02/20/2020 at 7:03 pm #74187
I know that this is an oft discussed topic but I thought maybe we could talk about it again if anyone wants to share their story. I have been employed at the same job for the last 9 years and have always done my flipping on the side. Most years since flipping I make more from flipping on the side than my real job but have always enjoyed the stability. I have thought about quitting for 3-4 years but have always thought, “after xxx I’ll quit” but I always move the target.
I’ve had a busy week at work which required 3-4 long days and caused me to miss a church event with my wife. She has told me to quit for the last year pretty seriously but is really pushing for me to do it tomorrow after a big visit I have. It isn’t in my nature to make a big decision like that so quickly but it is causing me to really consider and think about it. Letting go of the idea “having a stable job” even if the pay is mediocre is tough. The idea of having to start over in a few years if everything were to horribly wrong is terrifying.
I’m sure my thoughts are not unique and I’m also sure some of you have quit to varying degrees of success. Does anyone have a story they would want to share?
02/20/2020 at 7:36 pm #74188Mark SParticipant
I wouldn’t make any quick decisions that you might come to regret. Make an informed decision based on the facts, not emotion.
I would answer the following questions before making your decision to quit your job:
1. Do you have 3-6 months of cash that you could live on if your ebay sales tanked?
2. Can you currently make all your bills with some extra if you were just flipping?
3. Can you ramp up your ebay sales if you quit your job? Meaning that if you are just making it, that may not be enough. You need to be making more than you need so that if hard times hit, you still have enough coming in.
4. How easy would it be for you to re-enter the job market for you job if you took a year off?
5. Does your wife work? Does she have health insurance? If not, can you cover that?
6. Do you know all your numbers and have projected sales for when you quit your job?
I don’t mean to rain on the idea of quitting your job, but you do need to make sure you are prepared to do so. If you can answer all the questions above, you may be losing money because may be able to make more money overall if you quit your job – only you would know the answer to that.
Another option may be to go part time. If you already know you are ready to quit, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can go part time.
02/23/2020 at 8:57 pm #74296
Hi Mark! As far as the financial checklist I have those boxes checked. We are fortunate to have a savings and my wife’s job covers all of our monthly expenses and then some. I’m mainly scared of “throwing away” 10 years of a steady job/career 401k Etc and having to start over if everything fails. I’m more scared of that then leaving money on the table. But I think I want to get over this fear. I also don’t necessarily enjoy my job but I enjoy my coworkers and have a lot of autonomy and rapport.
My wife really wants me to quit but I think her expectations of me working for myself are a little unrealistic. I think she thinks I would have limitless time when in reality I might work more than before. I appreciate your thoughts!0
02/21/2020 at 6:04 am #74193apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
1. Know your expenses. There is no substitute for having 12 months (or more) of data on how you and your family spend money. 2. Know how you will dial down spending when you experience a cash crunch. 3. Estimate adjusted spending for when you are not working. You may get to reduce some spending (e.g. work clothes, daily commute etc.) and add some new spending (health insurance, gym membership if you used one at work etc.). 4. Set an income goal that covers adjusted spending plus savings (pad out the emergency fund to full 1 year in cash), retirement (or reinvestment into a business that will give you wealth), and vacation, big life events etc. Don’t scrimp on 4 or you will just be quitting a job running on one wheel to go run on another wheel with occasional crises for spice.
Once you have that, you should be able to make a clear eyed assessment of the risk of quitting. That risk may be high or low and you may have high or low risk tolerance, so the rest is up to you. Best wishes.1+
02/21/2020 at 8:45 am #74197JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Everyone above have given good advice on how to think about the practicalities. Let me touch on the emotional side (for lack of a better word).
When I finally quit my job to go independent, the fear of grinding out my life in a daily job was much greater than my fear of not having guaranteed income. That was hugely important. That steady paycheck didn’t mean much to me when I felt my life draining away each and every hour I spent working for someone else. I welcomed financial insecurity if I could wake up each day and do my own thing. I know how to work hard so I wasnt too worried.
We feel the stress of how eBay goes up and down since it affects our monthly income, but the satisfaction of owning our own time is much great than that stress. We use all the practical tips mentioned above to keep expenses in check which also relieves financial insecurity. When you work for yourself, I think you just have to be okay with a certain level of helplessness. You do the best you can and then be honest each day about if it’s working or not. Adjust as needed.
You sound very self-motivated but also bored easily. When you work for yourself, much of it can be boring. We often talk about the unglamorous part of eBay that few people talk about. Wake up, ship, clean items, organize, take photos, organize, list, deal with random customer messages. It’s day in and day out. Its seven days a week. It can be fun but our success depends on consistency. We’re not making quick money or “the big score”. We’re making steady money. It doesn’t matter if we had the best month of our lives. The next month and the one after that has to also be decent. I’d be worried if I was always changing my business model.
With a partner, she/he also has to be on the same page. Once you no longer have the consistent paycheck every two weeks, will they be cool? Will they spend less and keep expenses down? Will they share in the excitement of having you at home every day instead of earning that paycheck? Will they help you in your eBay business? Are they “on the team” or are they fighting you day to day.
And good news: I personally think its fairly easy to get a job if you want one. We’re all smart people who work hard. At least in this economic environment, jobs are pretty plentiful if your business went south and you needed a job again.1+
02/23/2020 at 9:00 pm #74297
This is the real struggle for me. It isn’t the money, the money is there. It’s just fear of failure and fear of having to “start over” at 40 when I know that if I continue on this road money will never be an issue for myself or family. I also have a lot of autonomy of my time and schedule and work at work so I don’t feel like I’m grinding. I definitely like flipping more, but that is also work. In general I’m pretty happy wherever I am which is sort of a flaw for an entrepreneur.0
02/21/2020 at 9:10 am #74198Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Do you have paid leave saved up from work? If you are looking to quit anyways, maybe you could take 1-2 weeks off and be “full time” during that time on your ebay business to get a feel for it.
If you don’t have paid time off, you could request a leave of absence or figure out a way to use FMLA.
02/23/2020 at 9:01 pm #74298
I think this might be the move! Really have thought about taking some sort of leave in order to dip my toe for a month or six weeks. I have a slight ethical issue with it without thinking too much about it. But definitely something to think about more.0
02/21/2020 at 12:09 pm #74203Old DadParticipant
- Location: Missouri
A lot of factors as mentioned above, but I think perhaps the biggest is your wife is pushing you to do it. All the other factors are just math but if your life partner is on your side and supports the decision, you can make it work even if the numbers are marginal.0
02/23/2020 at 9:10 pm #74299
She is really pushing me to do it! So that’s covered.0
02/21/2020 at 5:09 pm #74221So Cal JoeParticipant
It doesn’t sound like you are a compulsive person, so based on that I will state the following.
Indecision has cost people much more in the long run, that making the wrong decision. Five years from now, will you be asking the same question? Will you be in the same situation suffering “paralysis from analysis” and maintaining the status quo.
In the meantime, you could move on and try something new, find out it’s not for you and try something else. In the end, you would grow as a person and hopefully find your place in the working world. The knowledge and experience you’ll gain can’t be taught in books or schools. It’s a little like learning how to swim, without getting in the water. Eventually you need to get in the water.
That being said, you do need to make the transition tactfully and follow the advice of others, regarding preparations.
Your statement… “The idea of having to start over in a few years if everything were to horribly wrong is terrifying”
Whenever I’ve made a big change, particularly in a job, I always regretted not doing it sooner. In the end, I had to trust myself, as I have pretty sound judgement and rarely make poor decisions, when the stakes are high.
In the end, no one can decide for you, when it’s time to quit.
02/23/2020 at 9:12 pm #74300
This is exactly it. I get complacent way too fast. Man, I wish I could take the leap but I’m so scared!0
02/24/2020 at 4:02 pm #74348So Cal JoeParticipant
Change is scary and there are no guarantees.
It was scary 30 years ago when I threw my belongings in an old car and drove cross country to begin a new life.
It was scary 20 years ago when I bought a brand new Semi truck to become my own boss, or when I bought my first house a couple of years later by the beach.
Later, when my trucking career ended, I made the decision to sell the beach house to buy a house in the high desert for 1/3 the price. It turned out to be the smartest move I could have made and I couldn’t be happier.
Each of the above moves brought me to where I am today and all turned out to be very positive. Each one was researched extensively and then I made a leap of faith.
Time is something we never get back.
02/21/2020 at 6:30 pm #74227apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
When I finally quit my job to go independent, the fear of grinding out my life in a daily job was much greater than my fear of not having guaranteed income.
My favorite movie that captures this feeling exquisitely is “Shawshank Redemption”. Watch it with the perspective that it is a movie about people grinding it out in a thankless 40+ hour/week job for years and I think you’ll see how Andy’s escape gives us all hope.1+
02/22/2020 at 12:19 am #74235Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
You could combine watching “Shawshank” with reading volume 2 of the “Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn, for while you’re trapped in a job, and volume 3 for when you’ve made the break.
I watched “Uncut Gems” a couple days back. That’s the kind of shop I’d enjoy working in 🙂1+
02/25/2020 at 11:47 am #74372RobinHoodRaccoonParticipant
- Location: Ohio
I recently had to evaluate the same decision. I decided that working for two more years would help my family slowly transition to an eBay only lifestyle. That being said, we are also working on reducing our external power costs by changing our home via renewable energy and removing grocery costs by growing a garden and raising meat animals.
My point is, don’t just think about the funds you will need to replace, but also think about potential ways of removing costs, especially if you find yourself with more time. Not everyone can do it the way I plan to, but there are always small habits we can change to reduce the cost of living.0
02/26/2020 at 6:10 am #74399tam from Tam’s Vintage & MoreParticipant
“My favorite movie that captures this feeling exquisitely is “Shawshank Redemption”. Watch it with the perspective that it is a movie about people grinding it out in a thankless 40+ hour/week job for years and I think you’ll see how Andy’s escape gives us all hope.”
Aperture- One of my top five favorite movies now has an entirely new slant!0
02/26/2020 at 10:15 pm #74472TrunkFullOfJunkParticipant
I quit my full time job once I was making more from my business than I was from my job. I saved up a good amount of money first, and also had plans of opening another related business within a few months of quitting. It was just over a year ago that I quit and since then we have opened up a second retail location and I’ve also obtained my auctioneer’s license and opened an auction house, all while still expanding our eBay inventory. I guess my suggestions would be to have a safety net financially and also have a plan on how you’re going to use your new free time to expand your business.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by TrunkFullOfJunk.
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