When to Leave Your Job for Affiliate Marketing

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

There’s one huge moment in every affiliate’s career. It’s the moment you decide to leave your job and become a full-time affiliate marketer.
No more steady paycheck every two weeks. Your destiny is now in your hands.
People ask me all the time, “Hey, Charles! When should I quit my job?”
Some people literally want me to make the decision for them.
There’s no proper formula. What I have to offer is my own experiences and what I’ve seen worked for others. 

Questions to Ask Yourself

I believe in being conservative when you quit get your job.
Most affiliates are too eager to make the jump, and they make the mistake of transitioning into full-time affiliate marketing careers too soon.
What happens if you make a rush decision?
Your campaigns die; you don’t have enough savings; and you have to go back to your old job.
Now, you are demoralized, and you’ve lost your motivation. It can crush your soul to experience such a setback.
So, when is a good time to quit?
Ask yourself:

  • How good of an affiliate marketer am I?
  • Did I make my money from luck or skill?
  • If someone took away my top 3 campaigns, do I still have a system to make money?

The rules of the game may change, and not all of it is in your control. You might be doing everything right, but your campaigns can still die. Facebook dating affiliates had no idea the ban was coming.
To sum it up, my question is: if your best campaigns died, do you have the skill to create some new profitable campaigns from scratch?
Next thing to consider is your money game.
1) How much money are you bringing in with your campaigns?
I recommend you make at least twice your monthly salary, for at least three months straight. For example, I was making $2,500 a month after taxes at my old job. I waited until I was making $5,000+ a month in profit, and I did it for three consecutive months.
Making sure you have a three-month profit run is important because it shows you are consistent.
2) How much debt do you have?
Do you have credit card debt? You’re not ready to quit yet. Be patient, and pay it off before you make the jump.
My friend wanted to make the jump into the full-time career, but he didn’t have any savings in the bank. What he did have was a newish BMW 3-series he already paid off. Did he really need that nice of a car to work from home all day? Nope.
He sold the car for $25,000 and downgraded to a $5,000 Honda Civic. His pride took a hit, but his confidence soared, now that he had $20,000 in his savings.
Half a year later, he became a killer affiliate. One year later, he was in a good enough financial position to upgrade his car to a BMW M3.
Sacrifice your short-term needs for your long-term gains.
3) What is your cost of living?
Lower your expenses as much as possible.
Just because you’re now making $10,000+ a month doesn’t mean you have to spend on a grand scale. Get a roommate, clip coupons, and eat at home.
4) How much money do you have saved?
Your next step is to make sure you have some cash saved. You need that safety cushion because affiliate marketing can be like a roller-coaster ride, with lots of ups and downs. I recommend having enough money saved to cover at least three months of your living expenses.
If your bare minimum cost of living is $1,500 a month, then have at least $4,500 in your savings. By the way, this is money that doesn’t include campaign expenditures.

Can You Handle the Freedom?

Can you handle the freedom of being an affiliate marketer?
Here’s a thinking mistake many people make. They assume if they can make $10,000 a month working 3 hours a day on affiliate marketing, they can make much more working 14 hours a day.
That’s not how affiliate marketing scales.
My friend John quit his job. Even though he now had 14 hours a day to work, he was less productive than before.
That doesn’t make any sense, right? But it does.
He was less productive working 14 hours a day than 3 hours a day because he couldn’t handle the freedom of being his own boss.
Having a job gave him “time constraints,” which helped his productivity. He also didn’t have as many distractions as he did now, e.g., video games.
I suggested he look up co-working spaces close to him. That was the magic bullet he needed. He was much more motivated when he was surrounded by other working people.

How I Made the Jump

By the time I quit my job, I had already made $90,000+ in profit. I paid off my car; I had no credit card debt; and I had substantial amount of money saved.
I also re-invested heavily into my business. Now I had a proper accountant, virtual assistants, three computer monitors, and a top of the line computer.
I still had trouble biting the bullet and quitting. What made me change my mind?

  • I was young. At 23 years old, if I failed, I had plenty of time to pick myself up. Failing is not the end of the world.
  • I went to Affiliate Summit East and met many people who were my age and full-timers. It gave me the confidence to make the leap. If they could do it, I could do it too.
  • Regrets. After high school ended, I promised myself to live my life without having any regrets. If I wanted something, I was going to go after it. If I didn’t pursue affiliate marketing full-time, I would always wonder, “What if?”

At the end of the day, I want to look at myself in the mirror and respect the man I see.

Other Advice

DON’T burn your bridges with your company.
Quit properly, and give your employer a two-week notice. Help train your replacement, and leave on a good note.
What happens if affiliate marketing doesn’t work and you have to go back to a job? It’s better to have good connections and references rather than a boss that hates you.
One more tip is to keep quiet about your goals. Most people will tell you quitting your job is a horrible idea, but that’s just society giving you advice to avoid risk. Some of the co-workers who told me I shouldn’t quit my job were laid off within a few months of that conversation.
Nothing is guaranteed in life, but I want to have control over my own fate.


Listen, it’s not easy to make the jump. It’s natural to be scared and question your decision. I’ve been there and done that.
For every Super Affiliate success story, there’s always a larger percentage of people who failed and had to go back to the corporate world.
You can’t let fear hold you back. Why? Because the reward is greater than the risk. You can always get another job. You can always bounce back.
The winners are the ones that see opportunity and strike. What happens if you fail? Nothing. It’s temporary, and you’re going to keep going and try again.
I’m all about that “do or die” mentality. I don’t want to just survive. I want to experience life to the fullest.
Audentes Fortuna Adiuvat – Fortune Favors the Bold
p.s. If you’re a full-time affiliate marketer, how was it to leave your job? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

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