I Quit!

Before you utter those famous last words, milk that corporate job for all it's worth-your new start-up will thank you.

Hey there, I'd just like to let you know, I'm quitting today." In your deep, deep sleep, you have whispered these words.

"I'm starting my own business, you see."

You have rehearsed this speech awake, too. In front of the mirror. On your way to work. When you toss your meal into the microwave. Not a day goes by when you don't fantasize about it.

"And I realize it's customary to give two weeks notice, but I'd like to give you the rest of the day, pretty much, and I'd like to start working on my company tomorrow."

Wait a second. You're usually not that brazen, even in your daydreams. Something strange is afoot. Is your daydream being hijacked?

"What's more," that voice says, "I'd like to discuss with you the idea of me using your offices to start my business. You could incubate my company-let me use your conference room, your phones, your administrative assistants. I think that'd be a great idea, don't you?"

Actually, this is no daydream. About a year ago, Anil Aggarwal, 30, and one of his co-founders, Raymond Iglesias, 27, had a conversation with their human resources director at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacCrae, a law firm in New York City.

But instead of calling for security, the HR director consulted senior management. And they said yes. And for about two months, Aggarwal, Iglesias and third co-founder Jonathan Weiner, 27, worked on Fatshoe.com, an online incentives-based marketing company, in the building leased by their employers.

The attorneys were excited by Aggarwal's concepts. Before he moved out, Aggarwal secured $100,000 in legal services from his employers, payment contingent upon institutional funding.

Some of Geoff Williams' earlier jobs, where what he learned is still up for debate, include stints as a waiter, a secretary, a bookstore clerck and a guesser at an amusement park.

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Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: I Quit!.

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