Are you thinking of starting your own business, but still working a day job? If so, you are in luck.
This week, we talk extensively about the pros and cons of quitting or not quitting your day job. Brandon Rollins, Pangea Marketing Agency’s founder and CEO, walks us through his journey to starting his own business, all while maintaining his full-time job.
Tune in to learn about what this process has been for Brandon, as well as weighing the pros and cons of leaving your job as well.
Pierson Hibbs: Hello, hello, hello. It is Pierson Hibbs with Pangea Marketing Agency. Today, I’m here with Brandon Rollins.
Brandon Rollins: Hey, everybody.
Pierson: And we’ve got a little bit of an interesting podcast for you today. Today we’re gonna be doing a podcast called, Don’t Quit Your Day Job. This is really gonna be targeted at people that are in a position that they’re working a job, but they’re kinda on the cusp of thinking of transitioning into starting their own business, doing things on their own and making that switch. Brandon has actually been in that position and is still kind of in it. Wouldn’t you say?
Brandon: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So I’m still actually working full-time while getting the business running.
Pierson: Yeah, and so that’s kinda gonna be the structure of this podcast today, and with that in mind, we’re gonna get going with a little bit of Brandon’s background, just so you guys listening know who we are a little bit more and why we’re gonna talk about this. So with that in mind, Brandon, would you mind just kinda walking me through your journey a little bit, starting, let’s say around college and kinda going from there?
Brandon: Okay, so in 2015, I had just graduated college in the previous December, and I had an MBA, I was 21 years old, and I moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the first time, had a job at a big insurance company called Unum. It was a good job, $60,000 a year. Right out of college, this was like exactly what you want to land, fresh out of college. And I got all of three months into that before I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug and I started working on a card game. That eventually led me to starting Pangea games I was working at Unum for… I ended up working at Unum for the rest of that year, as well as a couple of weeks into the new year, before I switched to the local hospital where I’ve been doing an IT job full-time since. And I had been running Pangea games while I was at Unum, when I started at the hospital as well, and it was while I was working at the hospital that I launched a Kickstarter for my first game, War Co. Launched it for a second game that it ended up not panning out, launched it for a third game called Tasty Humans, and it’s while working there that I’ve also started Pangea Marketing Agency on the side. I am still full-time employed, and I’ve got this agency where I work essentially a full-time load as well.
Pierson: So in other words, you are one of the busiest people that I personally know, and you work more than just about any other human that I’ve ever seen, and that has not changed since we met, and I think it’s probably increased in your total hours a week, you spend working somehow.
Brandon: Yeah, I’ve been playing this weird game in which… So one of the things about when you run a business, you can’t let your… You can’t let your day job and your business overlap, if you can completely separate them, you need to do that. So at first, those early years when I was doing these rough roll experiments that didn’t really turn into any amount of money, I did everything. I mean, literally everything. It was when I started working on that third board game, and when I started building Pangea Marketing Agency that I had team work, I ended up delegating tasks that other people could do better, I ended up passing those off to others and eventually hiring contractors, and then eventually you as an employee, and now the total amount of work that I do personally has remained roughly constant, but the actual output has increased because I’ve learned the value of teamwork over time.
Brandon: Yeah, you can’t really start a business alone, with some exceptions for maybe like what Ryan is doing with… From a previous podcast, what he’s doing with his Shopify store, it’s a dropshipping operation, he could technically run that on his own if he wanted to, but even that, he’s got a designer making the designs.
Pierson: And going off of that, one of the main reasons that I think we both wanted to record this podcast is I think that Brandon, you’re in an interesting position that possibly not a lot of people have been in that you have the outlet to talk about what this process was like for you, and you’re at a place that you’ve been at a job that you worked at full-time that paid well, that met all the criteria for what someone could potentially search for in a job and you said, “You know what, I wanna do something else and I wanna pursue this personal venture on top of maintaining that.” And I think if we can kinda lay out and show you the value and potentially not just jumping ship on your day job to go full force into a venture off the bat, that would be one of the main takeaways from this, Brandon wouldn’t you agree?
Brandon: Yeah. I agree, and I feel as if this is something a lot of people end up doing. But it’s not talked about nearly enough online. You look up, should I quit my day job? And they’re always gonna tell you yes. They will, they’ll tell you what you wanna hear, because that’s what gets the damned Google searches, when in reality, the answer yes or no is very complicated and depends upon your personal situation and what you hope to accomplish.
Pierson: And one of the best ways that we can articulate this is by going through and weighing the pros and cons of both options being quitting your day job, doing this full-time, running full speed at it, or kinda playing it both sides, and I don’t mean that in a bad sense, just using it as security in a way. So moving on, you said you thought about starting a marketing agency, this was after Pangea games, so the marketing wasn’t even the first thought for you?
Brandon: No, it wasn’t. I was making board games and that was my primary business model up until the end of 2018, and it was around that time, late 2018, early 2019, that I was working really, really hands-on with a fulfillment company called Fulfil, so they basically ship other people’s product but that’s their whole business model. The CEO just took a chance on me. He noticed that I was writing these long blog posts about the things that I had learned through game development, through board game design, and it was attracting quite a few people.
Brandon: Among them was him, because he noticed I was gathering a following and he asked me to take on some marketing tasks, and eventually he asked me to do so much that it overshadowed the board games by a lot, and that’s when I started Pangea Marketing Agency because I realized there was something bigger going on than what I was currently doing. I landed that additional work with him in March, a story, which is a good one in its own right, and then immediately I was like, “Oh God, how do I open an LLC? How do I do all these legal things I need to do in order to start an actual agency?” And then by May 1st, we had the new agency name and the company was… I essentially started a new company around what I was already doing.
Pierson: And I don’t know, Brandon, I don’t know if I’ve ever asked you, but where did Pangea come from?
Brandon: Pangea Games or Pangea Marketing?
Pierson: I guess just Pangea in general. What made you name it Pangea?
Brandon: I’ve always had that name in my mind because you know it’s… They’ll teach you when you’re a little kid that all the continents used to be connected into one whole, that was Pangea.
Brandon: I just thought well what a neat symbol, it’s everybody in the world connected by a single land mass, and I just… I thought it was good company… Or I thought it was good symbolism for a large company, so I took that name, thought it had a good ring to it, and then I turned into Pangea Games. And then because I had Pangea Games going, I rift on it to turn into the marketing agency, that’s where that name came from.
Pierson: Well, I assumed as much as that it was from the land structure of all the continents together, but I didn’t know what other deeper meaning that it might have had or why that was what you chose.
Brandon: Well, I could have picked the two continents it split into, but Gondwanaland and Laurasia are both difficult to spell so symbolism is not the same.
Pierson: Fast forward, we’re back at Pangea Marketing Agency. Where were you working on top of that, you still had another full-time job that you were doing. On top of Pangea Games, on top of Pangea Marketing Agency. You still had a full-time job?
Brandon: Yeah, and the same one I still have now. Basically local hospital in an IT job. And beyond that, I’m not sure how much more to say ’cause when it’s IT, it gets really complicated to explain things.
Pierson: Well, let me ask you this then, what makes you feel the most fulfilled with what you do in both lines of work that you’re in, both IT, marketing, game development? What do you feel most alive, most fulfilled doing?
Brandon: When we take some creative individual or creative team and we really put that final lay or a polish on their work and we help spread it to the world. That’s what I like doing. I like taking a good book and turning that into a product that people are buying by social media marketing, by advertising. I like taking a game that just needs to be in front of the right people to shine, I like taking a company that is excellent at their day-to-day operations, and making sure that people know what they’re doing and know to ask them for help, that’s what I like doing. And I find a lot more enjoyment in that than most of what I do during the day, with a couple of exceptions. One thing that I was working on that I am really proud of in the day job, and there are still things like that, there’s a computer system that we use to track when people have flu shots because a hospital needs to make sure that most of its employees have flu shots so that the flu cannot spread. Just occured to me that this is actually quite a bit easier to explain now that we all know what the pandemic looks like.
Brandon: Basically, in ’17 or ’18, I learned a lot about infection control, I learned a lot about how this works. We had… They were tracking it on paper, they were… They were able to make sure that everybody was getting the flu shots, they were able to make sure that everybody was safe, but it was a massive pain in the ass for a lot of people whose skills are better used somewhere else. And I just kinda put together an Excel macro and got a barcode scanner, and we came up with a solution where people could get their badge scan, get a shot, it would be entered right into our system, and things would be a lot neater instead of doing this whole paper thing. It was not perfect, and I have since had an actual software engineer work on that and improve upon it, that’s one thing I’m proud of, because that saved a lot of people from unnecessary drudgery.
Pierson: And that’s an awesome thing to do. I’m sure that that’s… I’ve not worked in IT whatsoever, but the fact of just saving people time, energy, money, just making things more seamless, that’s a satisfying feeling by itself.
Brandon: You need that. I think it’s a human experience that really… It’s when you realize that what you did in IT actually has a human impact, that’s when it’s really satisfying. And I try as much as I can to give that to my colleagues as well, like there’s a guy who’s been working remote for the longest time, and he doesn’t ever interact with the people who use his work, but when I work with him, I make sure to tell him, “These guys really, really like what you’re doing, you have saved so and so this many hours, this many days, this many weeks, of just pure administrative nightmares.” I just try and make that stuff clear ’cause I think it matters.
Pierson: Absolutely, so kinda switching gears a little bit, let’s jump into why you should quit, and we’re gonna… Like I said earlier, we’re gonna give you a little bit of a pro and con for both sides before we kind of wrap it all up at the end. But getting going with why, what the benefits would be of quitting your day job, Brandon. So to start out, what was the process like of balancing that day job that you had, as well as getting a small business up off the ground, up and going all while balancing that?
Brandon: Okay, so you guys obviously know which side that I’m on when it comes to stay or go, at least in regards to my own situation. But let me also tell you this, there are some really compelling reasons to quit if you are very serious about starting a business, and here’s the big one. I put in a solid 40 hours work for the day job that I do, and I have to be very careful about how I manage my time to minimize over time as well, which can still occur. And that 40-hour figure is assuming no commute, it’s assuming work from home, how things have been, but it hasn’t always been that way. I used to drive an hour a day, there and back, and on top of that, starting a business. I’ve always at a minimum, had to squeeze 25 hours in a week to make it happen, and often quite a bit more. Now, a lot… We’re able to do podcasts and blog posts and serve, I think it’s seven clients now, I actually have to look, but we’re able to do that now because it’s me and you and my wife, and Maria, and we’ve also got a couple of other people who we periodically have do other tasks.
Brandon: We have software that writes those transcriptions, which you guys can read, we use all kinds of stuff like that to make it go faster. Even with all that help, it’s still two full-time jobs, and that by far is the most compelling reason to quit because it’s really really, really, really hard to work two jobs, and do a good job.
Pierson: But on top of your performance, you’re also married, you have a social life, you have to balance all of these different variables on top of reaching those goals that you have for both jobs.
Brandon: That’s right. And there are times when if you’re not very proactive about delegating, something has to go. You either can’t keep in touch with your family, which can be very bad in its own right, or you don’t have time to date if you haven’t got a family yet, or you have to just cut out exercise or you have to cut out mental breaks or something like that, if you’re not very active about delegating. Something has to go, it’s nights out with friends, it’s something. You cannot hold two jobs and have every single thing in your life always in order, unless you are very good about arranging a team and that takes time.
Brandon: That’s why a person I think would wanna quit, because if you want anything that resembles balance, your options are either assemble a crack team of experts over a long period of time, or just let something slip for a while.
Pierson: What comes to mind is those triangle pictures that you’ll see about college, and it’s like, choose two of the three, you can only have two, and it’s sleep, good grades and a social life. And usually you only get two of them, and it seems to be kind of parallel to what this is like.
Brandon: Yeah, pretty much. And there have been times where I’ve sacrificed to sleep, but you can’t do that forever. There have been times where I’ve sacrificed the exercise and then 30 pounds later, I decide that’s not what I want to do. There have been times where it’s like, “Well, maybe I’ll just cut corners at this point in the business,” the business stalls, maybe I’ll cut corners at work, “Well, people are starting to notice.” So you can’t do that. I’ve tried every single way to try and save effort, and the only one that’s sustainable is just getting a team. That is the only way you can work around it. So that is biggest reason why you’d wanna quit, it’s just inability to balance everything.
Pierson: And it’s hard, and that’s an important factor for people, is having that balance and the mental clarity that people need to keep moving forward in a healthy way, and that’s never been more pressing than this year, especially when people are now working from home, and Brandon, we’ve worked from home for a while, and a lot of people are just now experiencing what that’s like for the first time. But when you’re in… When you’re at your house all the time and you’re working in pretty much the same areas all the time, it’s a very important to keep a very solid mental headspace if possible, because just you don’t have all of those things, especially now when social distancing and pandemic, you’re not able to necessarily.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah, it’s like you really have to try and squeeze in that time to keep yourself healthy, and you have to have a good ability to turn things off when the time is right, and that’s not very easy to do. That takes a lot of discipline.
Pierson: For sure.
Brandon: Which becomes really difficult when your energy is low because you’re not just managing time, you’re also managing energy, physical energy, and also mental energy. If you work too much, you are probably going to succumb to some level of anxiety or depression at some point.
Brandon: And maybe there’s a less formal way of saying that that more encompasses the general sad or frustrated… Maybe I shouldn’t be using the clinical terms there, but you get the general idea.
Pierson: Now, flip the script real quick and let’s give an argument for why you should stay. Because there are definitely benefits to staying at that day job, especially when starting off a small business from the ground up. And Brandon, I’m sure you have a lot to say about why the benefits of staying kinda ring true for you.
Brandon: So for all the stress that comes with trying to manage everything all at once, not having a stable income is pretty terrifying too. So here’s a reality of just life in… I guess just life in America right now. Okay, let’s take Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is a cheap place to live, it’s a cheap place to eat, it is a cheap place to breathe and generally exist. I have a hard time imagining that somebody could pay their bills, live in a safe neighborhood, drive a reliable car and have steady health care and the ability to save up for retirement for under 50K. Okay? Now, and that’s not to say that you need to get that right out of college, I mean, maybe that’s not possible, but if you want all of those things that I just mentioned, which a lot of people consider the prerequisites for just like middle class life, 50k in a small southern town, when you really get down to it. When you start a business, it takes a while to get to a profitable level if you have a very good amount of skill already, if you’ve been working for 10 years and you know how to market or you know how to do some really specific skill that people will pay for, then maybe you can have the certainty that you will bring in revenue, steady enough, but if you don’t, you get into that trap of just… You’re not gonna be able to have… Life could get really, really lean, if you don’t have a stable job to rely on.
Brandon: For all the anxieties that come with having to drive to work early or go to meetings and you’re tired and you sleep five hours a night, I would take that, over not knowing where I’m gonna get my meals, I would take that over not being able to meet my mortgage payment, I would honestly even take that over not being able to save for retirement. And trying to, and hoping and praying that Social Security is there in 40 years. You know, we don’t wanna play that game, that’s exhausting.
Pierson: So just the overall financial security that it brings, the whole… Both is one of the biggest reasons that I’m getting.
Brandon: Correct, and one of the nastiest reasons in the US, particularly, is healthcare. Like, let me shoot straight with you right now, I am 27 years old, I’m male, and to get good quality healthcare insurance for me as a private individual, it is $400 a month. $400 a month, for me as an individual. That is a lot of money, and that’s like a deductible of $8,000 or so, and there’s an out-of-pocket max of, I don’t know, 14-15,000, it’s something crazy. If I go to the hospital and I pay this 400 a month premium, I could still end up paying for up to 10-15,000 in bills. Now, I wouldn’t have to pay anything else for the year except for the premiums, but the healthcare problem is nasty, there’s no way around that that I know of. Well, no way around that, that an individual can solve right now, that an individual can solve, and you can go protest as somebody if you want to make a change for that, honestly, ’cause as an individual, when you’re trying to take care of yourself, you just… You kinda have to just accept that that is the condition. Employers, a good one, will subsidize 70, 75, 80% of the employees costs, so your healthcare premiums go down to 80, 90 or 100 a month, roughly, something like that.
Brandon: And even if they don’t subsidize it by that much, it’s still gonna be enough for it to be attractive on its own right. So yeah, healthcare is a big one. And, yeah, if you were worried, for example, about, I don’t know, like a 6-3 conservative super majority or something on a Supreme Court hypothetically, this is also something you might want to weigh in before you were to leave your job. If you believe that that would have an impact on your access to healthcare, that should also be a calculation too. If you expect any kind of unrest, it’s also wise to wait like six months and see how things pan out.
Pierson: For sure. Would you say that aside from what you’ve already mentioned, would you say that there are any other major benefits to staying?
Brandon: There are still a lot of benefits that go beyond just taking a paycheck and getting healthcare, like, you’re gonna have a wider network, maybe not a business network like what you would like to do, but you’ll still have colleagues, you have co-workers, you have an office structure, that’s nice.
Brandon: Yeah, that’s something that is actually kind of easy to forget about, it’s one of those elements of just human connection that can be severed when you go out on your own. So having a job, a traditional job is a lot less lonely.
Pierson: Yes, I will attest to this. I think that’s the one thing that I miss the most about being in that office environment, is just the community of people there, not being on your own all the time, ’cause that can get old after a while.
Brandon: Yeah, absolutely. And I think a lot of people are experiencing this working from home, but yeah, reality is if you start a business, you won’t exactly have that colleague relationship. The closest you would be likely to get to a colleague relationship, if you run your own business is you have a physical office space and you’re even still… You’re the boss. It’s not the same as being one of the people who are there just on the rank and file team, you know.
Pierson: Let me ask a hypothetical question, if you had left in 2019, when you decided you were gonna get a marketing agency up and going, how do you think that would have gone? If you said, “You know what, screw it, I’m gonna just do this, I’m gonna take this and run with it full force.” How do you foresee that at or what do you think would have happened with that?
Brandon: At what point in 2019?
Pierson: I guess when you first started thinking, “This is what I wanna do, I wanna make a marketing agency,” you had a client, you’re like, “Okay, I can see revenue coming in, this is what I wanna really focus on.”
Brandon: Oh, okay, so this is gonna be a really atypical scenario, but let’s just roll with it. March 2019 is when I landed Fulfill, right, that was our first good big steady client, and that was enough to where it could have paid my bills, it could have theoretically been my main gig if I wanted it to be. It would have been great at first because I would have been able to probably do more hours, I might have been able to pick up more clients sooner and maybe the business would have taken off and gone somewhere further than that, and maybe I would have been able to get on Maria’s insurance and still have enjoyed the benefits of that. But in June, Maria, my fiancée at the time, now wife, she had a traumatic brain injury. You can’t make this stuff up. Basically, the injury was bad enough to where she could not continue to work, which made me the sole source of income for a while. Now if I were just running the business, we would have been in a real bad place ’cause we wouldn’t have had health insurance and we would have needed it, and we probably wouldn’t have had enough money either.
Brandon: Well, I guess if I had time to pick up more clients then maybe we would have had more money, but again, it was relatively early on and I was still figuring out what I was doing. So in my particular situation, it would have actually gone very badly. Would this happen to most people? Probably not. Do I think that that’s a thing that you should plan around? Probably not, but it can happen.
Brandon: Here’s the thing, if you wanna leave, if you really, really wanna leave, you need to have a steady revenue you can count on paying your bills, not everything you want, just paying your bills, and you need to have, I would say, three to six months of money saved up, probably more. Probably quite a bit more, maybe 6 to 12 before you quit. And that’s like 6 to 12 months in cash, mind you, I’m not talking about your 401k, I’m talking about cash. You need to have serious money lined up, because you need to give yourself 12 to 18 months to really get your shit together if things go sideways. You need to give yourself time to get another job again, if you have to. You need to give yourself time… The heck, either new Uber, Instacart or whatever, to do some little gig work to fill in the cash gap if you have to. I think it’s also prudent to have a back-up healthcare plan in place too. If you’re really, really, really young and you wanna play it risky, maybe you can go without it, I don’t recommend it. So I guess general rule of thumb, six to 12 months cash, enough revenue to pay your bills, or enough profit to pay your bills rather, and catastrophic health care coverage, if nothing else. If you get those three things, maybe it’s okay to take the risk.
Pierson: And you kinda beat me to that, the next question I was gonna ask, ’cause I was gonna say, “What do you think the moment is that you can say, you know, I can finally leave, I can finally let go of this?” And I think you did a good job of starting to answer it. If you have anything else to add, go for it.
Brandon: Here’s what I am personally shooting for, right now, we have enough to pay our bills, we have enough to pay our bills, and even by health insurance if we need to, and that’s good, but that hasn’t always been the history of our situation. So what we’re gonna do is wait four, five, six months and see if we’re able to hold this level of profitability, and if we are, then the cash reserves are there, the mortgage doesn’t cost that much, we’re gonna kill the last vestiges of debt that are still there that are accruing interest anyway, and then it will be time for me. And I wanna make something clear, what’s right for me, it’s not gonna be right for every listener here. I’m talking about what I would do, I’m talking about my thought process, but I’m assuming that you’re just gonna hear my rules and my logic, and apply it to your own situation and adjust for the different factors in your life. If you want to fly by the seat of your pants, and that’s what you’ve been put on the earth to do, and that’s the way you really wanna do things, it might actually work for you, who knows? You just need to be aware of what could potentially happen, so you make an informed decision.
Pierson: And that was overall, one of the main goals of this show today, was to just provide you with a comprehensive look of what the pros of leaving would be, what the pros of staying would be, and really trying to emphasize that it’s different for everybody, and like you said, Brandon, just because this is what you’re doing does not mean that it is the correct way to go about doing it, we are just trying to provide you with the best insight that we know, and the situation that we are faced with. And one of the last questions that I’ve got, to ask you Brandon is, are you happy doing what you’re doing? Do you enjoy it?
Brandon: I actually wanna circle back to something else, if you don’t mind.
Pierson: No, go for it.
Brandon: So I just spent all this time ragging on quitting. I don’t want you guys to think that I’m like not totally 100% against quitting. There are a lot of other benefits to it that I haven’t mentioned, and that I think warrant discussion here. Like for example, a lot of people are not allowed per the restrictions of the place they work to start a side business. And if that’s the case and it’s encoded in the HR rules and you can’t realistically keep it to yourself, I guess you have to quit, right?
Pierson: I mean, by technicality, yeah.
Brandon: Yeah, I mean, ’cause you could risk it… Yeah, sure, if you want to, but any place that puts that into the HR books, I mean…
Pierson: There will be serious legal ramifications.
Brandon: There could be. There very well could be. And like, for the most part, I think that that is an overblown risk. I think it is rare. I think you hear about it because it’s shocking when somebody is sued for starting a side business, but it happens, and if it’s in your HR book, there’s a much, much greater chance of it happening, so actually, I think it probably would have to be in the HR book before it would happen, but you should talk to your lawyer ’cause I don’t know shit about that. Yeah, so if you’re not allowed to, because of your employment conditions or because of your contract, then, yeah. If you’re not… No, I’ve been assuming also that you’re working this like real rock solid office job or something… Let’s be real again, that is not the condition under which most people I think work. Okay, maybe office administrative work is pretty common and may be over-represented among the people who would listen to the show, so that’s why I spend some time talking about it. But if you come home exhausted every day because you are physically working yourself to the bone, then maybe you need to do something else because you cannot run a business while you’re doing that, if you are being exposed to the coronavirus, and you don’t necessarily have to be because of your financial situation, that’s also a pretty damn good reason to quit in my book.
Pierson: You know, one of the things that comes to mind for me, first and foremost, is if in any capacity, you’re in a toxic work environment for whatever that could mean for you. And you’re looking for a way out of it, and you have a business plan, and you have all of these things that we’ve kind of touched on, then that could be enough reason for you to say, “You know what, I’m gonna take this leap.” And for a lot of people, that’s what it is, is it’s a leap of faith, and it’s saying, “I trust in my ability to get this shit done.” And sometimes, you need to have that faith in yourself of its time to get out of the current situation that you’re in to really change things around. Disrupting the balance of what’s normal is one of the hardest things that you can do in any capacity, but a lot of times when you take what seems like those steps backwards, it can allow you to move forward further than you have been, which is what everybody’s searching for.
Brandon: Right, and in cases like you mentioned, of just harassment or even if not harassment, just general bad treatment, that can also be a good reason to leave depending on how bad it is. I won’t get too much into detail, but I have dealt with bad management and we’ll just leave vague as vague, you know, not currently. I actually haven’t dealt with anything like that in a couple of years, I can tell you that.
Pierson: Yes, so I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve dealt with… Not currently [chuckle].. Yeah, currently the worst, man… No. And in the past, I’ve been in scenarios where I’ve not been thrilled with the management, and it’s definitely been a huge factor as to why I’ve wanted to just get out a lot of somewhere.
Brandon: It’s up to you how much you are willing to tolerate, but if you are truly deeply miserable, that can be a good reason to leave too, especially if you have a safety net. I would say there are also some advantages of quitting, they tell you in economics where everything is magical and everything just kind of makes sense on simplified models, that if you take more risk, there’s more opportunity for reward. Well, that’s not always true. Anybody who counts cards at a casino can tell you that, but it’s true enough, and the truth is, if you take a risk and you totally quit, boom, you have 40 hours plus commuting back, plus whatever time you spend stressing about your job that you’re not on the clock. So let’s say you have 50 hours back, not unreasonable, that’s 50 hours you can spend on your business, that is 50 hours you can spend growing your business, you are allowed to commit completely to one path, and if you have a side gig, it could take you, I don’t know, five, six years to get to take off. But if you focus full-time, maybe it’s only two or three, and it’s only… It’s really a matter of how much risk are you willing to tolerate? If I am not a particularly risk-tolerant entrepreneur relative to everybody who’s out there, some people are, and some people that’s just the way that they’re biological chemistry predestined their life to be, you know.
Brandon: You can read online, some people will say, “Take the risk, you’ll have a higher chance of success,” but I’ve also read conflicting statistics that say people who stay at their jobs have a higher rate of success. I guess it just depends on you and how much… What you’re willing to do.
Pierson: And overall, if we can get anything across, let that be it. This depends on you, your goals, what you’re searching for out of life and work, and in every facet of your life, just consider these variables and when you look at whether you should stay or should you go, just try to consider it all.
Brandon: And everybody’s situation is gonna be a little bit different. When I have a podcast where we… In this podcast talking about this kind of subject, I am generally talking to the kind of people who would say, “Should I quit my day job?” And typically, I think that’s people in their 20s and they’re ambitious, but they haven’t got it all figured out yet. Because the people who have got it figured out, they don’t need to listen to this. If you’re listening to this, thank you. Still… But they don’t need to listen to this. And there’s… And people who think it’s too much of a long shot aren’t gonna listen to it either, so I assume a lot of people who are listening are in their 20s, and in your 20s, you have fewer things that you’re beholden to. If you’re a 45-year-old single mother of four, your situation is different. I’m not saying you can never quit your job, I’m just saying your situation has so many variables that I cannot possibly properly account for you as an individual and everything that you’re going through, all I can do is just offer my experience, my thinking and hope that it helps clarify and provide structure to your own thoughts.
Pierson: Well, Brandon, if you could give any advice to somebody who’s looking to start a small business, but who is still working at their day job, what would that be?
Brandon: Okay, if you wanna make this thing happen, you really need to put together a team, you really, really, really need to put together a team. And at first, you may not even be able to pay everybody involved, but you need… At a minimum, you need somebody who’s smarter than you, a mentor who you can talk to, you need somebody who is emotionally available because it’s difficult, you need that, you need these two things at a minimum. And anything you can afford to outsource that it’s not a critical function of your job, but still has to be done, you should at least be open to it. I do not do all the social media management myself, some of that I outsource. We have Scribie do transcriptions because it would be ridiculous to pay you to do it, it would be just utterly ridiculous. Find ways to get that work off your plate as much as you can… The stuff that can be done, the stuff that can be done like a B minus C plus kind of job, find someone else to do it. Start looking for smart people and get them into your orbit, even if you can’t hire them, get them into your orbit, because I might pay them out later. Just, yeah, start building that team. You gotta think like, what’s his name, in charge of the A-Team?
Pierson: Oh, god, It’s on the tip of my tongue.
Brandon: It’s Hannibal, right? Hannibal. Alright, you’ve gotta be looking for your face and your Howling Mad Murdock, and your… Oh, damnit and your B.A Baracus. So you gotta be looking for all of them. You gotta be looking for all of these guys, you have to assemble your team, or like Armageddon, I guess you could also assemble a team like Armageddon.
Pierson: Fast and the Furious, Scooby Doo.
Brandon: Like Magnificent Seven, or Seven Samurai, like any team building.
Pierson: Ocean’s Thirteen.
Brandon: Yeah, any Oceans or any heist movie with more than two people. Yeah, point is, you have to start building that network as soon as you can. In fact, if you’re a patient person, and I guess you have to be, if you’re keeping your day job, maybe even build the network before you actually build the business. I know, I know, it’s a…
Brandon: Yeah. ‘Cause that network is your infrastructure, that is… That’s your road system, that is your rail and your airport, you’re not going to get very far without it.
Pierson: If you’ve followed us for any period of time, you’ll know that we like to plan. We like to make plans, we like to tell people to plan. It’s a great piece of advice.
Brandon: Yes, we have our Trellos and our spreadsheets and Word documents full of complex analyses, but yeah, we like to plan ahead because we don’t like this stuff rattling around in our head. We like to get things down on paper, we like to delegate, and we like to bring… And we like to stay organized because if you’re handling a day job, a good stable day job, you’re gonna have projects there, and if you’re handling a business, you’re gonna have projects there, so you have to… You have to have a team to delegate to, and I also would say, you have to be… Oh God, this is such a cliche, but here we go, you have to be really, really good at time management. Figure out how long it takes you to do stuff and be realistic about when you are actually gonna feel like getting something done. Do not schedule writing in the afternoon if your best writing time is early in the morning, you know what I mean?
Pierson: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I try to write from 9:00 to 12:00, I find that if I try to sit down and write an article starting at 3:00 or 4:000, it does not happen.
Brandon: Yeah. I mean, no, I will write late in the day if I have to, but it’s so much more coaxing, sometimes I will… The muse will visit me on whatever 18 Shopify apps you should add to your store, but a lot of times, no, the best content is coming from that 9:00 to 12:00 in the morning on the weekends time, and I will… Sometimes I have learned about where my energy comes from. If I go run for however many miles, and then I come back to the office and I have a runner’s high, I’ve got a good two hours before I get tired, then I can do a lot in that time, so I can get a good article written in that time or at the very least, I can get it drafted. I know that in that middling time of the afternoon, 1:00 to 3:00 PM or so, it’s a weekend, I’ll do administrative work, or you know, actually have some leisure. It happens sometimes, if it’s during the week days and I’m on the clock doing my hospital work, I will get organized, I will answer emails that I don’t really wanna answer, but are relatively low effort, I’ll do that kind of stuff, because I’ve got the right mindset for it at the time. So time management, it’s another big one. Time/energy management. I would say also just caffeine. Just plain old caffeine.
Brandon: Yeah, like, get a French press. That’s my… Yeah, that’s my advice is like get a French press, ’cause if you drink enough coffee, you will get sick of the coffee pot stuff and you’ll wanna get the whole beans and grind them in the morning and put them in the French press, much better that way.
Pierson: I completely agree. Very, very true. Well, Brandon, that’s all the questions I have for you. Do you have anything else you wanna add?
Brandon: No, I think I’ve rambled for a long enough. [chuckle]
Pierson: Alright. Well everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to listen, if you wanna check out our show, you can find it anywhere from Stitcher, Amazon music, Apple Music, Spotify, Alexa, TuneIn, Stitcher. I think I’ve named them all.
Brandon: Yeah, it’s like all the places that Joe Rogan used to be, that’s where you can find us.
Pierson: Yes, essentially. Feel free to leave a review. Give us a like. And as always, thanks for tuning in, we’ll see you guys soon.
Brandon: Thank you for listening, we really, really appreciate it.