There are so many things to say on how to start a business. But we don't often hear about the possibilities to do it while you are on a job.
Any reasonable entrepreneur will tell you to NOT quit your job and start developing your idea to test it. Me too. Here is what you have to make sure of if want to start in this path:
#1 KNOW YOUR WHY and your motivations
And by that I mean KNOOOOOOOW them. Pin them to the wall, look at them everyday. Without it, no strategy will work. Why? Because starting a business or a new freelance job when you already have a job and build your own thing is HARD AS FUCK!! You need to be a rock in your mind. This is how you can motivate yourself and always come back to your deep reasons:
Usually people start a business for one or more of those reasons: more meaning, freedom, a better lifestyle, to create a change, to build choices for their future or for a specific mission (help people in the need, build something somewhere). Those are positive motivations you can move towards.
Stop and think of 2 or 3 solid positive motivations before you continue.
You need to know why the hell you are doing this. What else can you think of? Adventure, a more spicy life? Money? Contribution? Who do you want to help? You can have several of those! Make it specific, you know them better than me. There are no wrong answer, just don't bullshit yourself.
Those are the things you want to move away from. Horrible bosses, people telling you what to do, meaningless work, hard work for a shit pay, a bad work or life situation and so on. I don't believe we should only have those, but they will boost you when combined with the positive ones. Especially in hard times. Think of 3 of them! Write them down.
IN THE BALANCe: the employee's dilemma
As long as you value more those reasons and motivations than comfort and a sense of security, you'll be good to go. Otherwise you are not going to leave this comfy nest for the unknown! The "clic" is usually when meaning, freedom or your own reasons are way stronger than the reasons why you stay in your job.
#2 CLARITY & A FLEXIBLE PLAN
There are not a million situations. You can:
- Have a job full time and start a business
- Have a job part time and have a business on the side... and keep it hybrid
- Have a job and a plan to "work your way out". It will give you confidence and relief to make things clearer for you as those situations are very different. For example I would recommend to pick a part time job that is in relation to what you want to build. If you are a consultant and want to sell artisanal soap, you can capitalize on some things in your job, but you are not going to learn as fast on the business and the industry as if you were working for an artisanal soap company. Think strategically and wait tables only if you are building a catering or food related business!
This is only my opinion: having a full time job AND a business on the side (and actually live like this) is not sustainable on the long term. It is HARD. You'll be working all the time and the mental load it just too much. What I would recommend is to keep this situation only if it is a phase to actually quit your job at some point! Actually no, the worst is to not start at all (cf my other article on the topic), but you get my point. And like this, it is hard enough. Like Gary Vaynerchuck, a very well known entrepreneur in the US, author of "Crush it!" says: "you are going to eat shit for years before something happens". I prefer to call it the "accumulation phase". Lots of efforts, trial and error will be indeed necessary to see the first results. So you need more clarity, an initial plan than you can change along the way
"IT IS BETTER TO HAVE A BAD PLAN THAN NO PLAN"
So many people said it, that it is hard to know who actually said it: Frank Marshall, Charles De Gaulle, Gary Kasparov... but they all agree.
#3 SOME CONCRETE TACTICS FOR YOU
Start with time management and blocking moments
Tell me that you are thinking of working on your business and I won't believe you.
Tell me you are working every day 2 hours on your business or every weekend for 6 hours and I'll start to take you seriously.
You need to block moments to work efficiently on your activity. Decide when, and commit.
You'll have to sacrifice things in your life: Netflix time, going out with friends, chilling and taking your time. There is a price for you to build more choices in the future. You'll not see the results before a long time but I guarantee that when you'll see the results, it will blow your mind. Your life will be changed forever and you'll never look back with regrets. When I start making money out of magic I remembered telling to myself at on point:
"It was hard but now I can make 600 euros in 2 hours several times a week. From now on, it can be only better". So decide now. It take 2 mn, and then give it a fun name in your schedule: "Building time!", "Let's make it fly" or something like that. Commit to it no matter what.
What you can capitalize on
There are so many things you can capitalize on when you have a job! Think about it:
Do you have an incubator in your company?
Contacts you can keep or make (colleagues, suppliers, people you met)
Process and the inner works of the business are a gold mine of information.
You can maybe grow a followers base thanks to your company's reputation
All the skills you learn: people, technical or soft skills are a huge deal when you have a business. Learn as much as you can in your job and use it in your next adventure.
If I was you, I would really take 10-15 minutes to brainstorm as many things as I can on things I can capitalize on in my job.
Those 10 mn can change your life because if you find one things you can capitalize on, it can be a game changer; a colleague who can be a co founder, an incubator or a room to experiment and work on your business, anything.
CLIMB AND BUY IT
I have many examples of people who climbed the ladder in small, middle and big companies and then got sweet opportunities for the future. If you are still motivated by your work and have very few negative motivations, use that energy to be an exemplary intrapreneur. Actually, I'm about to upload to my Youtube Channel a short free training on how to be an intrapreneur, check it out here. Acting like an entrepreneur for the company and going the extra mile can sometimes be interesting so you can buy share, become a shareholder, or even become responsible of a department... that you company might sell later. We never know. Keep this option in mind for your flexible plan.
What else can you do? Not much. But that's plenty already! Decide, focus, commit and adjust your plan only if needed. Then if you commit to that approach, you talk about it to everyone, you test again and again, and say "YES" to everything that comes to you as an opportunity to learn, you just have to be patient and trust the future. It will come for sure, I've seen it again and again and you are no different than others in terms of potentiality. Go for it and text me when you have succeeded!