Ask Steve

Ask Steve: When's the Right Time to go Full-Time?

I find that this “in between” business model can be a difficult place to be.


I’m writing you because I am truly torn. I have been operating my little carpet cleaning business part-time for about five years now. So here is my problem: I would like the independence of going full-time but I also work full-time for the hotel industry and they feed me a lot of work. And I have to admit, I’m a bit afraid of giving up the security and regular cash flow of a weekly pay check!

So Steve, what do you think I should do?

-In Between in Iowa


Wow, In Between, a question like this is one only you can answer. Why? Because it is based more on the life goals and emotional wishes of you and your family than it is on simple business and marketing principles.

I find that this “in between” business model can be a difficult place to be. And I would urge you to choose which road to walk on. And yes, I know that the “build a big business” entrepreneurial road can appear scary! But there is a danger for you in choosing to stay safe!

For example, I always found desperation was a great motivator for me! If I had always had a full-time job to fall back on I'm not sure I would have had the "fire in the belly" (or the physical energy or time) to really make my business truly successful.

Should you make the jump? No one knows but you. I would caution you not to base it just on financial issues. Instead why not ask, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" This is one of the most important questions to ask and one of the hardest to answer! It is a question some people never ask themselves their entire life and that is just so very sad.

Of course, just because you make the jumpto full-time doesn’t mean you will be out of the “stuck in between” trap. In fact, I find many full-time carpet cleaners “in between.” This is where you grow your company to the point of being bigger than what a solo owner-operator (even with a helper) can easily handle. But on the other hand…

This hardworking solo operator doesn’t ever grow his or her company to where it achieves critical mass - a business that can run with or without the owner being constantly there. So yep - this entrepreneur is sort of stuck “in between.”

I call this sad state of affairs being “too big, but too small!” Too big to enjoy the (relatively) simple no employee life of an owner-operator. But too small to ever find the personal freedom of not having to constantly be screaming at their few employees!

NOTE: Want to avoid this “too big, but too small” trap? Then download my “Avoiding the Road In-between” Special Report HERE. Or just write me at and I’ll e-mail you a copy - no charge!

Once again, In Between, the whole “making the jump” question is totally up to you. But I would urge you to either stay small (nothing wrong with that) or go big and achieve critical mass.

But I can’t close without discussing the so-called "security" of a full-time job? Don't make me laugh. There is no security except in what you yourself build and even then it is not a sure thing. But I would rather put my future in my own hands than trust in someone else!

 Steve and ICS want to consult for you! For a personal reply write Steve HERE with your questions, problems, struggles and challenges! Your help is on the way! A new “Ask Steve” will debut in the ICS eNewsletter every Thursday. Register to receive it by clicking here

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