Why I Quit My Safe, Well-Paying Job to Start a Tech Business Out of My Basement
The biggest risk of my life proved to me that taking leaps of faith is the most worthwhile thing you can do for your career.
When I was comfortable at a stable, well-paying job that I had worked hard at for years, I found myself wondering what next moves I should take. I was content with my position, but I wanted to advance and move forward. Ultimately, I realized that at the end of the day comfort is the enemy to progress. I wanted to challenge myself, lead new projects and grow professionally, so I decided to quit my job and start a tech business. The decision came with risks, but it was a calculated step and turned out to be one of the most worthwhile decisions I’ve ever made.
The playing field was level for newcomers
Breaking into an established industry can be complicated because of competition with established brands. I started my company in the early ages of digital advertising. At the time, the idea of using Google or Facebook for marketing was still relatively new. Tracking paid ads was an innovative concept that many people hadn’t worked with before.
Since advertising in digital media was just starting to gain traction, everyone could compete. It was a new playing field for all of us. Old advertising companies were learning at the same rate as we were, even though we were fresh to the game. We were able to break in as novices and still be on the same level as people who had been working for years. This meant that established companies didn’t have the upper hand with time and experience — giving our business a chance to stand out even against companies that had been around for much longer.
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There was a demand for the work
Many of our clients weren’t familiar with products at the time because the digital space was just starting to blossom. There was a demand for specialists who understood how to use technological spaces and wield them for marketing and conversions. Our first clients had never worked with this before and needed guidance on where to start. Even though we were a fresh company, we were immersed in these products. We were able to scale quickly because we stayed on top of emerging trends and made ourselves familiar with the growing industry.
Startups need an eye for the future. By starting in the digital space as it was on the rise, our tech business was able to create roadmaps, upgrade constantly and stay up to date with developments. Not only were we navigating and learning more about the industry, but we were also investing our time with it as it was burgeoning and becoming even larger.
Not all factors will line up
The timing for starting a business won’t ever be perfect. Many different factors impact your work and they won’t always align with each other. It’s never too early or too late to start. If you can start early on, there’s more opportunity to learn and grow from inevitable “failures.” It also tends to be easier to take the leap earlier in your career. However, it’s also never too late to start either and you may find that your extra experience benefits you. I started my company in my mid-thirties. It’s not about timing — it’s about taking the first steps.
The bottom line
I started my company because I couldn’t see myself growing while staying too comfortable at a job I’d been at for years. I founded the business at a time when digital advertising was just starting to take off, which helped our team scale our business and establish our brand.
The timing worked out for us, but it won’t ever be completely perfect. There are too many different factors that won’t always align. What’s more important is surrounding yourself with great people who can each bring something positive and unique to the team. Without other people, you won’t have a company. What ultimately drove me was the excitement of building something new, knowing I was sharing the experience with a loyal team and knowing that we were going to work harder than ever before.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor