5-Steps to Setting Up a Business While Working Full Time
There's never been a better time to open a business while working full time. All the information you need is at your fingertips, and as long as you are willing to spend some time learning it and applying it, your dreams may come true faster than you expect.
Here's a quick checklist that you can use as a guide before you get started. Use it as a blueprint and remember that each business model requires a different set of skills.
1. Allocate 15 to 20 hours a week to your new business: When you are getting started, don't just do work "when you have time to do it." You need to set proper boundaries around your work time to avoid watching Netflix or playing video games when you were supposed to send emails or work on your clients' projects. If you block daily slots on your calendar for business work, you will be more inclined to stick to them. My favourite routine? 5:30 am to 8 am, then 7 pm to 9 pm during the week and 8 am to noon on weekends.
2. Find out what skills you need to learn and take specific courses: A dilemma that most entrepreneurs face is how to balance learning with doing. Especially when you are starting out, you may feel excited to get started but ask your self: "do I really know what I am supposed to do?" if the answer is not a "Yes!", Find out what knowledge gaps you have and learn! When I first started out, I knew I needed to learn Facebook ads as much as possible, so I joined a high-end Facebook Ads course and spent a couple of months in student mode. By the end of the course, I had the knowledge and confidence to onboard any client that came my way. Some classes that I took over the years are Business Finance, Basic Web Development, Sales, Leadership, Investing and more. You can use LinkedIn's Lynda.com, Udemy, Coursera to name a few. Head over to one of these sites and invest in your knowledge today!
3. Make quarterly SMART goals: Even though I was not a big fan of planning everything out, I have to admit that SMART goals fast-tracked my success. Having a quarterly SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) helped me stay on track with my productivity and (sometimes) re-evaluate the direction of my business altogether. A good SMART goal is a goal that you can stick to "hence the A for Attainable." It should be a goal that you are hungry to crush! Sit down and look at your resources - time, money and knowledge. Now come up with a goal and a series of checkpoints throughout the quarter that you can use to monitor your progress.
4. Wake up early: This is a topic that's been debated for a very long time. Some people swear that they are not morning people and that they work best later in the evening and at night. I believe that that could be the case, but I also know that if you have a 9 to 5 job, you have no choice but to plan your schedule around it. While some people may perform better at night, it's a fact that early mornings are better for uninterrupted, focused work. My routine is the following: alarm goes off at 5:00 am. I make myself a coffee, and I sit on my balcony (no phone, or computer) from 5:05 to 5:35, then I work from 5:35 to 8 am. During this time slot, I never receive, emails, texts or phone calls because most people are sleeping. In my early morning session, I can produce so much more than at night, and I experience more moments of flow.
5. Find your new motivation (not money): This is my last point, but it could have easily been my first. Motivation is the driving force that will keep you hustling when you are tired or when all your friends are out having a good time. While money is the by-product of a successful career or business, it can't be your primary driver. Try to find your motivation in a specific lifestyle that you aspire to. Maybe you love adventure, and you want to spend the rest of your life travelling around the world with your partner. Or perhaps you want to spend more time with your kids and be there for your family as much as possible. Envisioning actual events and people in your life will help you see a clear picture of what your life could be. That is the type of motivation that will help you wake up early and keep you grinding during the hardest times.
If you are just getting started or you have been feeling stuck, contact me at Deniero@denierob.com I have helped lots of people figure out their routines, and I'd love to help you as well.