“if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”- Milton Berie
Entrepreneurship is thriving today.
While working in a day job with a specific salary coming in every month is mandatory for most of us, it doesn’t have to take us away from pursuing a dream in starting on our own.
Here’s the fact: many entrepreneurs fail. It often takes years to build it up from rock bottom. You have to work harder than you ever did as an employee, take on way more risk and have way more stress. Maybe not the best combination but the ideal one for you if you have always wanted to go on your own – someday.
Yet how can you manage the two? How can you combine managing a career while building and nurturing your own business? It may not be easy but it can be done.
If you look at many entrepreneurs, they too started out while working for someone else. They were able to build the business one brick at a time while working full time.
But be warned – don’t go for short-term gain – keep the long haul in mind. If your first idea fails, you must not give up. Be patient and allow a business to thrive and grow – while you manage your day job.
Check these tips to get the best out of building your own business while working.
1. See if you can go for flexible hours
Discuss with your superior for a more flexible schedule or a schedule with reduced hours. Use the extra hours to develop your idea or the business.
Ryan Hoover joined Playhaven as its first product manager when it was a 10-person startup. After three-and-a-half years, the company had 100 employees and Ryan decided it was time to move on. Rather than jumping immediately, he asked a six-month transition period where he worked part-time. During that period, he experimented several business ideas.
2. Take a break
If you’ve been at a company for many years and built up the trust, taking a break — with a guaranteed job when you come back — might be a good option. Worst case scenario, you still have the job. With an extended leave of absence, you have enough time to see if your idea is truly feasible.
3. Partner with your employer
If the business you want to start is related to your current company, consider asking your boss to partner or collaborate. Your company can support you with office space, funding, and connections, making your transition to full-time entrepreneurship much smoother.
Jack Dorsey joined a podcasting company, Odeo, as a web designer, but then got obsessed with a product idea: Twitter. He discussed it with a colleague, Noah Glass, and with their boss’s blessing (Evan Williams), they assembled a team at work. When Odeo fizzled, Williams bought back its shares and assets (including Twitter) and made Dorsey Twitter CEO. Then, he continued to fund Twitter for more than a year before the platform took off.
4. Work part-time
If your full-time job isn’t flexible, another option is to quit and replace it with a part-time gig. This way, you can cover your living expenses and work on your business.
5. Keep your full-time job and hustle at night
Finally, there is a way to balance a full-time job with a side business. With this approach, you can get started right away without having to negotiate with your boss.