Leaving My Job And Pursuing My Dreams Too…This Week!

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2008-02-2435

I was not so shocked to hear that Trent from The Simple Dollar Blog has decided to quit his job, hearing how well he’s been doing with his writing projects. But I’m much more surprised about this obvious trend that’s been developing among financial bloggers: many are shedding their day jobs and eschewing a corporate income to pursue full time blogging, other independent work or the enjoyment of early retirement. And many of us are way under 65, have young mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. I find it invigorating to hear about these stories because it just reinforces the fact that taking charge of our own destiny is a possibility…and happens more often than you think.

On that note, guess who else is joining this job-leaving herd THIS WEEK? Along with JD at Get Rich Slowly, Lazy Man, Super Saver at My Wealth Builder, the nice lady from Retirement: A Full Time Job….. you can count me in here as well. I had a midsummer date set for this eventuality but things got ahead of themselves and now, I’m following the lead of all these folks and moving up my “early retirement” date by several months.

I’m typing my resignation letter this weekend and will be out the door by Friday.

Throwing Paper, Leaving Job

Now the question arises for many: how do you make that transition? Well, it’s easy to conceptualize but harder to execute. Most of us build a home business while we’re still employed at a full time job. Which then, you may ask:

Is it smart to start up a home business while still working for your employer?

That’s a good question. It’s certainly scary to take the plunge and leave a full time job to set up a new business –- especially when you have no idea whether it will work or not. But it can also be difficult to set one up when you are still working full time. Both situations have their pros and cons, but since we’re focusing on the idea of doing both at the same time, let’s take a look and see whether we can decide how smart it actually is.

How many hours do you have in your work day? This is an important question and we all know the answer to it. If you have a full time job, you have to either work on your own business before you go to work in the morning or when you get home at night. Depending on the nature of your business, you might be able to get some planning time in at lunchtime, but you’ll need to be careful that you don’t give anything away to the boss. The last thing you want is for them to think that you’re jumping ship before you are actually ready to do so.

Doing two jobs at once is easier if your new business is based at home, which is what we’re focusing on here. You don’t need to go to other premises to work on your business; it’s all at home and all perfectly easy to get to.

Of course you need to have time to relax as well, so don’t be tempted to overwork and end up making yourself ill as a result.

Make A Decision and Stick With It

Be wary of a drop in performance in your full time job. Your productivity can certainly suffer once you embark on a “transitional” scheme. It certainly happened to me, and no doubt, my bosses began to notice. So how did I work this out? This may not work for others, but it somehow worked out for me: I begged off the challenging projects and turned down promotions. I figured it was not fair for others if I took on a promotion when I could not give my job a 100%. You’ll have to tread carefully here since this may raise suspicion or put a target on your back. But I also know it’s not impossible to push back, as I’ve seen many people (including myself) make this work, especially when their bosses are understanding. Ultimately, I knew I couldn’t handle the “double life” for too long as my health began to suffer, so I eventually made a transition plan that allowed me to gradually wean myself away from my day job once I made the decision to leave.

My advice here is that you should make a decision and commit to it. Once you decide, you can make a plan then forge on to execute it. So if you’ve decided to keep your job while working on a home business, then focus on keeping your productivity up as best as you can.

If you continue to accept tough projects and are unable to say “no” to your boss, but you start to fall short, then this is when things may start to unravel. Dealing with your boss is mostly about managing expectations, so if you’re taking on big jobs while you are juggling other projects at home, you could be setting yourself up for eventual failure. This could give your employer a reason to give you the boot, which may or may not be something you’re ready for. Is it possible to stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding when to ditch your full time position? Perhaps. But when you’re trying to do it all, your focus can suffer, and you may start feeling drained and burnt out. Something will eventually give, so be prepared!

Make Your Work Transition Plan

Ideally, you want to build up another income channel while you’re still benefiting from your full time job. You want to try and build up your home business income gradually and steadily, all the while cashing the checks for your regular job. Be careful that you don’t begin to expand your appetite for spending just because you’re earning more. When the home business brings in the same amount as the full time job (and preferably more), you can finally leave your job and know there’ll be no interruption in your income. Try to stick to your transition plan.

Of course you might end up leaving before you reach your income goals. You need to make that decision for yourself. But you can feel a bit more confident that your business is developing while you are still at work for someone else.

Image Credit: eRequester.com

Copyright © 2008 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Randall at CreditWithdrawal February 24, 2008 at 9:09 am

I hope the transition goes well. Scary or not, it should be quite a life change.


Kacie February 24, 2008 at 10:39 am

Good for you! I hope the transition goes well. It’s inspiring to hear about so many bloggers following their dreams instead of their paychecks.

RacerX February 24, 2008 at 11:11 am

That is great!

So happy for you SVB. You are a great inspiration, and I look forward to reading along on this new adventure!


Early Retirement Extreme February 24, 2008 at 11:19 am

Good thing I found an extra part time job to restore balance in the force and bring peace to the galaxy!!

If my current employer allows it, I have a weekend job as a copy editor for a math journal. Hope it will be fun.

I think one reason is the many pf bloggers are rather well off. Thus quitting is no biggie and once the “I quit” meme starts spreading, more will be quitting.

RetiredSyd February 24, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Wow, now I have to eat my words on my blog about men being boring and not really wanting to retire–most of our fellow young retirees this week are men! I stand corrected!

Congratulations to all of us! (Only 125 more hours–I’ve switched the count down from days to hours now . . .)

Sydney (the not-so-nice lady at Retirement: A Full Time Job!)

Silicon Valley Blogger February 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for all the kind comments and link backs! I noticed that some are wondering about me going “pro-blogger” now that I’m hanging my IT hat. Well actually, that is part of it yes, but I’d love to come clean about the money behind blogging. At this time, I’m making a small amount from blogging, certainly, but it’s far, far short of what’s needed to feed our family of 5 😉 . But yes, I’m planning to try out additional business ideas to see if this can conceivably replace my salary in several years’ time (make that at least 3 years from now!). In the meantime, we’ll be tightening our belts and spending much much less!

And Sydney, congratulations! What’s in the water this week?! Bloggers walking out in droves… 😉

The Shark Investor February 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Cheers! (that was the captcha word, very appropriate). I’m always happy to see people escaping the rat race.
So have you secured yourself or you are just jumping in the unknown?

NCN February 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Rock ON! That is awesome. I wish you all the best —

Couple of questions, similar to the ones I asked Trent –
What about health insurance?
Retirement plans?


Silicon Valley Blogger February 24, 2008 at 4:10 pm

@The Shark Investor,

We’re getting a startup business up and running with hopes to fund it later this year, so for now, we’re running on savings and the little income we’re receiving from doing freelance work and yeah, blogging 😉 . I’ll be covering more on how we’re making this plan work in a detailed post coming up this week!

Thanks so much! Let me try to cover your questions.

Health insurance: we’re getting a family plan for now and have our small business pay for it, since the business is our main source of income. It covers the income for various sites/blogs and consulting services that both my husband and I do as the opportunities arise. They’re mostly technology related “jobs”, though some are advisory in nature and definitely stuff we *prefer* to do.

Retirement plans: We’re using a SEP-IRA through the small business for now but may look into a Simple 401K as well. I have to see which works out better for us.

All in all, it’s really a matter of cobbling together various ways to make up for lost income from our regular jobs (if you haven’t heard, my husband is working on a separate startup that currently has no income either). But because our confidence level is rising somewhat based on the startup’s progress, we’re thinking we can handle a few months of lost income and living off of savings, before expected startup funding later this year bridges our expense gap and covers our spending deficits!

The key is that this whole thing is a highly coordinated family affair. The spouse and I have to work together closely and agree on many things to make it work!

Chief Family Officer February 24, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Congratulations and good luck! I really look forward to reading about your transition 😀

Sun February 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Congrats SVB! That’s really a huge step. Good luck to whatever now you decide to do in your “spare” time 🙂

no more spending February 25, 2008 at 2:05 am

Good luck with your new projects. It’s great to see people going for it!

Glblguy February 25, 2008 at 3:52 am

Congrats! Sure hope to be one of you one day!

fathersez February 25, 2008 at 5:02 am


All the best in your new life!

Best regards

FMF February 25, 2008 at 6:21 am

Congrats on making the decision! Go get ’em!!!!

Steve Olson February 25, 2008 at 7:42 am

Good for you. I’m so happy for you. You were one the first bloggers I networked with when I started in sept 2006. It’s great to see it turn into this. Best of luck to you and I’ll keep reading here.

Jesse February 25, 2008 at 10:23 am

Congrats man! Thats awesome. Really not much else you can say to that except, gotta love the land(s) of opportunity America and the internet 🙂

Money Blue Book February 25, 2008 at 11:22 am

I am very happy for your PF blogging success! I am amazed at the number of bloggers who have been able to start their own blogging business and end up financial stable and able to perform their hobby full time. What a dream to aspire for! I hope to follow your great progress. 🙂

Silicon Valley Blogger February 25, 2008 at 11:34 am

Thank you friends! I have found that I’ve enjoyed the online community tremendously. I started running a site as a fluke, but it’s turning out more promising than I expected. Still *very* far from making it be a main source of income but I think that with more time devoted to this endeavor (whether through this site or additional ones I’d love to work on), it can turn out to be a new career. All this is quite premature of course, but it’s been very fun and rewarding.

Beats all the time I used to spend online…elsewhere. 😉 PS. I also like how you all know me by different aliases. Lol.

Super Saver February 25, 2008 at 11:48 am


Enjoy. The “next phase” is a great adventure.

Patrick February 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Congratulations on this move! I wish you and your family the best of success in all your endeavors! 🙂

Ron@TheWisdomJournal February 25, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Congratulations SVB. I hope to be joining you and the others in the next couple of years!

Silvia February 26, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Congratulations! I am so happy to see you move forward. As a daily reader, your blog has been my stimuli while juggling the daily job, family and entrepreneur mind.

Keep moving! My role model!!

Brip Blap February 26, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Hooray! It’s a wonderful feeling to write a resignation letter and have that feeling of freedom between jobs, in my experience – so I can only imagine what it would feel like to finally cast free of work altogether and sit on the beach sipping mai tais all day!

Ooops, wait, you’re not quite THAT far along the path to retirement 🙂 Congratulations, it’s always nice to see likable people have success in their lives 🙂


louise February 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm

congratulations! you have a great blog and I hope the plans to work at home all turn out for the best.

Silicon Valley Blogger February 29, 2008 at 9:39 am

I’m really glad I have this forum to connect with readers like you. This kind of thing spurs me into even bigger action! 🙂

@Brip Blap,
Maitais aren’t in the picture yet though my retirement plans at the moment involve freelancing work. It’s a much better fit for my current mommy lifestyle 😉 .

Your wishes mean a lot, I’m grateful for your support!

Rob February 29, 2008 at 10:03 am

Congratulations are in order…

May writing about debt and finances keep yours in check 😉

Very happy for you!

Mike March 1, 2008 at 11:46 am

I know this is late, but congrats! That’s pure inspiration for the rest of us.

Millionaire Money Habits March 5, 2008 at 7:52 am

That’s fantastic. Congrats on your early retirement!

Leave a Comment