As an entrepreneur, it’s difficult (almost painful) to remain at a “day job” working 40 hours a week, when all you want to do is build your business. If you’re a part-time entrepreneur, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Every second of every day feels like a complete waste of time, and you constantly feel like you’re giving up on your dream every time you punch the clock at work.
STOP IT! STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! IT’S OKAY TO WAIT.
In fact, in most cases, it’s better to wait. I wish I could sit here and tell you to “just go for it!”, and “believe in yourself!”, but while you should absolutely believe in yourself and in your dream, it may not be the right time to go for it. At least not full-time.
Even though it may be one of the hardest things you do, there are some true advantages of staying a part-time entrepreneur.
Staying at your full time job provides you with a steady income stream and allows you to focus on your business. Use this time to create and test systems, gather research and analytics on your marketing and sales, and prove that your business works and is worth the risk of going full time.
“But I can’t stand it!”
Yea, I know. Once you set your mind on going after your dream, that day job is going to suck. It’s going bring you down and kill your mood. But it’s up to you to change this. If you change the way you look at that job, you can change the way it makes you feel.
So how do you change the way you look at it? Here are a few things to remember.
Remember that your full time gig keeps you out of debt.
Taking on too much debt, and destroying your cash flow, is one of the biggest killers of small businesses. When your business starts to grow, you’re going to need cash to do what’s necessary to sustain that growth. By staying at your day job a little longer, you don’t have to take out loans or give away half your company to an investor, just to stay afloat. Your day job provides you with that financial foundation.
Remember that your full time job is just a stepping stone.
No one who ever realized their dream did it in a day. It takes time to build something great, and those who’ve done it successfully have put in the time, proven their systems, and made the right decisions at the right time. There is a time and place for following your guy. And there is a time and place for using your head and paying attention to the numbers. Going full time should be a little of both, but definitely requires some thought and analyzation.
Remember that your full time job is full of resources.
Unless your day job is something you do completely on your own, it is filled with possible resources. Utilize the wide variety of skills and opinions that work environment offers. Talk with your co-workers, pick the brains of your managers, and use that built-in network for feedback, advice, and potential support down the road. If your business will eventually require you to build a team, pay attention to the good and bad at your day job, and make notes of how you would (and will) do things differently.
Remember that waiting does not equal failing.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made was going full time too soon. And that decision lead to a 3-year struggle, followed by the failure of my first seemingly successful business and a downward spiral into serious depression that almost destroyed my entrepreneurial spirit.
When I look back on it, I remember constantly thinking that, because I was not chasing my dream full-time, I was failing at it. When in fact, it was quite the opposite.
Waiting for the right time to make that move is the best way to succeed. Not just for the reasons I’ve touched on above, but more so because having the strength to wait it out and sacrifice for your dream, shows TRUE dedication to your vision.
Don’t let them fool you with the thought that taking the leap to full time is how you show belief in your dream. That’s simply not true.
- Putting in 10 hours at your day job and coming home to pour another 4 late night hours into your business…that’s true belief.
- Sacrificing time with your friends and family because you need to finish that quote, make that evening meeting, or finish that design…that’s true belief.
- Going to bed late from working on your business, and then getting up early to do it all over again…that’s true belief.
- Choosing to remember why you started this crazy adventure, rather than listening to all the naysayers and giving up…that’s true belief.
You need THAT belief. The belief that your business is worth it. The belief that the anxiety, frustration, and constant struggle is worth it. The belief that your dream is your dream for a reason. The belief that your dream WILL be a reality. THAT is the belief you need.
So forget about what anyone might tell you about believing in yourself or your business enough to go full-time. Instead, remember what your day job offers, analyze your situation and your business’s needs, and make that leap at the right time. Do not be afraid to wait.
Waiting is not failing…it’s just part of the adventure.