You will find there are many amongst us who secretly harbor an ambition to become an entrepreneur someday even when we are stuck in a 9-5 job.
The moment when you can actually break away and start something on your own may happen years later. However, that is no reason to give up on your dreams. You can always keep the fire burning within you while working at a regular job. For this, you need to have a positive mindset and the determination to overcome the unprecedented downsides that the change may eventually bring.
It is only natural to fear what a change to an entrepreneurial life may bring forth. Even the best grapple with some common issues. Striking the balance between commitments to your employer and giving a shape to your dream is important.
We will now walk through a few ways in which you can prepare for the eventual transition into full-blown entrepreneurship.
Do not take the easy way out: One of the first things that you need to consider is the kind of product or service you will offer. When you already have a 9-5 job, you are tempted to choose a product option that requires flexible timings and is simple to execute. You will try to find something that demands limited commitment, low investments and nominal maintenance. However, this may often come in the way of your dreams and you digress from your true passion. The reality, there is dearth of those who choose the easy way out, resulting in higher competition and lower ROI on your investments. Burning the wrong bridges and jumping into the deep ocean is actually more productive in the long term.
Finding time to pursue your dream: The real struggle is of course to take time out for your side business. Everyone knows this is never going to be easy. You may have to forgo socializing and partying on weekends initially to get the ball rolling. You have to realize that giving time is crucial because any business will take longer to kick off when you cannot dedicate your entire time to it. Growth is bound to be slow and in spurts, when you can give time to it. There are many entrepreneurs today like Neil Patel, who started their journey from a humble blog in 1997 and then got famous after working with many authority blogs. He finally founded Kissmetrics in 2008. Planning your own career growth outside the activities you carry out for your job, is also entrepreneurial for you as a brand. For example, if you are good with writing content and have a fundamental understanding in your industry, you can go for blogging or influencer marketing. Similarly, there are many lecturers & professors, who opt for academic blogging to earn visibility in their field of study. These additional part-time activities go a long way in helping one meet the right people and shape their dream one-step at a time.
Drawing support from your 9-5 job: When you are trying to kick-start a side business in addition to your regular job, the financial risks get mitigated to a certain extent. You know that you can always fall back on your job when things do not go as planned. The experience will teach you to perform better next time. This is especially important for wannabe entrepreneurs who have families to take care of.
Set Realistic Goals: It is important to harness what you are good at and keep realistic targets. If you think that you will be successful from the word go, you are mistaken. You have to be prepared to experiment with the schedules to find the most suitable way to work. You can start by optimizing the workplace.
Focus on the business idea: Your job is to focus because your time and resources are limited. Instead of trying to sell too many products at one go it may be a good idea to test the waters and start off by launching one product at the start. If you find that an idea is working, you need to stick to it instead of experimenting with something else right away. At times, some groundwork helps in executing your business plan. If your present job does not help in getting these insights, then it makes sense to find a part-time job, which suits your business plan. It is even better if you land yourself into a full time job in your target industry. One of well-known founders who have executed this well is Adam D’Angelo, the co-founder of Quora. His experience at Facebook helped him explore the possibilities of his own pet idea.
Network with entrepreneurs: You should continue to network with knowledgeable entrepreneurs who can give you valuable inputs on a variety of topics. Successful entrepreneurs will always be passionate about knowledge and this will help you stay ahead of your competitors. One of the best ways one can start fresh with a product or service is by creating an account on freelancing websites like Upwork & Freelancer.
Dream big but work slowly: While you are at your 9-5 job, you should plan for your dream venture, but you need to do it tactfully. The idea is to think big and execute your vision slowly but steadily, taking baby steps. Success is not going to come to you overnight. You have to start viewing the bigger tasks and dividing these into smaller manageable chunks that you can get done even when you have a regular job to do.
Learning art of mindfulness: To become a successful entrepreneur you need to prepare yourself mentally. This journey is going to be full of ups and downs unlike your 9-5 job. Practicing meditation may help you stay focused and motivated. Keeping stress at bay while working on key challenges is key to solving them fast and addressing the main bottlenecks, which need to be addressed. In addition to meditation, one can also try to adjust one’s perspective to suit the big picture.
Schedule in advance: Since you will have limited time to get the business on its feet, you need to work according to a routine. You must maintain a proper schedule and be responsible for following this. In a 9-5 job, you are going to already have a work schedule; you will need to create a separate calendar for the side business. You have to make use of the gaps to get work done for your business.
Never give up: The best way to convert your idea into a reality is to give some time to thinking about it every day. You can always wake up an hour early to plan your venture. You have to cut down on your indulgences and stop yourself from doing things, which really do not matter. You can also look for other like-minded individuals for moral support. Only a fellow entrepreneur can understand what you are going through and advise you correctly.
The struggle of keeping a 9-5 job and building a business side by side is indeed very real. You need to hold onto that dream and work your way through, no matter what.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I know this can be a sensitive topic and generate a lot of fear and anxiety. Share your experience and feelings with us!