Itching to be an entrepreneur? Here’s how to balance your day job with your new venture

Itching to be an entrepreneur? Here’s how to balance your day job with your new venture

At some point or another, every entrepreneur thinks about turning their side project into a full-time job. This idea is very exciting, but it can be a bit terrifying, too. It’s safer to hedge your bets and stick with your full-time gig than to go all-in on your company.

So, what do you do? When is the right time to stake your claim? There are a few common answers to these questions. Many will say that you need to quit your day job and dedicate yourself to your company. They believe this is the best way to become a highly successful entrepreneur.

Ironically, this isn’t the same advice big-name entrepreneurs—like “Shark Tank’s” Daymond John and Mark Cuban—will give you.

Daymond John, a man with a net worth of $250 million, built his first iconic fashion brand, FUBU, while working full-time as a waiter at Red Lobster. For two years, he spent the beginning of his days sewing products for his company. He’d then work as a server from about four in the afternoon to midnight. He claims that the additional stream of income made the success of his first company possible.

Unbeknownst to Daymond, these long days would amount to much more than one successful company. Today, he is the owner of several brands, including Daymond John’s Success Formula. Now Daymond has dedicated himself to helping today’s aspiring entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality. Aside from his time on Shark Tank, Daymond has helped thousands of men and women become successful entrepreneurs this his Success Formula project. 

Another notable entrepreneur who worked as a bartender at night and grew his startup by day is Mark Cuban. His suggestion is to stock with your full-time job until “the demands of your company need all your attention.” When it’s the right time, you won’t feel hesitation quitting your nine-to-five. 

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you might not want to dedicate all of your working hours to your company right off the bat. There’s no way to know if your idea will work out. If it’s your only source of income and it fails, you could be in for a rude awakening.

Below, you’ll find five ways you can keep your day job and still pursue entrepreneurship with fervor — these tips will ultimately help safeguard yourself and your company:

1) Remain dedicated to the ‘nine-to-five’

According to a new Gallup study, two-thirds of Americans are disengaged at work. This phenomenon leads many to start businesses that they’re really passionate about.

The thing about passion, though, is that it’s found in all sorts of forms. People that go into work with a positive disposition and see it as a learning opportunity use the power of positive thinking to improve their work experiences. Starting a company while retaining another job can be difficult, which is why it’s important to have a good attitude toward your work life. 

2) Revisit your reason

When you feel overwhelmed, you might question why you started a venture in the first place. It’s easy to get bogged down by the rigors of bootstrapping and lose sight of the big picture. To avoid this negative experience, constantly remind yourself of what inspired you to start. If you regularly revisit the reason why you started your company, you’ll be less likely to burn out.

3) Scheduling is paramount

For entrepreneurs, there’s never enough time in the day.

There are so many things you have to juggle, which makes blocking out your schedule and following your plan extremely important. Every waking hour you have should be dedicated to either working in your established role, growing your company or taking a sanity-saving break.

4) Develop a task-oriented mindset

The first step to moving your company forward is blocking out your time; the second is implementing a task-oriented mindset. Every minute you spend working on your side hustle should be productive. At any given time, you should have a to-do list that ranks your tasks in order of priority.

There are a few ways to develop a task-oriented workflow. One useful way is to create visualizations that help you gauge your upcoming work and your progress. For example, you might use a whiteboard that has two sections—“to-do” and “complete.” This productivity tool will help you remain focused and celebrate all that you’ve accomplished.

5) Find a mentor

If entrepreneurship had one golden rule, it might be to find a mentor. According to Sage, 93 percent of startups admit that mentorship is instrumental to success.

These individuals are well-versed in the highs and lows of starting companies. They’ll provide invaluable insight and inspiration that will help you navigate the ebbs and flows of entrepreneurship so you can stay focused on your overall goal.

Starting a company and keeping your day job isn’t always easy or straightforward. However, it is often well worth it. Your nine-to-five can provide the security and income that you need to further your startup. Juggling the two roles is a challenge, but if you overcome it, you’ll be able to eventually quit your full-time gig and be a full-fledged entrepreneur.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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