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Ask HN: How you left your job and survive your own?
23 points by codesternews 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments
Hey HNers I know there are lot of out you there which left their jobs and become your own boss.

How you did it?

What are the tips you give who can not afford to loose job but really(I mean really really) fed up and want to do something of their own and want to be on that path.

 help




Stop looking for other people's recipies. This is such an individual thing, 100 different people will probably give you 100 different ways how they did it.

Know what you love to do. Become good at it. Use your skill and passion for that thing to make something that other people who don't have your skill and passion can't do themselves. Become comfortable with the unkown. Stop looking for reassurances by other people. Start enjoying the unkown and thrill of being crazy doing crazy stuff. Have confidence in yourself that when things belly up you can always find something similar to what you gave up before. Have confidence that nothing will ever be the same, and the difference in taking the leap of faith and not is that in the former YOU are deciding when things change, rather then being forced into change when it might not suit you (financial crisis, company restructure, political unrest, whatever.).

Ultimately just-do-it. If you can't just do it, then you might not have what it needs to do it.


Thanks for really great advice.

I loved doing what I am doing and still do and I think I am somewhat good at it.

But doing job sucked me. The job is really dreadful and I do not want to do more. All the fun is over in my job and my boss and other people do not value or care any work I am doing(big company) they do not take any suggestions and do not take work seriously.

My boss do not value the work he just want to get rid of issue in front. It's not only this job but it also happen in past.

Now I think why I am making these people rich. I work for them and they do not even care.

I see my situation, I am not financially that good and Independent. Job pays well but will it be safe. There are layoff recently. I am good at what I do and they have dependency but even doing your best you getting layoff even now and in future why you want to do this kind of thing.

You will be never rich making money for others. So I really want to start something my own which can pay off my bills and sustain me.


I quit an exploitative workplace about ~7 years ago, totally unprepared (and in a foreign country), and barely survived until my business picked up enough work to be stable. Spent all savings I had, even had to borrow a bit at the end to keep me afloat.

Hard work and persistence wasn't enough - there was a big element of luck involved, and things could have easily crashed and burned. It took me almost a year until I felt "safe". The transition period was very stressful, burned out a few times, and almost "gave up" (meaning, just go work for another company).

As others have noted, I suggest keeping your job, take time to prepare the ground, and make sure you're well-prepared for the transition. That means, have a profitable business before jumping ship. I know that's not easy (well, nothing worthwhile is easy), working full-time while building up a side business, especially if you're burned out at the current place of employment.

Another point I'd like to note is that "being your own boss" comes with its own challenges, risks and downsides. In a way, it's like working for many "bosses" (clients) without the benefit of financial security. So I would recommend keeping the option open to find a job at another employer, one that treats you better than the current one. If peace of mind is what you seek, that might even be a smarter choice.


Nice story, as 20 something, i'm currently just graduated college at developing country. I 'm read most of stuff, learn the thing online, my english is not good to write. And i'm struggling too. I don't know what i've should do, i'm reading too much of book. Now i'm seeking a relationship, that will force me to find the job to nurturing. So what a mess, i'll be fine in the future, will I!

Good luck with finding satisfying work and relationship! I think many of us have been in a similar situation, being young and struggling to find one's place in society.

As someone once told me, "The best way to learn is by doing" - reading, writing, working, loving. :)

Also, I guess I must be getting older to be saying this, but please remember to enjoy your youth, being alive is an amazing gift - even if one has to go it alone sometimes.


There's many blog articles that encourage "just quit". My experience has been the opposite: without a good savings cushion I wouldn't have made the first two years as freelancer. Jobs don't line up, I didn't understand the tax burden (not the amount, but when it is due), I was under-insured, I didn't increase my rates fast enough. When friends ask me now my advise it to keep the job, try to work on the side until you have 1-2 stable clients or at best try to get your current employer to allow 20h weeks and transition slowly.

I had +1 year savings before quitting my 9-5. I lived alone and no family to feed.

It helped me to have a lifestyle which was way less expensive than my wage permitted: tiny apartment, eating healthy but cheaply (preparing my own food is the key), using clothes at least 1~2 years before buying new ones, no housekeeper (even if if I hate cleaning). So, even when my income drastically decreased, it didn't change my life too much, and I could live on my savings much longer.


I did it once, and it didn't go well. When I was younger, I just quit my job and start my own business without a lengthy plan, and I was failed, painfully. My 2 cents: you should be prepared well, especially is finance. Whatever you do, regardless of how hungry and foolish are you, you need to stay alive first.

The way to do it is to first secure some continuous income from your soon to be business , live way under your means and have a few years of savings.

Going on your own means working very hard to get clients which means that you are always looking for clients and them doing the work and doing all the other stuff that's relate to the adminstration of the business. There's stuff that's just a drag.

Is it worth it? Only you can decide that.

The people that seem to survive are self starters, people that are obsessed with succeeding and people that can make hard decisions fast. Hard decisions are usually related to people to people interactions. If you notice alot of business titans are considered jerks. That's the result of those hard decision.

Get a dog. You will want some one that will always be happy to see you.


You need a plan to achieve your goals.

First goal should be saving 6-12 month emergency fund. That gives you freedom to change jobs or weather other problems.

Then start building cash flow positive assets (profit from business, interest from investment, rental income from real estate, etc). This could be anything from a SaaS to buying rental properties.

Build your assets while working until the cash flow from them can replace your job income, then quit and boom you’ve made it. Then you can devote all your time to continuing to grow those assets free from the constraints of a 9-5.

So start with a plan and a budget.


I'm actually making this leap this Friday! Basically been building the business nights and weekends for the last year and a half. It isn't something spontaneous, but planed out for awhile. At first I will be taking a good size pay cut, but the amount of effort and energy I can put into the business will quickly close that gap.

If you can: Down size your life to the greatest extent you can. All fixed repeating payments should be as low as possible. This will change your runway.

Then work very hard and iterate. Your day starts at 6-7 . Your day ends at 6-7. Rarely break to "do nothing". Take lots of breaks that are productive in divergent ways.


If you cannot afford to lose a job (probably because you’re supporting a family), it’s time to find _another_ job. If you don’t have a family to support, just quit. Use the free time to fix your next move.

Had a good relationship with multiple clients that wanted to keep me, not my employer

Drinking some beer helps at first then it gets ugly

whatever happens, stay human and move on. Life is a constant difficulty.

be a self employee. such as be broker or be a pastore

i resign from my job as IT enginering in a medical company, since 2014, and start on that time, im spending my small save cash to buy a seeds and start to farming on my small house, it's enought to feed my family and payy all the bills we have :)

I have good Job bro



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