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I finally quit my day job
dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 7:29 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Dear all WebmasterWorld members and friends:

It had been a while that I was thinking of leaving my day job to do the website thing full time. The past year, things got worse regarding my website traffic and its revenue. On the other hand my job security as well as pay increased at my full time job.

What did I very recently do? I quit my daytime job and now want to work for myself.

I saved enough to survive for a while and would like to finally do something Im really passionate about. And that's online business and websites :)

I have an Electrical Engineering degree and an MBA but worked for a Fortune 500 company in the Aerospace field. Traveling almost 100% for the company I made excellent connections at other smaller aerospace companies. And quite frankly, not to sound cocky, I think I was good at what I did so if I ever need to go back, I am sure I can find a job. The problem is, im not interested to go back. I'm more interested in websites than Aerospace, and I never gave myself the chance to pursue what I was really passionate about. But nows the time to research, learn and do it full time.

So as you can see I dont have much computer programming skills however, started installing scripts and building websites with DreamWeaver a while back (in college). Through trial and error and reading WebmasterWorld as well as other forum posts I learned quite a bit and am ready to move forward full force! :)

Now I know a little more on CMS specifically speaking on Drupal and in addition to my websites I have a few new website ideas that I would like to pursue.

I wanted to get some advice from the ones who took a similar path. Any advice would be appreciated.

So here are a few questions that I had in mind:


1. What steps I should take and what path I should avoid?
2. What do you think are the main challenges ahead? financial, emotional, ... And solutions or recommendations if any?
3. What mistakes did you do or simply just recommend avoiding?
4. How satisfying was your decision of quitting your day time job and finally working for yourself?
5. Once you quit, did you ever go back to becoming an employee again? How was it? Was it depressing /different/ or simply satisfying to be able to pay the bills again? How long did you give yourself and when did you finally decide that you had to go back? Before you were running out of all your savings or after you spent the last dollar? ;)

Any comments, suggestions and feedback would be much appreciated.

Regards,
DP

I'm young and single. It was now or never! So I'm taking the risk and will do my best!

You can obviously have your own opinion but comments like: What the hell were you thinking of quitting a decent job during this recession are not welcomed. Cause its not gonna help. I already made my decision and already quit! And honestly it took me about a year to finally find the balls to do it and make this critical decision in my life. And I obviously thought it through thoroughly. :)


p.s.> BTW, loving the new WW options such as the Editor. It was about time. Thanks "WebmasterWorld Webmasters" & Admins :)

 

tangor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 8:05 am on Mar 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

nose-to-the-grindstone

This is the operative. Few seem to get that these "entitlement" daze. :)

All I can say is that self-employment (43 years for me) is no piece of cake. It is hard work. And I still have three jobs... all self employed: Musician, IT tech, web guy...

Keeps the lights on, food in belly, roof over head (and supports 4 slugs related to me one way or the other I can't shake without making mom upset, but what can you do, kick 'em out?). Mom loves me for being a nice guy. I love my mom. So I deal with it.

I will say that some on this forum have very successful web businesses, but reality also should reign. The vast majority can have success if they work at it, but will not get fabulously wealthy.

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 5:25 pm on May 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

hello again guys,

I think I learned the hard way! Being unemployed for 3-4 months now, it was not easy. The first two weeks I was bored out of my mind, go figure out the rest!

I was really passionate on doing website stuff UNTIL I was financially dependent on it. Everything changed, I became more stressed out and enjoyed doing it less.

I had realized a similar pattern in young professionals who have worked 4-5 years! Some quit, travel, try to start their own business and basically want to figure out what they really want to do!
In short, I do not recommend quitting your job, now that I experienced unemployment.

In this recession and economy, you better have a site that generates money before you plan to go full time.

Anyway, I was lucky to recently get a job offer in the same company, but different department, and will start working full time in a few days. :)

I learned a lot from this experience. I value and appreciate being an employee, a bit more now!

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 10:34 pm on May 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

I see a lot of the same patterns that have been mentioned already. Lots of people want to do the "work from home" thing. Most do not have what it takes. I've found that people who are good at one, usually are bad at another. I've hated working for other people my whole life. Whoever I worked for, it always seemed like I cared more about their business than they did. And when I tried to make improvements, it almost seemed like they resented it.

Working from home actually has some disadvantages. There's something to be said for having a proper place to work from each day. You get more done, and the work also intrudes on your life less. When you work at home, you literally wake up at work. I'm usually answering people's emails before my eyes can even focus in the morning. Plus, you find yourself doing stuff at all hours, just because you can. So it's easy to get carried away. I pretty much work 7 days a week. That is something that I am going to have to solve, because I can't keep going on like this much longer. I'm stuck between not being successful enough to get a lot bigger, but successful enough not to stop. Which is a pitfall of businesses. I could take out some big loan to get bigger, but that is not something I relish.

But most people that want their own business, don't want to take the initiative. That's why all the scammers that offer programs and stuff like that have always been so successful... They go after those types of people and try to profit off them. I had a friend who said he wanted a web biz. I tried to give him as much info as I could... Info that I would have loved somebody giving me years ago. I had to figure it all out on my own. But even then, he still gave thousands to some scam biz for a web store or something. Luckily I talked him out of it and he got his money back.

But even for people that have had numerous sites, I think the days of starting an instantly successful site are few and far between. most sites are going to take some work. mainly to win people;s trust. That's something that just takes time. Buying your way into a successful site through advertising is probably not so simple as it use to be. Unless you've just got stacks of money to throw at it. If there is any one thing that's important, it is attention to details. Every little improvement helps.

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 12:18 am on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Congrats on finding a job again! I know that can be tough in this market. Keep your head up. You tried something that most don't have the courage to try. And I have a feeling you will try again someday. Just keep the day job this time until you are earning more than your day job.

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 2:05 am on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I missed driving to work (prefer to work where I don't live) and missed seeing coworkers (and in general people to talk to during breaks). I also missed making money.
I didn't miss having someone tell me what to do. I didn't miss the office politics and BS.
I've hated working for other people my whole life. Whoever I worked for, it always seemed like I cared more about their business than they did. And when I tried to make improvements, it almost seemed like they resented it.
Usually people who hate to work as an employee focus more on themselves. So I find it interesting that you would care more about the company than others.
Congrats on finding a job again!
Thank you very much. I am very excited and also a bit surprised they're taking me back!
At least at this new job, I wont have to travel as much as I did.
And I have a feeling you will try again someday.
Probably, but as of now I have the mentality of: I'll never do it again!
caribguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 5:52 am on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Probably, but as of now I have the mentality of: I'll never do it again!

Famous last words! Congrats on getting rehired though!

You have "the itch" - just wait until the next $1,000 domain comes around ;)

johnser

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 1:36 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well done for trying. It's more than most do

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 2:22 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys.
You have "the itch" - just wait until the next $1,000 domain comes around ;)
I admit, I probably do. ;)
If I get bored of my job this time I'll transfer between jobs rather than just quit. The website business for me will be a part time job or simply a hobby (unless of course I make my millions).
And I still have three jobs... all self employed: Musician, IT tech, web guy...
I pretty much work 7 days a week.

btw I love the encouraging stories here on WW about hard working people.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 3:38 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not going to do the "I told you so" when I was negative to this idea back in February for the same reasons you now quoted. I was hoping you'd succeed just to prove that I'm too cynical about the future of the web...and that creating a business that can replace a full-time job with insurance/benefits is easily possible.

Glad you were able to get back on your feet afterward. Hopefully this topic will serve as a warning to others; pursue your dreams but be ready for all outcomes.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 3:42 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well done for trying. It's more than most do

Exactly!

Congrats on the new job.

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 4:28 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not going to do the "I told you so" when I was negative to this idea
:)

1.I now have more guts than before ;)

2.I spent the first week doing the website stuff full time for the first time. (spent at least 8 hours/day) I learned it was not my thing and I wasnt ready to earn a few cents more/day for many hours of work. Before, I always thought I could make much more money if I only had the chance to do it full time. I learned I was wrong! and now I wont keep repeating that to myself cause I already tried.

3.I watched the movie "Up In The Air" and knew for sure I was done with traveling! ;) I now found a job that doesn't require 100% traveling.

4.I took a break, spent a lot of time with friends and family and learned a thing or two.

5.I went to a few places in the Middle East for few weeks and visited family and friends.

6.I did some volunteer work for the first time. My excuse for not doing so was always lack of time. I served food to the homeless and unfortunate and did some other projects... I learned A LOT dealing with the unfortunate community and met nice people who volunteer on a weekly basis!

7.I think Ill appreciate being employed more. (grass is always greener on the other side)

In short, (now that I have a job lined up again ;) ) I don't regret it! But I agree with what you had mentioned.

and that creating a business that can replace a full-time job with insurance/benefits is easily possible.
Even though I failed I still believe it is doable. ;) Do I sound crazy? lol
MrHard



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 7:07 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

A 2-3 month trial sounds nuts to me. That's really looking for immediate gratification.

Why is it an all or nothing endeavor? The option to do both is there, with the website as a sideline, if it fails so what, ditching it is failure to, though you may be able to say you ditched it rather then it failed.

Sounds like you are bouncing from one thing to another. Not getting immediate results and then switching, eventually sacrificing the result your looking for.

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 7:44 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

It was more like a 4 months trial. I have been working on my sites as a part time job for 5 years now, and prefer to do continue doing so for a couple more.

Accepting failure/mistake earlier on and preventing more damage (mentally & financially) is the better route IMHO.

My traffic and earning stats were not showing a hopeful/optimistic trend.

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 7:53 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

dailyprees;

You don't need to defend your choice, it's your choice to make.

Frankly I think it takes as much wisdom and courage to say "this isn't working for me", and then to stop doing whatever that is, as it does to try it in the first place.

Congratulations on the new job.

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 8:16 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

One thing you can always count on in life... Succeed, fail, or change your mind... You always learn something.

Green_Grass

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 4:00 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

You were lucky to get a job after being self employed. I guess, you managed it because you took a 'short break'.. After being self employed for more than 10 years , I am now totally unemployable ( in the corporate world). It is succeed or die for me.

BTW, 4 months is not enough of a trial period. But it is your decision. Best wishes for the new job.

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 4:08 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

After being self employed for more than 10 years , I am now totally unemployable


You may feel that way, but I would bet the skills you have learned while on the "outside" make you more valuable than you think.

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 7:16 am on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing your story, dailypress. I admire your courage to try it on your own even if it didn't work out. You'll probably be more content with a salary job now. I think it always helps to explore options.

Good luck with the new job.

Habtom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 6:27 pm on May 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I tried leaving the corporate world in 2007 unsuccessfully and rushed back into getting a similar job in 3 months time. I have learned huge lessons, and I am doing it again this month.

I feel like I am not meant to be in the corporate world . . . where bureaucracy dictates every move.

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 4:46 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I feel like I am not meant to be in the corporate world . . . where bureaucracy dictates every move.


I was never happy in the corporate world either. I always felt in the back of my mind I would someday be working for myself. Just got lucky with the internet I guess. Been on my own for over 3 years now. There is a lot to get use to, and I actually miss the social aspect of the office. But overall you can't beat being your own boss, taking time off whenever you like for as long as you like, and controlling how much money you make, and what projects you want to work on.

Good luck with your new endeavor!

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 9:16 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Take time off whenever you want, for as long as you want? What's your secret? I've been stuck with this ball and chain 7 days a week, for three years straight now. If I dare try and take a day off, it just makes it that much worse when I'm back. I was sitting here printing out orders at 1am last night, thinking to myself... 'What the heck am I doing?'

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 11:37 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Take time off whenever you want, for as long as you want? What's your secret? I've been stuck with this ball and chain 7 days a week, for three years straight now.


I think the major difference is if you have informational sites with ads, lead programs, affiliate links, etc., with checks on automatic deposit instead of ecommerce sites where you have to interact with customers and fill orders each day.




ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 11:47 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Take time off whenever you want, for as long as you want? What's your secret?


Like Jane Doe said, an info site makes "time off" a lot easier.

But then what's time off?

I just got back from a 30 day trip through the SE USA, during which we visited a bunch site related places and attended some site related events. We had a great time!

Most of that trip was site related, but it's hard to call it "work" when you're having such a good time. :)

I just logged in from my hotel room before we headed out for the day and after dinner when we got in at night.

dpd1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 8:52 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm so jealous... I wish I had sites like that. I make my own products. The site part is just one tiny bit... All the stuff still has to be made on top of that. It's never ending... It's like that movie "groundhog day". On and on.

sovee



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 9:02 am on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

good luck!

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 2:17 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well this is sad.

I was hoping for a happy ending but you went back to work for "the man" instead of raving about living and loving life on the edge.

I bailed out of the rat race in '98 and couldn't be happier.

Hopefully you'll rejoin those of us living on "Webmaster Welfare" again someday soon.

Good luck!

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 2:57 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Take time off whenever you want, for as long as you want? What's your secret?


Exactly what the others have said. I run a user-generated info site. I'm essentially a glorified baby-sitter. But I have a team of volunteer moderators to watch the ship when I'm away.

I've also spent years automating my site management so that I can step away when I need or want to. 10 years in fact. So it was a long road to get to this point, but well worth it.

I have programs constantly scanning for problems, scrapers, spammers, etc. Then I have my moderators as the next line of defense. Then I offer my community members tools to also help police the site and keep things running smoothly. For the most part the site runs itself. With all my ad dollars being direct deposited into my account(s), I could technically disappear for a year if I wanted. Sure I would probably go crazy worrying, but the site would grow and survive without me. Though it would probably morph into something different than when I left it... ;-)

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4072947 posted 7:46 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well this is sad.
I was hoping for a happy ending but you went back to work for "the man" instead of raving about living and loving life on the edge.

I was hoping for that too, but I couldnt keep selling stocks to survive. I worked hard to save a decent amount. I wasnt happy even cashing out a dollar from my savings. Ill have to give my sites a bit more time and will try harder doing this part time at the same time paying the bills with my full time job.

Everyone loves their hobby, but sometimes it doesn't pay the bills.

So I figured Ill have to accept that and the wise thing to do (in my case) was to find a full time job again.

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