Recently, Mary Lou Quinlan, CEO of the marketing firm Just Ask A Woman, and a former judge on the show American Inventor was a guest on my Oprah Radio show. We were taking calls on the subject of starting your own business when we got one from a listener who had started her own business in her spare time. She was working a 40-hour week in her "day job" and another 40 (if not more) on her business. The business had grown to the point where it was bringing in revenue of $400,000 a year and she asked if we thought it was time to transition to the start-up full time. Mary Lou and I looked at each other across the studio. We were both hit by the same notion: This caller had done it precisely right. She started her business and maintained her revenue stream. And the time for her to make the transition to full-time was staring her in the face.
Ultimately your goal is to focus all your energy on your own business. However, it's not unusual for entrepreneurs to hold down a traditional job while their companies grow, and hopefully, once you are in a position to separate from that traditional job, there will be some knowledge, experience and relationships that you will be able to take with you into your own business. The trick is to know when to make the ultimate transition and strike out completely on your own.