It is difficult to determine when exactly entrepreneurs should take the plunge and quit their day job to create their own company. Many thought-leaders claim entrepreneurs should try to maintain both their 9-5 and separate venture simultaneously. This way, they maintain a steady income and thus, a safety net. Still others support the opposite, reasonably aspiring entrepreneurs will only be fully committed once they are forced to do so because they have no safety net.
In reality, there is no right answer—there is only the answer that works for you. For instance, take Branden Spikes:
Branden Spikes, CEO of Spikes Security
Spikes initially worked the better half of two decades as Chief Intelligence Officer for a number of computer security businesses. While gaining experience, he noticed several areas in the computer security market ripe for improvement. Spikes took note, and after working at SpaceX for ten years, quit his 9-5 in search of something better.
He joined the Founder Institute to give better form to his ideas, and lo and behold, Spikes Security—a firm providing secure, scalable, and high performance software solutions to businesses—was born.
Heather Holmes, CEO of TapGenes
For the brunt of Holmes’ career, she was a reporter and senior executive for several medical technology companies. After developing expertise, a keen business acumen, and unique insight into the industry, she recognized the need for a personalized approach to health and preventative medicine by organizing family information in an easy-to-use, all-in-one platform.
So TapGenes, a company doing just that, was brought into being. Having attended school in Singapore, Holmes wanted to quit her day job the moment she began work on TapGenes in America. Her supervisor at the time, however, recommended against it considering the 2008 recession was in full force.
Six years later, however, Holmes took her leap of faith and committed full-time to TapGenes. When asked why she left when she did, Holmes stated:
“It definitely felt like a leap and you’re kinda like ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing? You’re giving up insurance benefits.’ You know I had a great job, I traveled around the world but the burn to do this was just too much, I had to do it. It felt like I couldn’t handle another day of not doing it. And I felt confident because of the processes that FI (Founders Institute) helped me learn beforehand.”
Whatever your perspective, it is clear there are pros and cons regardless of when entrepreneurs choose to sacrifice stability for ambition.