You can always get a job…

We all have hang-ups when it comes to improving our career prospects. Some of these hang-ups are related to risk-aversion. Others are due to a lack of confidence.

For many, it’s a fear of failure.

That feeling we only get one shot to prove ourselves. That one failure will send our world crumbling down.

So we sit on the sidelines, dreaming.

Consider a different approach.

“I can always get a job…”

That’s what I told myself, and it was easy to believe. I was only 24 when I quit my job to start freelancing. What’s the worst that could happen? I would have to go back to the world of gainful employment?

After running a small business, even if only for a few months, I would have been more employable than ever.

Landing a new job would likely have resulted in a pay raise, more responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.

No, I wouldn’t have been proud of failing. But I would have felt accomplishment in living out a dream.

Fortunately, I never had to go back to a traditional job.

You can always get a job…

If you have the skills to start a freelancing business, then you should give it a shot. Even if it doesn’t work according to plan, you can always go back and get a job.

You will always be employable. Your skills are still valuable. And even better, you won’t have a nagging sense of regret.

But to be honest, I don’t think you’ll need to go back and get a job. As long as you approach building your business the right way. As long as you validate your idea.

Before you quit your job, ask these questions:

What are you going to sell?

Do people want it?

Are they willing to pay you for it?

Validate your ideas before taking the leap. Then your business can hit the ground running.

Before you give up on your business

If your business isn’t working, ask yourself these questions before giving up:

Do you have the right business model?

Are you in the right market?

Is it hopeless?

Sometimes all you need is time. It can take 1,000 days or more to validate your idea. That means 3 or more years before you replace your employee income.

How can you keep up the intensity?

1) Be honest with yourself about where you stand.

2) Be thoughtful about your options for moving forward.

3) Be tenacious with your pursuit of growth. Personally and professionally.

If it doesn’t work as planned? Keep trying. Keep working on validation. Stay determined.

And when all hope is lost?

There is still a safe choice waiting for you. You can always get a job.

My hope is that you won’t have to.


  1. Richard

    Thanks for this post – came at the perfect time for me. I actually just left the security of my job to go out on my own and have been dealing with the stressful reality of needing to make it work. I appreciated the reminder – I can always get a job…gonna work my ass off to make sure I don’t have to 🙂

    1. Jeff Sauer Post author

      Exactly. Knowing that you can always go back gives you the freedom to choose not to…

  2. Tukara Matthews

    Hey Jeff,

    I really appreciated this post/email. It was almost a paradigm shift for me when you said “I can always get a job.” I don’t know why I have never come to that realisation. I guess I always thought of it as a one-way only transition from job to business owner.
    I’ve been wanting to move toward having my own business for a few years now but I always seem to find an excuse – new job, new city, newborns etc. It all really comes back to losing the ‘security’ of a job that scares me, especially with a young family.

    I’m wanting to transition away from design towards digital marketing/search advertising. Do you recommend any resources for validating business ideas? I’m wanting to get all my ducks in a row so I can hit the ground running in the new year.

    Thanks for all the content you provide – I always find it really valuable and insightful.


    1. Jeff Sauer Post author

      Hi Tukara – I sent you an email with more details, but the key is to find Anchor clients! They give you the security of income, with the benefit of extra time to work on your business. In Agency Course, we spend time talking about how to find anchor clients.

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