Many of us consider ourselves to be entrepreneurs in training.
The Millennial generation is the generation that wants to build their own empire. We don’t want to work in a cubicle for the same company all our lives, building someone else’s.
But you can’t just build an empire from nothing. You have to start somewhere. So how do you go from working fulltime for someone else, to working all the time for yourself?
The answer is you do both – until you’re in a position to quit the day job and run the world by yourself.
So here are some tips as to how you can balance both the job that pays you and the dream that will pay you…eventually.
Create a Schedule and Stick to it
If you don’t schedule in specific time to work on your side business, you’ll end up coming home from work, turning on the TV, and forgetting to make any progress. Mark specific time in your calendar on weekends and after work, and figure out a schedule that is manageable for you. You have to take it as seriously as you do your day gig. You wouldn’t bail on the fulltime job to watch TV or see friends, so make your side business schedule just as non-negotiable. Even just 5 hours a week will turn into real progress after a couple of months.
Set Small, Achievable Goals
Create your business plan and work from there. Do you want to have three recurring clients within two months? To have sold 40 items within three months? Make sure you know what you want, figure out how you’re going to achieve it, and use all your spare time to start implementing, tracking, and measuring.
Set Boundaries at Work
You’re never going to make the dream a reality if you’re always accepting the extra work and staying late every night to finish it. You have to make your schedule something you stick to, and something your day job respects.
Stick to a Budget
Now more than ever you need to be budgeting and saving. Working for yourself has many benefits, but it also comes with many expenses. This is the time to work out just how much money you’ll need once you venture out on your own. Figure out what your business expenses will be, how much you’ll need for health care without your job benefits, and how you can cut costs to make it all more manageable. In order to be in a position to quit the day job, you need to have at least 6 months’ salary saved up, and your business needs to have recurring clients or a steady stream of customers before you take the leap.
Promote Your Odd Hours
You may be busy during normal business hours, but this means you are available to focus on your clients when everyone else is tuning out for the day. Promote your night and weekend availability, and you’ll find clients that are excited to work with you over the guys who stop answering the phone come 5pm.
Ask Family and Friends for Client Leads
The hardest part about building a new business is finding clients. Use the network you’ve built up at home and at work to find people looking for the skills you bring to the table. Once you’ve built up a solid client base, you’ll be able to start considering handing in that resignation letter.
When You’re Ready to Leave Your Day Job, Ask for Their Business
No one likes losing a star employee, but if your skills in your new business are similar to the skills you brought to this job – you can sell your services to them and instantly gain a reliable client that already knows and loves your work.