Did you ever decline a stable, lucrative corporate job to start your business?

by Mbyadsr. Posted on Sep 16, 2020    5    17


I have currently been employed for 10 years, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur but the risk initially was too great when buying a house and I had no savings to draw from.

In the past couple of years I have worked my way up to a position which demands pretty much all of my spare time but pays well. However, as I have moved up I have become frustrated with "corporate culture" and spend most of my time being a "yes man"/preparing slides for the C suite to understand rather than apply my brain/analysis as such, and input is valued a lot more than output.

I feel like I would have greater fulfillment if I worked for myself, however this is a big risk and I currently have no time to prepare without completely quitting my job.

As a halfway point, I have accepted my old job with a previous employer, however my current company have given a counter offer. The choice is between a $60k job which is in real life 30 hours a week versus $100k for around 60 hours a week plus weekends.

My gut is to go for the lower paid job, as long term I can use my spare time to prepare for starting a business. Also, if a company is prepared to offer $100k for something that's not even my key competency, then if I work to my strengths then it's possible I could get more long term.

My question is have you ever made a decision to take a step "back" to create more time for yourself to move forward? I have heard of people giving up jobs as lawyers, consultants etc to become entrepreneurs. Has this been a correct decision in hindsight or do you have regrets?


  Mbyadsr 1

Thanks. I have been at the job for a year now anyway and the higher offer is their counter offer. I definitely have had some good experience, but am now in a position financially where I can take a pay cut and still live comfortably for a bit. So I have done what you suggested but am now at a stage where I can move on.


I am literally in this position now. I also have two offers

  • €60k, less interesting and 50h weeks
  • €100k, interesting but 80h weeks and sometimes more.

    I have some savings but they are dwindling fast. I should add that I always worked for myself and the thought alone of working for someone else makes me wanna kill myself. On the other hand, I cant magically start a successful business in a month and we are in the middle of a pandemic.

    Any advice is appreiapted. @OP if you have one year of savings I would make the leap and just quit. I am conflicted mostly because I need to build my savings.
kippypapa 1

Take the higher paying one and save up a nest egg to put into your next business. That's currently what I'm doing now. I've got enough saved and gotten out of debt to the point where I feel comfortable taking a risk again. I've been there less than a year. The higher pay one will also mean it's higher responsibility, which means you get to see things in a more in-depth way. You'll see opportunities in that industry or market from that level which can propel your business when the time is right.

TheTruthHemp 1

Can’t magically start a business during the pandemic with that attitude. I left a corp job to start my own business 2 years ago, and the pandemic hit so hard I tried implementing an idea for a business to sustain my income. Currently on week 5 and recently crossed the 5 figure point. (On an idea that I needed to generate $300/week to be what a considered profitable)

Change_Zestyclose 1

Can't speak to starting my own full time business (have a side hustle) but 2 years ago I left a cushy job to pursue a personal goal that required me to train and travel internationally (sports). Lost over $150k in opportunity cost and while it was tough I ultimately have no regrets. I changed careers and am in a better job now that pays more. The experience I had taking a chance on myself (self-funded my training and competed in a world championship for my country) refined my character and drive and has allowed me to have a lot of success already being promoted in my new role.

Point being, if you really go for it, there are a lot of companies that will value the lessons you learn more than seeing a binary success or failure. As best as you can, limit your down side, but in my experience if you really go for it the long term payoff is worth it (holistically, not strictly looking at it financially). You don't want to plan to fail, but it will not be difficult with your experience to get a job again worst comes to worst.

hjohns23 1

I started a business in my part time while I was working a $100k/year job. My business has grown steadily, no where near enough for me to quit but it’s a pace I’m proud of, it generates ~$100-115k/year in revenue.

That made me realize that I can get to a point where I don’t need a steady corporate job. I have an opportunity in 2 years to make $250k-300k all in comp in a high stress job with upward compensation to be $400-500k all in after 3.5 years of working that job.

I plan to pass on the opportunity to continue entrepreneurship but on a larger scale . So instead, I’ll be making $120-150k/year every year as I grow a business full time instead of chasing taxable income. It is a scary decision because the salary (assuming no more near term recession with mass layoffs) is a sure thing

But the real upside:
Equity > wages. Over 10 years I could have a $XXM business instead of having made $XXM in taxable income

  Mbyadsr 1

Good point, thinking long term it's financially better to have equity in a business than having income which is taxed. I live in Europe so the more you earn the higher %is taxed which makes earning more in a salaried position less lucrative anyway.

Wish you the best in growing your business.

help-me-grow 1

I quit my 6 figure salary job to start a business,

ngswe679 1

Curious to know if you started from scratch or already had some form of scale? Also, did you go out on your own or have some partnerships?

I am in the same boat...6 figure salary in corporate but have always felt like I needed to go out and create something for myself.

kippypapa 2

I'm also on the verge of quitting my 6 figure job, free health insurance, tons of other great benefits that is WFH and I live in a cheap place. The thought of doing this or similar job for the next 20-30 years has me having panic attacks every morning despite how great it seems from the outside. I might get laid off in the next 2 weeks so I'm hoping for that. I've done 4 interviews at other companies in the last month - didn't get them and super happy I didn't. It just feels like really the right time to jump into this as I have low expenses and when Covid vaccine is out, I should be able to find a job easily if I need to.

ngswe679 1

Go for it! You fail 100% of the time if you don’t at least give it a shot. Hoping you create something awesome!

What field are you looking to build your business in?

kippypapa 1

I have 3 ideas. First one is just doing basic website copywriting for legal professionals - that's what I'll do to have cash coming in so I don't blow through my savings super fast, will be part-time as needed. Second, I have a small cleaning materials company that's being launched right now. Third, a supply chain company - I can use the experience from the cleaning materials business since the supply chain is complicated to build this one. It's a backup in case the cleaning stuff doesn't work out.

help-me-grow 2

Started from scratch, I had the help of my college roommate and I've also now recruited like 5 more people to help with marketing

ngswe679 2

Thanks. Good luck with your venture! (Or new venture if recent)

help-me-grow 1

Thanks man, if you wanna help me out, please check out my site and follow my kickstarter :)

Physical-Asparagus-4 2

I quit a high-paying corporate job that I was very good at. So did my business Partners. We knew we could do it better than our competitors

Two years later, no looking back. Making more money than we ever did before. More stress than we ever had before but it’s ours!

komodo2010 3

Yes, I quit my job (€100k plus bonus plus car etc. to start my consulting business. It was a difficult decision to make, but I still stand by it.

Then, after I had just started my business, I received an offer from a consulting firm in my area of specialty to head up their European operations. I went through the whole interview process and in the end got a pretty good offer(120k plus bonus plus car allowance etc) which I declined in order to give my own business a chance.

I sleep very well at night, even if I took a big risk. But someone once told me that in the end, on our death bed, we regret what we didn't do more than what we did. I think there is truth in that.