When Should You Quit Your Job To Work On A Startup?

My answer: Before you ask for investor money.

There are some reasons why:

  • It shows you're actually committed. If someone approaches me without going full-time, I ask myself "Why should I bet on this venture when the founder isn't willing to do the same?"

  • You can get traction prior to fundraising. If you're not working, you can go try to pre-sell some customers or run experiments in the market to validate your beliefs. Getting more traction can result in better terms from investors.

  • You can determine if you're actually committed. If you're not willing to dip into personal savings for six months, are you and your family really ready for start-up life?

  • It's a positive signal about your decision-making. At early stages, startup success is most dependent upon the execution ability of the founders. If you've lived your life such that you're able to live for a year without income, an investor will know you've got self-discipline and a willingness to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term success.

    If you're not willing to plan for and take a little personal risk to start a business, don't ask investors to take that risk for you.

  • Michael Girdley