And on the first day, I read my current job’s contract. I know, I know, it’s not as interesting as the biblical version. Well one must follow the law and ensure the right procedures for everything they wish to purse are right, right?
According to my contract anything done using company resources can be considered company property, this includes office hours. For instance, if I sent even an email from my company laptop concerning my startup, my employer can claim ownership of anything I built. Obviously, I could fight this in court, but why if I could avoid that issue.
The company resources that I get from the company were a laptop, a phone and credit which I would use to buy airtime for internet and voice calls. From going through my contract, it was clear I had to separate my startup from my job, at least until the day I resign from my job. See where I’m going with this? Exodus.
The first thing was to get a laptop. I asked an uncle for an old laptop he had. It was old alright, but it could do whatever I wanted it to do. Second was internet, I have recently moved to a new apartment where they offer free WIFI, no strings attached. I also started using my own credit for personal calls. I even got another phone to use for my startup. Last, but not the least, I divided my time between my employer and my start up. Office hours I would give 100% to my employers, but on getting home I would not even reply to an office email till the next day. It was for this reason I started leaving my work laptop in the office.
Next was projects management. Did I mention that my current position, is that of DevOps / Project Manager? This experience would be very instrumental in this stage. Having in mind what my startup will do I had to put in place the instruments needed to achieve this. Thing is my time was limited between 5 pm — 10 pm in the evening and 5 am — 7.30 am in the morning. I know what you are thinking, why not just quit my job and run my startup? Well the answer to that is the very first stages of this startup, I can do and achieve with the allotted time. It wasn’t easy at first, I’m not a morning person and in the evening, I’d get home very tired and still had to cook. In Africa, we call this the bachelor’s life because the food really is usually a light snack and not exactly exhibit A in a Martha Stewart’s healthy dining books. I’d have to take this into consideration as I set out my tasks which would take 6 months to do. I further divided this tasks into months, weeks and then daily tasks. Something had to give and for this reason my weekends became working ones. Discipline people, discipline. Well that and will. I would make the biggest strides on weekends, I’d work late into the night, I wouldn’t leave the house all day and would just focus on my work without any interruptions. I’m a gamer, I love movies and I love going on road trips. This was reduced by at least 70%. Even friends would ask what was up.
It took me around 2 weeks to draw up a plan and give timelines for when each item was to be completed. Reason being I had overestimated the time I would get to work on the projects, especially weekdays. In 2 weeks, however, I fell into a nice rhythm and completed my tasks in time. To quote Antoine:
A goal without a plan is just a wish.