I offer this brief list of ideas and attitudes to help you begin to think like an entrepreneur, and to start your business on the side. You don’t have to wait for the perfect time. Start now.
I am more than an employee. I have a vocation. I have dreams that drive me forward and fears that hold me back. Still I am determined to build a business that reflects my values. I will leave a legacy. My life will count in jobs created, dreams realized, and dreamers encouraged. I will not settle for less. I refuse to believe that who I am now is who I am called to be. There is always more to achieve. There are always more people to encourage, equip, and send out in pursuit of their dreams.
I am grateful for my job. As I pursue my dream of starting a business on the side, I will not forget the value of a job. My job funds my dreams, enables me to learn and grow, and lets me build friendships while I create value for my employer. In my daily work, I can grow toward my dream. I will not cut corners. I will not give my employer less than my best. My dream business will get what’s left over, and what’s left will be more than enough.
I value my time. Time is valuable, and time is scarce. When others are watching TV, going out with friends, or focused on their comfort, I will work on my vocation. I will develop daily discipline and single-minded focus on work that moves me toward my dream. I will learn to turn dreams into goals, goals into strategies, and strategies into measurable steps. Despite my fear, day by day I will take those steps. Step by step, I will build my business. The day will come when I leave my job, but that is not an end in itself. Building a business is never done. I will invest my time, not spend it.
I use my own money. Debt is a form of bondage, and my goal is freedom. My job allows me to invest in my business over time. There will be no shortcuts for me. I will not substitute another person’s money for perseverance, creativity, and hard work.
I am not alone. I will seek out friends who champion dreams. I am often afraid. Resistance dogs every step. At times I am discouraged. I lose sight of my vision. When fear looms and obstacles obstruct my vision, I will lean on friends who can calm my fears, reframe my obstacles as opportunities, and encourage me to take the next step.
I have faith. Whatever my relationship to God, I know that building something not yet seen requires faith. I must trust that my business can be successful. And if I choose to trust the God of the Bible, He promises to direct my steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). I will rely on faith to keep me moving when I cannot see my next step.
I will persist. Creating a business is hard work. Resistance will come. Some days I will want to take the easy way out—I will want to quit. Quitting is easy. Persistence is hard. If an idea does not work out, I will not give up. I will move in a new direction. I will keep trying until success finally comes.
I will succeed. Quitting is the only thing between me and success. I don’t know when success will come. But when it arrives, it will find me working.
Does this manifesto inspire you to take action? I hope so. Check out my article on how to start a side business, then drop me a line and let me know what your next step will be. You can also sign up to get interviews with entrepreneurs designed to help you take action.
Founder, Sidepreneur Magazine