3 Meaningful Ways to Begin Your Business While Working a Full-Time Job
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, roughly 66% of businesses fail within 10 years. If this makes you wonder whether starting a business is worth it or not, I don’t blame you.
Not only is starting a business risky business, but it’s tough to manage with everything else going on in life (like a pandemic).
It’s stressful paying the bills while your side-business doesn’t pay you. Especially in the early years, there’s no guarantee your business will pay off in the end.
I’m here to present a question: why start a business in the first place?
Well it’s kind of fun, isn’t it? Walk into a room and talk about your business and you’ll be the most interesting person in that room.
Actually, let’s back that up. Hopefully you aren’t in a room full of strangers. Let’s say you’re at a socially distanced gathering, and through your mask you mutter that you have a side-hustle.
It doesn’t matter what kind it is, but having a business is sexy. It’s something to strive for. It’s a respectable endeavor to pursue while making ends meet at a regular day-job.
It’s not always easy, especially when you see other driven people doing what you want to do. What do they have that you don’t have? You can do what they are doing.
Here are three tried-and-true ways to capitalize on your business idea, without giving up your daily bread-maker.
1. You simply start
No one can force you to pursue a business. There won’t be any trumpets to play you off when you start either. You must simply begin the business you’ve been talking about.
You’ve told your friends all about your plans. They agree with you and think you really have something. The writing is all on the wall.
You must simply take the leap.
Starting something new isn’t usually easy. I for one don’t even like starting new books. The process of reading about new characters, their wants, their dreams, and internal struggles seems like a chore.
If I’m slow to reading a book, there’s going to be more in the way of me building a company for the first time.
Even if you don’t have a job, and you have all the time in the world, there’s always something in the way.
That something is a feeling of security.
If you don’t have a job, having one sounds pretty nice. I didn’t have a consistent job for eight months after I graduated college. I leaped at the first opportunity that came my way.
I’m still at that same job because it’s safe. It’s a guaranteed paycheck in my pocket. The company I work for adapted well to the pandemic, so I don’t have a legitimate reason to leave.
A better question is, why would I start something else? Why add any kind of unnecessary pressure to myself? Why start blogging, and why leverage it as a business opportunity down the line?
You have to ask yourself these questions. You must be an introspective person who questions the very meaning of existence. Why do anything, really?
You won’t know the why until you take the first step.
2. Create an unbreakable process that keeps you accountable
I hate routines.
I despise the idea of waking up everyday, eating the same food, going to the same job, and talking to the same people.
Yet, on paper, I’m a routine kind of guy. There’s an internal sleep timer built into my subconscious. I love my eggs and protein bagel in the morning, and I go to the same job to work with the same people everyday.
Although I essentially live a daily routine, I prefer to call it a lifestyle. Routines don’t seem choice driven. They aren’t flexible. Sure, you choose your routine, but they’re too rigid. If you don’t follow the routine, you beat yourself up about it.
I prefer the word process.
A routine is defined as “a course of action to be followed regularly.” Or, “a set of normal procedures, often performed mechanically.”
Mechanically? I don’t want to be a robot.
A process is defined as, “a series of events which produce a result, especially as contrasted to product.”
To me, that sounds much better. A process is fluid. There are things one must do to complete the process, but it can be done at one’s leisure, or haste.
My writing process, for example, is undeniably perfect for me. I have a full-time job, but I manage to publish three blogs a week. Consistency has been the most important factor.
Find a way to work around your weekly responsibilities, and find a process that allows you to effortlessly do the extra work you want to do.
3. Go in with a friend
The lone wolf doesn’t survive, but the pack thrives.
Going into business alone is, well, tough business. You can’t expect to do everything on your own. You need another brain on the table that is ready to give its opinion.
I said to question everything. With a friend, you might get answers:
- Should we go with sans serif font? Yes.
- How do I apply for a trademark, can you help me? No problem.
- What’s a convertible note? It’s like short-term debt that converts to equity.
You want another person in your ear. It’s motivating to go the path alone, but there’s another element to your company when you have someone in your corner.
They have their own experiences and connections that could come in handy. You shouldn’t be the same person, but your ideas shouldn’t totally conflict. You have a partner to add to your idea, not tear it down. It’s a positive relationship.
I’m not saying your business partner needs to be your best friend either. They can be someone you once collaborated and get along with. Maybe they work at your job with you. Maybe they’ve been looking to get into a side hustle too.
This Forbes article features companies founded by pairs of friends. #GETFRIED Fry Cafe founders, Chris Covelli and Garrett Green, have this to way about other companies going into business together:
“Stay open-minded. Don’t be quick to turn down differing ideas and opinions. Make everyone part of the conversation and consider their input. The diversity of thoughts, backgrounds and experiences in a business can position it to remain forward-thinking, innovative, dynamic and creative — and this, as you can guess, will boost the bottom line.”
My best friend asked me to join him in his business, and I ended up spending two years working on a beverage startup.
I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him, and I don’t think he would’ve gotten as far as he did without me either. I learned a lot from him and the experience, and in the end, we’re still best friends.
I think my first piece of advice, to simply start the process, is like the catalyst for a fire. You have to throw in a massive spark of energy to get things going.
Creating an unbreakable process for yourself, or adding a friend into the mix, is comparable to stoking the fire with more wood so it stays lit.
Your job takes up most of your time. Your family takes up the rest. Starting a business is difficult, but if it was supposed to be easy it wouldn’t be worth doing.
It’s one thing to start a new business, but it’s another to consistently work on it. It’s easier to get lost in the important work that we know needs to get done. Rent isn’t going to pay itself, after all.
It’s worth it to at least try, isn’t it? There’s something to say about people who take their shot. Regardless of what happens, do it because it means something to you.
The end result doesn’t matter. Life is long. You won’t be remembered for your failures, just your successes. You don’t have to quit your job. You don’t have to suffer at your job while chasing the dream either.
But you should try. How do you think every other business started?
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