The first step should always be about achieving financial stability.
Simply because when you don't know how you're going to be able to pay next month's rent, when you don't know how you're going to pay for food next month, you'll always make short term decisions.
And short term decisions will never lead to long term success...
And contrary to popular belief, starting a company, an online business, becoming an entrepreneur or a freelancer won't lead to financial stability.
Especially not during the first couple of years.
It will probably lead to the exact opposite.
I hate to admit it, but the only thing that will lead to financial stability as fast as possible is a job (or having a rich family).
That's why a job is always the first step.
But definitely not the last step.
Sure, your job might disappear sooner or later.
Probably sooner rather than later.
But if you still have your job, then try to keep it for as long as you possibly can.
If you're fresh out of college and thinking whether to start a business or to get a job, go for the job first.
Even better, go for the best paid job you can possibly get.
And save as much as you possibly can.
And a great way of saving as much as you possibly can is to use your free time to bootstrap a business on the side.
Just like it is a great idea to bootstrap a business in your free time while you still have a job.
If you use your free time to bootstrap your side business, then you won't have time to spend all of your hard earned cash on useless stuff like alcohol, drugs or all the other things we don't really need that we tend to buy to reward ourselves for working a job we don't really like.
And once you have financial stability, once you have a year of expenses in the bank and/or your side project generates enough cash, then you can do whatever you want to.
But the first step should always be about financial stability.
No matter what your next steps are...
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]