RoadBlock Busters

Roadblock: Loss Of Financial Security

Speaking of paychecks, yours may not be as much as you'd like, but you know it's steady income. Of course, that's just one way of looking at it. Think about this: When you're working for someone else, there's always a chance you'll lose your job and, consequently, your income; being self-employed means your income may fluctuate, but at least you won't get fired. Another point to deliberate is that, as an employee, you'll likely always have a cap on your earnings; as a business owner, however, there's no limit to what you can earn or how big your business can grow. "Don't be shortsighted; look at the long-term potential," Boggs says.

If it's going to take some time for your new venture to begin generating revenue, consider the path that Gorman is taking: Start your business on the side while keeping your current job. He has no plans to leave his corporate position right now. "I'd be leaving a company that's been around for 75 years, where my salary goes up every year and I have a fantastic career in front of me," he says. "Being responsible for your own income is frightening, but it's a great motivator."

Urbach suggests scaling down your lifestyle as much as possible well in advance of your start-up date. "Everybody wastes money," she says. "How much do you really need to live on?" Look for small, simple ways to cut back, such as brownbagging your lunch instead of eating out, or drinking water instead of splurging on soda; these things can add up quickly. Economizing for several months prior to opening your doors for business accomplishes two important things: First, you'll get accustomed to living with less money before you actually have to; and second, you'll be saving the cash you can then use for your business.

Finally, if you're going to make any major personal purchases that might require income verification, such as a home or vehicle, Boggs advises making them well ahead of quitting your job.

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This article was originally published in the May 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: RoadBlock Busters.

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