Most people have had a moment when they wanted to quit their job -- sometimes in anger with a loud proclamation. It's a temptation made more enticing by the strong economy and low unemployment.

Despite the positive hiring environment and the fact that 24 million Americans want to be self-employed by 2021, according to a recent report from FreshBooks, wanting to quit does not lead everyone to actually do it.

"Tens of millions of Americans have told us that their 'dream job' is to work for themselves," said FreshBooks CEO Mike McDerment. "But this is a scary proposition for most because the world is in many ways not ready for them. The good news is that the payoffs -- both financial and otherwise -- are real."

A man leaves an office with a box full of items.

Make a plan before you quit your job. Image source: Getty Images.

Why aren't people quitting?

Quitting may be very tempting, but those who have yet to quit keep their jobs for very practical reasons. Those reasons were shared in FreshBooks' "Self-Employment in America Report 2019," a survey of 3,700 Americans who work full time.

  1. 35% worry about consistent income.
  2. 28% don't have the cash to invest or need to pay down debt first.
  3. 27% lack a complete business plan.
  4. 27% worry about earning less money.
  5. 20% don't want to give up health benefits.

These are logical fears, but they are ones that can be overcome. If you want to quit your job to work for yourself, you need a plan.

Sit down and write a business plan -- whether you're planning to open a business or become a freelancer. Figure out how much money you need in the bank to give yourself the cushion needed to get started or how much capital it will take to open your business.

Look at your budget and see where you might be able to cut back. Be pessimistic. Assume that things won't go as well as you expect them to (and be pleasantly surprised if they do).

Go for it

People who work for themselves nearly universally enjoy it -- 96% said they have no desire to return to a traditional job, and 70% said they have a better work/life balance. More than half of those who work for themselves (55%) said they have less stress, and 54% said they are healthier since going into business for themselves.

Those numbers make it very clear that people should work to overcome their fear of quitting their job. That doesn't mean you should walk into your boss's office today and quit. (That might be rewarding in the short term, but it's not a smart move).

If, however, you want to quit in order to work for yourself, figure out how to make that happen. Even if enacting your plan will take years, put your plans into motion and start working toward what you want.