Being an entrepreneur is hard. Being an entrepreneur while working full-time is even harder. It’s not for the faint of heart, as I’m sure you know. Whatever your reason for starting a business, you need time to do so. As a full-time employee, you may struggle to find the extra time after all your other commitments. You want to build your business, but without failing your family or giving less than your best to your employer.
I know what it feels like to work full-time while building a business on the side. I also know what it feels like to try to build multiple businesses at once. Yes, you can build a business while working full-time. But to succeed, focus is the one thing you must have. Your time constraints force you to focus. Every business I started made some money, but none were as successful as they could have been. I wasn’t focused enough. I’m working to change that now, and here’s how.
Make sure to schedule your commitments on your calendar. This helps your calendar truly represent your current commitments. Your calendar shows what you value because it shows how you spend your time. Block out time for your job. Block out time for your family. Block out time for anything else that comes before your business, but allocate time to start your business.
The amount of time required will depend on your timeline and the type of business you want to start. If you need to shift some priorities for a season, make sure you know what needs to change and for how long. Be sure to discuss the changes with your family.
Talk to your family to make sure they support your pursuit of starting a business. See how they feel about it and listen closely. If you don’t have their support, maybe now isn’t the time. Show them your calendar to be sure the time they will get with you makes them feel loved and valued. Focus on quality time with your family over quantity. Don’t lose your family while chasing your dream of starting a business and working for yourself. It’s not worth it.
There are countless people who have put work, career or business before their family and all suffered as a result. Your family members are more important than your business and job. They just are.
Pick only the essential and most important things to take action on and then schedule them. You can’t do everything. This is especially true when working full-time and starting a business on the side. Only do what’s truly important for your business. Try to distill your business down to the essentials. What is the problem you’re solving? Who are you helping with this problem? How are you helping them? How much are they paying you to help them?
Keep it simple. You want to lay a strong foundation for what you’re doing and focusing on the essence will help you. No amount of extra features, strategies or “growth hacking” will help you if your foundation is weak and you’re not creating real value for people. Choose the most important actions and schedule them on your calendar.
Keep your business in its proper place. Check in often with your family and possibly your boss to make sure that you’re continuing to love your family well and do excellent work at your job. Your business is not the most important thing in your life, so don’t let it become the most important thing in your life. Your calendar can help you keep this in check.
Watch your calendar closely. How much time are you spending on your business each week? Is anything important suffering as a result? What can you change to remedy this? Don’t let things go out of “balance” for too long. You will regret it.
Be there for your family, excel in your job, and build a growing business that helps people. Keep these tips in mind as you chase your dream of starting your own business.
Are you struggling with finding time to work on your side business? Schedule a free 30 minute productivity coaching call with Elijah.
What other productivity tips have you found helpful? Leave a comment below with your suggestions!