I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.
– Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
This is a statement that I live by. I believe that life is far too short to waste time, months, years… on doing something that you don’t love, enjoy, or aren’t passionate about. We often see work as a means to an end. We need money to survive, provide, and take care of our responsibilities; but it’s also important that we make doing work that is fulfilling to our souls, a priority as well. Some of us will find that fulfillment in identifying industries that allow us to express our creativity or pursue our passions; while others will create viable businesses that allow us to chart our own path.
I realize that not everyone is an aspiring entrepreneur, but we should acknowledge that we all have skills, expertise, and abilities that could create a successful business. And with an unpredictable job market, it’s important, now more than ever, to have multiple streams of income.
Whether you’ve considered a side hustle or you want to be your own boss, or you just want a more secure financial future, I’ve outlined 4 steps that will assist you in creating a business, while you’re still employed and move towards financial security.
Step 1 – Lean Living
Let’s be honest, many businesses fail because of lack of startup funding. Most new entrepreneurs rely on their personal finances, loans from family or even maxing out credit cards, just to get started. It’s understandable. It can be difficult to get a business loan, especially at the beginning stages of your venture.
If you’re going it alone, and your business’ viability will rely on your financial backing, then it’s time to start lowering your personal expenses. This may take some time to get used to. After all, you’re comfortable with the stability and predictability of receiving a steady paycheck. You have to retrain your brain, to think in terms of ‘needs’ over ‘wants’, because your discretionary income will now become a cushion – think of it as an investment – for your business when needed; and will help to keep you from stressing out, if it takes longer than expected to achieve profitability.
Step 2 – Time Management
Yes, we all have the same 24 hours in the day as Beyoncé. I don’t think that any of us need a reminder of that. It’s how we choose to use those hours that matters. It determines how successful we are… or aren’t.
While you’re still employed, get into the habit of setting aside a minimum of 2-3 hours a day to focus solely on your business. Before you start considering all the reasons why this isn’t possible, remember that your ability to make things work and figure out how to get things done – despite the odds – could mean great success for your business. With good time management, you will find time you didn’t realize you already had!
Being in business for yourself means frequent ups and downs. One day business will be great and on others, you may wonder why you ever got started. Always remember that when it comes to success, commitment is your greatest asset. By establishing a daily routine, you reinforce your commitment to seeing things through and to achieving the results that you desire for your business.
No matter how great you believe your concept may be, having a good idea is not enough. You must have clearly defined incremental goals for your business, to help you stay accountable. Set weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual milestones. This way you have a guide to ensure that you stay on track, with the trajectory that you’ve established. And if you find that you’re not meeting your goals, it’s time to reset. Reestablish parameters, stick to specific tasks consistently – until you see results, and get back on track!
Step 4 – Just Press Go
Once you’re confident in the business that you want to pursue, it’s time to get started. The longer you wait, the more time you have to allow fear to take over or to talk yourself out of the endeavor altogether. Don’t get too fixated on the details. You’re starting your business while you’re still employed, so you automatically minimize a lot of risks that full-time entrepreneurs face.
Still, you may be nervous and you may want to hide behind the excuse that things aren’t exactly how you want them to be. The reality is that things may not be perfect, and you may not have everything in order, but it’s okay. You can learn as you go and improve along the way. The most important part is that you Just Press Go!
Now, that you’ve implemented these steps, remember this:
Every day will be different. Some days you’ll be on cloud nine, while others you’ll want to scream – and maybe even throw a thing or two. But, despite the roller coaster ride that you’ll experience, it’s important that you remain committed to your vision and stay consistent in your actions. Always remember that by launching while employed, you’ve positioned yourself to make mistakes, find your way, and create success, without the financial stress of relying solely on your business revenue to survive.