Should you consider starting a business in a recession or hang on tight to your day job?

In the midst of such huge change happening all around us it is normal to want to cling on to what we know – especially when so much of what we know has already been taken away. So starting a business in a recession can seem like a silly idea.

So as we are all aware the world as we know it has been turned upside down in the first half of 2020. Many of us are suddenly working from home. Many of us are furloughed and many of us have lost our jobs and our only incomes.

On a more personal note many of us have sadly lost a loved one or have watched a loved one being seriously ill.

We have all lost something from the way we lived our lives prior to Coronavirus. We haven’t been able to see family and friends, we haven’t been able to go to the pub or for a meal at a restaurant. We’ve lost our normal way of life.

All of this uncertainty and loss can make us want to hold on to the “normal” things we still have. One of these being our jobs.

If you’re employed and you had been thinking of starting a business, or you had been trying to decide when to leave your day job and go full time in your business you might suddenly be thinking I can’t consider starting a business in a recession, “It’s too risky to do that now. We’re entering a recession. I need to stay where it’s ‘safe’ and not take any risks”.

This is a natural human response. We are reactive to the situation around us and we look to make ourselves ‘safe’.

However, what if now is actually the perfect time to start a business and for you to take back some control in these uncertain times? Starting a business in a recession could actually be the perfect time!

People just like you are already taking action


New Business applications are up 24%

Some of the most well-known businesses of our time were started in the global financial crisis of 2007-09. Both Uber and Airbnb were started during this time.

Even with Coronavirus more new businesses are being set up than this time last year. In the US 67,160 applications were filed to set up new companies in the last week of May, official figures show.

Starting a business in a recession

Are you a reactive or proactive person?

Stephen Covey, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says that there are two types of people. The reactive and the proactive. Read the following descriptions and ask yourself which one you are at the moment and which one you would like to be.

Reactive people do just that – they react to their environment. If the weather is good they feel good, if it’s bad they feel bad. If people treat them well they feel well, when people don’t they become defensive or protective. They build their emotional lives around the behaviour of others – therefore letting the weaknesses of other people control them. Reactive people are driven by their feelings, circumstances and environment.

Proactive people carry their own weather with them. They are value driven, and their values (for example producing high quality work) won’t be affected by what the weather is doing. Proactive people are driven by values that they have carefully thought about and that they have chosen as the principles to live their lives by. They are still influenced by things that happen but their response is based on their values. They understand that their behaviour is the product of their own choices – they don’t blame circumstances or conditions or things that happened in their past for their behaviour.

Just like Viktor Frankl says “Everything in life can be taken away from us except from the freedom to choose how we respond”.

So if we apply this to our current circumstances with the world experiencing a Pandemic and a recession. Ask yourself how will you choose to respond?

Will you choose to let your decisions and your behaviour be influenced by circumstances that are beyond your control and by other people’s behaviour?


Will you choose to be proactive and make your own decisions?

Reactive Rebecca

Reactive Rebecca

Person 1

“Things are uncertain in a recession so I should cling on to security – my job and monthly pay-check. The news keeps telling me how many people are losing their jobs and how unemployment figures are rising, and my friends say I’m crazy to think about starting a business in a recession.”
Proactive polly

Proactive polly

Person 2

“Times are uncertain so rather than just cling on to my day job which I might end up losing anyway, why not use some time to start a side hustle. That way I have a nice extra income to help me through these uncertain times, but also if I do lose my job I already have a plan B in action, so I’ll be way ahead of the game!”

I’m sure you can spot which way of thinking is which and if you’re thinking reactively don’t be harsh on yourself – we are going through unprecedented times and fear can trick us into this way of thinking.

I wanted to bring these two different outlooks to your attention so that you have awareness about your behaviours and how you are making decisions.

Making uncertain times more certain

We can actually make these times less uncertain by creating our own additional income / back up plan!

Being proactive doesn’t mean being reckless or taking silly risks. I’m not talking about quitting your job to start a brand new business with no back up plan.

I’m talking about not letting your dreams fade away because of what’s happening in the world around us.

  • You can start your own side hustle or business now, while you still have your job.
  • You can grow an audience of people who love what you do while you’re working a day job.
  • You can look at how your audience needs your help and create products and services to help them while working your day job.
  • You can start to make money from your business while also working your day job.
Best Case Scenario

Best case scenario: Your job exists for as long as you need it to, you make some nice money on top of your monthly pay-check and you get to choose when to leave your job and go full time in your business (if you choose to do that at all). You can grow your confidence in your business before having to make that decision.

Second Best Case Scenario

Second best case scenario: You do end up losing your job a few months down the line. However you’ve made additional income from your business already, so you’re way ahead of the game! You can choose to look for another job or you can choose to go all in with your business. So much of the hard work is already done because you were proactive and go started months ago. Now you don’t have to panic. You have choices.

Best ever case scenario

Best ever scenario: You’re not letting your dreams fade away! In both cases you’re following your dreams and being proactive about the future life you want to create for yourself and your family.

How to make your business even more secure than your day job pay-check

There are things you can do when setting up your business to make it a solid foundation that generates you a consistent income month after month. You can do this without having to work a hundred hours a week and without having to constantly hustle. I go into this in a bit more detail here.

You can also start a business with what you already have! You don’t need a business degree or to wait until you’re an ‘expert’ to get started.

If you want to learn:

  1. One simple way that you can start to create success in your life today (hint: it includes being proactive)
  2. How to set up a solid business that provides consistent monthly income without burning yourself out and hustling 24/7.
  3. How to start a business with what you already have and without needing loads of money.

…then you definitely need to come and join my free Facebook group.

I’ll be talking about these things during July so come and join us! 

See you over there!

Laura x

P.S. If you want to learn more about me and why I created My Journey to Fearless then check out my about page here.