Running a business is tough at the best of times. The startup failure rate is enormous and most businesses will be dead and buried within five years because 90% of products fail. Trying to run a business with a day job is even harder, but it’s often the only way entrepreneurs can survive until they can generate a regular income.
If you are struggling with the prospect of building your business with a day job, these tips are going to help you get through the practical parts of the process and keep motivation high.
Understand Why You are Doing This
Make sure you have a reason why you are doing this in the first place. Connect with the why in the equation and look to it in times of trouble. For most entrepreneurs, they have a concrete reason that goes beyond making money and getting rich. It could be anything from the freedom to be your own boss to being able to watch your kids grow up from the comfort of your home office.
This is what drives you and what motivates you. Keep it close.
Commit to Your Dream
One of the biggest challenges for new entrepreneurs is making the commitment to their dream. Desiring to do something and actually committing to it are two different things. Bind yourself to the fate of your business. Take out a business loan and make sacrifices.
See your day job as a means to an end not a Plan B if this happens to go wrong. If you see it as an alternative, you will take that alternative without a second thought. You won’t be committing yourself fully to the success of your company.
Make a Business Plan
You should always have a business plan in place whether you are running a day job at the same time or not. But for people who are juggling two jobs it’s even more important. Your business plan will provide you with objectives and milestones you have to meet throughout the year.
You will have to continue to revise your business plan, but at the same time you will also have a vision of what you want to achieve a year from now. That will keep you focused on the end result.
Business Time Should Be Sacred
If you’ve had a hard day on the job, you may be tempted to put off work for an evening or two. But one evening off can lead to a lot of evenings off. Before you know it, your business has ground to a halt and you are no longer an entrepreneur.
Make your business time sacred. Save yourself for the most productive time of the day. This may be in the morning, during your lunch hour, or in the evening. Make sure your best is reserved for your business. Your day job is a pay check and you are not there to build a career. Treat it that way.
Join a Mastermind Group
A mastermind is a peer-to-peer group where everyone in the group teaches each other and supports each other during the entrepreneurial journey. Running your own business can get lonely fast and it can drain you of your energy and motivation. With the help of others you will maintain your morale and make sure that when launching a business you have the best possible chance of succeeding.
People who live in major cities may find that there are even groups in their area that specialize in entrepreneurs who have day jobs.
Immersive in Learning
What all entrepreneurs have in common is they never stop learning. They never stop learning about their industries and they never stop learning about the principles and philosophies of doing business. Take courses, hire coaches, find a mentor, listen to a podcast, or teach others.
There are so many ways to immerse yourself in learning. And you should always learn from other entrepreneurs. It won’t take long before you start to see real results from doing this.
Conclusion – Know When to Quit
The reason why you still have a day job is because you need an income and you can’t be 100% sure that you can replace that income. Forget about having a social life if you are running a business and operating in a day job at the same time. But this can’t be sustained forever.
Sooner or later you will have to make a decision. Knowing when to quit is one of the best skills someone can have. If things aren’t working, it may be time to give in.