If you’re like most budding entrepreneurs, you’ll work for someone else while you’re building your business and perhaps, even well into it.
This can absolutely be done and it’s more than possible to thrive while doing it, but it does require some strategy and some discipline.
Let’s dig into a few of the best ways to balance your day job while building the business of your dreams.
First, do your day job really well.
Keep giving your all as long as you’re employed by someone else. By keeping yourself on track in your existing job, you’ll also feel good about the way you’re going about things.
You’ll be proud that you’re doing things the “right way” and it’ll allow you to better focus when you are working on your own biz.
The bottom line here is to never half-ass the job that’s paying your bills.
Next, if your budding business is publicly accessible, make sure your current employer knows.
It’s uncommon for moonlighting to be prohibited in the workplace anymore but there’s still a right way and a wrong way to have a side hustle.
You don’t want the way your boss finds out about your business to be because someone sees it online and tells her or him about it.
There are some dynamics where that’s fine, but in most cases I’d suggest you at least let your employer know about your passion projects or side business.
As long as you’re professional and up front about it and continue to excel in your role, a good employer will have no problem with you pursuing your dreams.
Finally, set a schedule for yourself (and use it)
If you work at a physical office, don’t bring your own business to work.
You might have some down time, maybe you’re ahead of schedule on a project or it’s a slow week at work and you decide to work on your biz.
Be careful doing this: it’s a slippery slope.
If you’re an entrepreneur at heart (and I suspect you are), you may find yourself enjoying the energy of working on your own business during “work hours”.
Next thing you know, you’re putting off a task for your 9 to 5 because you’re wrapped up in a personal project.
The same thing is true if you work remotely. In fact, it’s even easier to let this happen when you’re location independent and have some privacy during the work day.
Do this instead…
Give yourself a schedule for when you work on your business during the regular work week, if that’s part of your current plan.
Maybe you allocate a small amount of time during a break in your day some days, or perhaps it’s evenings and weekend. Whichever is the case, actually schedule it for yourself each day.
The benefits are two-fold. First, you won’t feel duplicitous during business hours for the role that’s paying your bills. Second, you’ll be treating your own business like a real job.
Scheduling dedicated time to work on your startup business will make it easier to meet your goals, it’ll promote the kind of self-paced discipline it takes to be the owner of a business and it will give you the kind of momentum every entrepreneur needs in the beginning.
The key to building a business while working a full-time job is finding the balance and staying focused on both.
Use these three strategies as a guide to create a workflow that keeps you motivated and on track to achieve your goals both in your current job and for the business you’re building.