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Having the desire and drive to have a side business on top of a full-time job is an empowering moment. You could be at the point where you want to change your quality of life, make extra money or not have to work for anyone other than yourself. Sometimes being an entrepreneur has us stuck between the worlds of the unattainable and the whimsical. I'm here to tell you that it's not either of those things. What it is, however, is passion, dedication and a ton of work. Before you jump ship on your full-time job to become a full-time entrepreneur, there are a few things to consider to ensure the journey to your version of freedom is as smooth as possible.
1) Be Honest with Yourself and the People Around You
Know what you are getting yourself into concerning time, focus and finances. If your household does not just consist of you, it's important to have conversations to let people know what is ahead. Talk to them about the effect of launching your business on the household (i.e., less free time) and ask for their support. They may not be involved in your business beyond cheering you on, but a supportive foundation can make all the difference.
2) Maintain Your Perspective
Initially, the combination of your passion for wanting to work on your new business idea 24/7 coupled with the addition of something new to your schedule may leave you feeling overwhelmed with your day job. When we get overwhelmed, our minds wander to the place of "what can I get rid of or do less" which typically spills into prematurely resigning from your full-time job. Don't allow the stress you feel to be a problem or a reason to feel anxiety. Embrace the process and use it as a fuel to motivate you through stressful times.
3) Know When It's Time to Move On
One of the scariest feelings in the world is not knowing when you will get your next paycheck. Giving up the stability and security of full-time employment is equally as nerve-wracking. I caution you though, waiting until you feel better about leaving any or all of those things in the past can put you in a position where your side business will never be more than that; something you do on the side. Before you jump ship, there are a few boxes that you should check, the first being your bank account. You should have enough savings to live off of for at least the next six months with or without any additional income. Secondly, evaluate your client list. Do you have accounts that are strong and consistent? Regardless of a yes or a no answer, you should have a plan for customer acquisition so that you see continued profits.
4) Have a Timeline
Remember, if you wait until the moment feels right, you may never get there. Set a timeline for yourself and do it! This could be you determining that you will not stay at your current job beyond a specific date. This could also be you realizing that the passion you once had for your job is long gone. When I made the jump into running myself and my husband's real estate investment company, it was because the passion I had for my job was gone. I dreaded getting up for work in the morning, and that was all the push I needed. Sometimes less then desirable circumstances give us the kick in the pants we need to make a change
5) Solidify Your Process
In the initial phases of your business, especially while you are still working a full-time job, you needto minimize stress and maximize efficiency. You need to roll out a process and follow it. Remember, at some point in the future; you will likely hire someone to help you with this passion project turned business. When they come on board, they need to know what you know, so they are a help and not a hindrance. Keeping track of everything does not have to be fancy. If you love using Google Drive, then have that be your one-stop-shop for all documents and business-related material. If you hate Google Drive, then use Dropbox. The point is, it doesn't matter. What does matter is having every aspect of your business out of your head (or a pile of papers and folders) and organized in one sharable area.
6) Have Faith in the Returns on Your Investment
In the beginning you will likely do the vast majority of running your business by yourself. You will have to be accounting, customer service, client acquisition and marketing all at once. The number of hours you will invest will be astounding. What may be even more shocking is how little of a return on your spent time you will receive. Remember, your time does not equal a paycheck in the early stages. Don't take that as you not having value, take that as laying the foundation for your time to have value.
Also by Adriana Clifford: How Can I Begin To Grow My New Small Business?
7) Master the Art of Scheduling and Accountability
Scheduling things is likely a no-brainer for you but do you know how to break apart tasks to not get overwhelmed? Without having a boss directing you, can you hold yourself accountable? While these questions are small, your answers are important. There will be a lot going on in the beginning, and you may find that you don't know which end is up. Before you leave your full-time job, be sure that you know how to prioritize tasks and how to manage your schedule, so you are remaining efficient. Take notes as you move through your business on areas you struggled. Not only so that you can polish them but so you can give an honest assessment to anyone who may become your employee. Also, please don't have the mentality that specific jobs are beneath you. You should want to know how every single part of how your business works. Having the “I shouldn’t have to do that” mentality as an entrepreneur is the road to ruin.
8) You Can’t Do It All on Your Own, and That’s Ok
Entrepreneurship can be a bit lonely in the beginning. You may find yourself in your house for hours at a time while you build your business, but it is so important to connect with people face-to-face. Go out and talk to people about your business, bounce ideas off of them. Also, try to find other small business owners to befriend so you can share thoughts and learn lessons from each other. You aren't going to be able to figure it all out on your own. If you try, you may end up doing more harm to your business then good. Getting outside of your own head is a good thing! Anyone who is an entrepreneur has likely felt or dealt with exactly what you are so don't be bashful. Once your business is a success the learning and the conversations should never stop. The difference may be that you will be the one sharing wisdom with others.
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This communication is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be an advertisement, a solicitation, or constitute professional advice, including legal, financial, or tax advice, nor is StreetShares providing advice on any particular situation.