A college degree, a “stable” 9 to 5 job, a slow yet steady income progress and a 401-K. The majority of the masses take this route to achieve their financial goal; either by choice or compulsion. Quite a few of them even dream of getting into a position that allows them to wield the corporate hammer from their corner office. All the power to them!
But then there are those of us who choose to go against the grain. We thrive on the challenge of the unknown and dream of blazing our own path to success. You may happen to be one of us. Let me say it out loud; it takes supreme bravery to even think of taking on the odds to achieve your dream.
There are two key ways through which people pursue this. Either they leave their 9 to 5 gig behind and go “all in”. Or they pursue their entrepreneurial goals as a side hustle along with their full-time job until the project becomes viable enough financially.
This article is aimed at the latter of the two groups. We will explore how you can go about getting your big idea off the runway while you work full time.
1. Toughen Up Mentally
The journey from the cubicle to the entrepreneurial home run is anything but easy. Fifteen hour days, constantly missing weekends and a social life next to nothing are some of the costs that you should be willing pay out. Preparing yourself mentally is by far the most important factor that will determine your success.
2. Validate Your Business Idea
Almost half of the businesses (42%) that fail are because no one is willing to buy what they’re selling. Share your product or solution, talk to the people you know and take their feedback. Your focus should be to find a solution to an actual problem. More importantly, be ruthless with anything that doesn’t work. Dump it and move to the next idea.
3. Review Your Commitments
Review your commitments to maximize ROI on your effort towards your goal. You may be a parent, maybe you are taking care of an elderly family member or perhaps you participate in a time-consuming hobby or two. Take note of the time that you put forth in each of these. See which tasks can be delegated or can be put on the back burner for a while to create space for your project.
4. Set Realistic Goals
You may want to hit launch in 3 months, but ask yourself if it is realistically possible. You must acknowledge that you’re giving at least about 40 hours a week to your regular job. And that will surely affect the time you can allocate on daily basis to your venture. It will eventually affect the timelines. A handy tip is to set yourself weekly and monthly goals. This will present you a very clear picture of where you’re headed.
5. Focus Only On Your Strengths
It’s natural that you treat your venture like your own child and it makes you want to get involved in every minor detail. One, this is not sustainable and secondly, it will do a lot more harm than good. If you’re good at business development or vendor management, focus only on that and hand off the rest.
There are two ways you can do that; one, you can hire competent freelancers from platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr (& many more) and secondly, you can bring onboard a business partner. Not only will delegating take pressure off you but the project’s overall productivity will markedly improve as well.
6. Don’t Mix Your Office & Your Project
You may find it tempting to use your office resources for your project or discussing it with your coworkers. In a word; never! Using office resources on unrelated projects is straight up theft. And you never really how your boss or coworkers will react when they get the inkling that you’re up to something else other than your office work.
7. Ensure Stability Before You Leap
It’s critical that you give serious thought to your future and current responsibilities before you decide to hand in your notice, Make sure you have a stable business income coming through before you finally decide to move on. And don’t burn bridges; you never know when you may need to come back.
So there you have it; a simple, easy to follow roadmap that will help you get your project off the ground and will help keep things in perspective.