When people consider launching a new business, most imagine quitting their jobs, abandoning financial stability and risking it all. And, with heavy hitters as our role models— people like Elon Musk and Richard Branson, who went "all in" and won big—it is no wonder many of us believe theirs is the only way to do it.
But if we do think that way, we are misinformed. Consider that the number of U. startups is in decline, and more businesses are closing up shop than starting up. Think about how more than 50% of startups fail before the four-year mark. And a big reason for all that failure may be that risk-it-all mindset.
But those failures are not hurting exclusive to entrepreneurs; they are hurting the economy at large. So, there are good reasons why aspiring entrepreneurs should stick with traditional jobs while they grow their own ideas—rather than take a complete leap of faith by quitting their jobs.
In reality, nearly 15% of small business owners work a second job while starting up, something many young entrepreneurs do not realize. That is why you too may have decided that leaving your day job is not a prerequisite. And now you are wondering how to launch your big idea while remaining a full-time employee. Here are tips from someone who's been there.
Tips for working full-time while running a startup
I will not claim to be the master of doing it all, but I have learned how to make the most of two simultaneous gigs. If, like me, you are pursuing a business venture on the side or considering it, here are some tips for keeping it together.
Related: How to Avoid Side Hustle Burnout
Sticking to a routine is the hardest part, and unfortunately, it is also the most important. If my business is not on my schedule, my day job will eat up all of my time until my personal biz fades away entirely. The solution? I act as my own boss and my own employee.
On Sunday nights, “boss” me schedule meetings and other pursuits for the following week’s calendar. “Employee” me then shows up on Monday and knocks out the work. With the accountability an organized calendar makes possible, you too can carve out time for both positions.
2. Create two buckets: 'done' and 'not done.'
Moving your side project forward while making it to work every day takes not only organization, but also focus. Create two buckets: "done" and "not done." Start by listing your tasks, ranking them according to priority and scheduling them into your week. Then grind it out. Just using productivity tools does not necessarily mean you are being productive, so do not forget about the magic of self-discipline.
3. Revisit the origin frequently.
Every time I get pulled away from my little business, I lose touch with what originally inspired me to start it. So, I ask myself, “What made me start this thing?” Be like me: Regularly revisit the reason why you decided to follow your passion by tackling that challenge. If your startup does not still set your soul on fire, get out.
Starting a side hustle is not for everyone, and you probably will not get it right the first time around. Remember to be patient with yourself, get organized and get those tasks done. The journey is not always fun, but retrospective satisfaction in your accomplishments will keep you going.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.
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