right mindset. You can do something else if you don't like walking, like make sure you start with a workout or a shower.

> People's and family opinion.

That's a hard one. Every family and culture is different. But in this case profitability solves a lot of problems. If you can respond to the naysayers with "I'm making money not losing" then that's a good way to appease most criticism.

> Failing and losing motivation.

Another hard one, especially if you have a lot of savings. You need someone to hold you accountable, either a cofounder or even an employee. Or depending on your relationship, maybe your girlfriend. As her to check in with you specifically about the business every week. Or if not her, another solo founder somewhere.


This early in your career you shouldn't be in the same job for five years unless you're making serious forward progress career-wise. Go work elsewhere. Sounds to me like you're depressed because your job is just not that exciting and you don't feel like you're getting anywhere with it. Go work elsewhere, move around. If nothing else you'll meet new people. More than a few times in my career old friendships turned into new jobs, and this has cumulative effect as time goes on (assuming you do a good job and people like you in general).

But don't just quit your job outright. Find a better job first, then quit your job. You'll look much more "attractive" to a potential employer if you are already employed and successful elsewhere.


You should quit your job if you can produce more value per hour than working at the dump office. This is one of the easy ways to decide if you need to quit for solo. Now for your fears: 1. If you have a specific goal about what you are going to do and what you will going to be, I believe you will stick to your routine.

2. Actually, you can not control anything, so just confirm the correct direction and just go on everything you want to do.

3. For the motivation of the stuff, I have an idea to follow what you are interested in. Only those things you spend thousands of time to do, you will really love them and this love and interest will keep you motivated all the time.(my personal experience)

Hope that helps.


What does your side project offer you that your job doesn't? Is it the potential to become famous/rich/successful that excites you? Do you want to change the world with an innovative product? Do you prefer working autonomously? Is the technology stack more up your alley or do you enjoy the technical challenge more? I think it's important that you understand why your personal project brings you more enjoyment than your job. One note, if it's riches and success that you're after, and I'm not saying that it is, then I'm of the opinion that you will never find peace in what you do. Good luck :)


I've struggled with this a couple of times. In each situation it came down to a single question (or series of questions, actually).

1) Will I be more fulfilled if I try it, even if I fail? 2) Will I learn from it and grow as a person?

If I can answer yes to both of those questions, then I do it. I ask myself these questions to almost everything I do.

And yes, sometimes that means not doing what I _want_ to do, if I don't have the time, energy, or the means to do it. For example, I really want to go to Sweden this year, but I have to save for a few other things that are more important to me and my life (business, learning scuba diving, etc).


If you have 5 years savings, and a passion for something else, and you think (hope) you're talented enough to pull off running your own business, then go for it.

You'll always regret not doing it when you think/hope you are capable of doing it. Even if you fail, you'll "graduate" with a ton of learning plus you won't face that regret.

I wouldn't recommend you burn all 5 years worth of savings though. Set a year aside, and set some benchmark that you must reach by the end of the year. If you don't reach that benchmark/goal, go find another job that will be more tolerable for you.


I have no experience in building a business, but some years ago I was in a quite similar situation - working a draining, non-fulfilling job where I felt stuck.

Quitting and subsequently going on a 4 month motorcycle trip through Central Asia now feels like one of the best decisions of my life.

You are young, well educated, unhappy and working at the same company since you are 24. If your endeavor does not work out, you have will probably have a good chance of finding a decent new job. I believe that subjecting yourself to a new environment and new challenges from time to time reinvigorates your life and make you a happier person.


Anecdata: I did it because I just really had an itch to scratch. Did it work out? Well, no. But it was the best experience. I gained much deeper self-awareness and I don't feel the need so much to do those things anymore. I'm a lot more at ease. I didn't necessarily accomplished what I wanted, but taking the plunge and doing it helped me to get to a new place and that made it all worth it.

edit: also, I can't emphasise enough how much less energy, time and tolerance for risk you have once you are over 30 and have a young family plus mortgage.

Do it while you don't have that.


With 5 years of savings it will take you 4 and a half years until you will feel the urgency to do something and push for it hard.

Take the money and buy an existing business, and have a little left to invest in that business.


I'd quit. Two of the better life decisions I ever made were quitting education/employment that wasn't making me happy, to free time for better things.

Also, in case you're not familiar already, I'd recommend spending some time reading a few posts at https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/ - the aesthetic might seem a bit weird, and it's not a "one size fits all" topic, but there's some good food for thought. Maybe read it at work ;).


Try to negotiate to change to a part-time position at the same company you're at right now. Or start looking for a different job elsewhere which will give you part-time hours, which will free up more time for you to work on your side project while also having a stable supply of income for yourself/your gf.

In the mean time, I believe you need to revamp your diet and keep up with your gym activities. If you eat well and keep working out, you may become strong enough to handle this current workload and still be able to work on your project.

I wish you the best.


A lot of boxes tick for you. * Unmarried * No kids * No debt (it appears so) What's the worst thing that could happen? You spend a couple of years on the side project and your savings will be depleted a bit. But any employer with half a brain will recognize the important lessons you would have learnt and hire you (hopefully for a more interesting job). Best case: you make your $$ and retire happily ever after :-)


Go with your gut. There are jobs out there that don't force you to be that miserable. If you really have enough funds for 5 years(most people overestimate), it sounds like you can take a year off or more to work on projects. If you aren't married and don't have kids, then what are you working so hard for? Money? But you're trading years of your life and your longevity for it.


With the current internal political tensions in Europe, and things also looking uncertain in much of the rest of the world, it might not be the best time to deplete your savings.

Personally, I'd try to continue building savings while waiting either until the world gets through the current tensions relatively unscathed, of until the recovery starts if they lead to a serious economic downturn.


Do you think these tensions and uncertainty are going to affect people who work in relatively stable fields such as IT?


During the 2007 recession, a lot of places did reduce IT staff, and a lot of places that did not reduce staff stopped expanding.

The current tensions are more political than financial, it seems, so maybe if things turn bad because of them it won't have as big an effect on business. I'm just saying it is something that OP should think about before doing something that will severely deplete their savings.


If possible, switch companies. I supposedly work for that same company as you for 1.5y now and it's a nightmare compared to the companies I worked for before that. I only stay because of exceptional salary and the fact that switching involves moving again. But it destroys my health and my life. As soon as I get promoted the next time I'm done with it.


It depends on your personality type, which I do not know.

But if it was me, I'd stay with the high-paying job and look to make it better for a while. Start jogging or doing low-impact exercises over lunch time. Try to pick up new challenges. Look for ways to make it more interesting. Do this at least a couple of more years if you can, saving as much as you can.

Good luck.


If you and your gf don't want kids and you are sure about it - quit your job. If you want kids and your parents are ready to help you - quit your job.

You are young at 29, but for your girlfriend (if she's of the same age) it's time to think about kids, and think quickly.


If your side business is teaching "How to save enough savings to survive for five years" sign me up...

Could you take a sabbatical from your company? Say a couple of months or a year to work on your project. Then you could always return if things don't work out.


Why not discuss with your current employer the option of taking a leave of absence or use all of your accrued leave in one block?

During that break from work you could then work on your side project full time and get a feeling of whether you can stick to the routine once solo.


If it’s what you desire, then yes, you should quit.

I’ve done it before and it’s a great experience. 100% worth it. Follow your dreams.

Just don’t delude yourself into thinking you will grow your side project into a full time income. You may. But don’t count on it.


I found my first “real” job very draining in the same way you described. And for a while I thought that I just wasn’t motivated by anything.

I quit. My first 2 companies failed but I have never felt unmotivated since (13 years later).

Your experiences might wary.


TBH, IMO--it seems like tech isn't for you. You seemingly have a good position that you earned--But you hate it. You have to be honest with yourself. It's impossible to know what a profession is until you actually do it.

I say this too because you're only spending 10 hours a week on your side project. If you really enjoyed it, you'd blow off spending time with you GF to do your thing... I know I did.

I'm not saying you should be a plumber or an electrician; You can be an entrepreneur, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in the tech field--at least not solely, rather use what you know to compliment your new venture.

I think you should talk to HR and see if you can get a 3 month leave of absence (even if you have to BS them for a reason), and take a step back to decide how you want to spend the next 35 years of your life.

Good luck.


> If you really enjoyed it, you'd blow off spending time with you GF to do your thing...

You know that you can like more than a thing in your life right? And that you may like one more than the others, all while still enjoying the others one enough to make it a career, right?

You seems to have a really unhealthy relationship with your passion, you may want to check that up before it become an issue.


> I have enough savings to survive for five years.

5 years is plenty of time to get something off the ground and up to the same level if not more income than you already earn today.

If I was in your shoes I would do it 100%


He has no kids and has a girlfriend - one kid and all of these money are multiplied by 0, instantly.


Free time, too


Your plan is almost complete.

You could just take that five year's worth of savings, invest in real estate or open a Cafe, which could finance you through rent or business.

Then you can focus on whatever you like.


If you have enough money to last 5 years, and nothing really tying you down, absolutely quit and follow your passion!

Trade definite boredom for potential adventure & success!


Quit, you already know you want too and you know how it is affecting you... the question is what you want to do instead and you already know what you want to try.


Reminds me of excellent jblow's (Jonathan Blow) comment on HN regarding work and motivation. Can't seem to find it tho. Will update when I find it.



I was in the same position a couple of years ago. I quit and have never looked back! This is your only life, take some risks and get more out of it.


If you're already making revenue, it will be easier to scale up than if you had no revenue at all. So quitting your day job doesn't sound too bad, in the short-term. If your project fails, you'll have gained experience and live a few exhilarating years working for yourself, but your savings will be gone.

Taking a perspective that stretches further in time, it sounds like you're on your way to reach financial independence fairly soon, assuming you don't quit your job just yet. tldr: if you save enough money and invest it intelligently (basically in the s&p 500 or a total stock market), you should be able to live off the compounding interests of your investments. If you have 5 years of expenses already saved up, you might be a quarter/third of the way to reach your number (the amount invested for which you don't need to work anymore). Finally, having a goal laid as such might make it easier to bear your day job until you can retire in a few years.

For more info, check out the book Financial Freedom. I didn't write it but I'm in the same boat as you, so my goal is now to make and invest as much money as possible through day job and side hustles, to then be able to retire and work because I want to, rather than because I need to.

Good luck!


Quit your job man. You have nothing to lose. This sounds like a really shitty grind.


only way to find out is to interview. find out how hard it will be to get another position you like. if super hard, don’t quit. if easy, quit immediately


You're mixing issues a bit.

If your current work is, as they say, "soul crushing"... you should invest some of your personal time to leaving that job. This is an independent decision of what you want to do/should do afterward: yes, you can quit/work on your own stuff.... but there are other possibly good outcomes that include the "quit" part, but something other than bootstrapping a business.

As for starting your own business, I found it hard to bootstrap something meaningful without being full time on it... so that part of what you're talking about does make sense. But you need to be ready to burn cash for an extended period, consider: 1) how long it will take to get your product/service into something making reliable income (meaning enough to cover business expenses, your expenses, as well as enough to bank some cash so that you can ride out the hard times); 2) if things don't work out, you still will need cash to burn while you look for new employment... or more seriously risk having to take the first thing that comes along and being, perhaps, in a worse position than you are now. Not having dependents is helpful, but you have your own needs that, no matter how meager, must be accounted for.

I did the bootstrapping thing myself, but I was lucky in a sense. I had run out of runway cash and had to take a job quick: the job I took saw my bootstrapping effort as a plus, and after I was there for a few years, I was allowed to moonlight on my original business to get it stable... and later when I left that firm, they were a client for while. (my business has been self-sustaining for about 7 years now) Don't count on that kind of luck, though, and to that point. If you don't have the cash (or access to it)... get out of your current job, but almost certainly get another.

As for people's / family's opinion: meh... you need to have sufficient confidence and independence to pull off a bootstrapping project. If you second-hand your self-worth to the opinions of others: then you need to question how successful you are likely to be. Much of being an entrepreneur of any type is being able to see opportunities that others don't. If you rely on the opinion of others... well, you may see a contradiction in goals. None of this isn't to say that well qualified or well reasoned opinions shouldn't be listened to or taken seriously: they can give valuable perspective... but fearing those opinions in determining if your vision is legitimately right or wrong is probably going to put you on the wrong path. The only valid fear that comes to mind is if you intend to use those people/family as a safety net if you fail.... I would suggest planning and preparing so that you don't need to call in help should you fall.

Also, be aware that your business will take a life of its own. I was able to bootstrap and get stable because I did smaller consulting gigs across a lot of long term clients, but ultimately I wanted to build products. Well, great... now I have a good cash flow as my client base come to me with new projects and I have "hard times" buffer, but I have so many client obligations that I have trouble getting to product building part... which really needs to be full time. There are solutions to this, but they are not easy to pull off at my scale... I do well, but not so well as to staff up, for example.


Yes




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