5 tips to juggling a start-up and a 9-to-5 job

When you’re not ready to quit your day job yet, but are keen to try your hand at a venture, these pointers may give you a heads up.


Chances are that if you're a new entrepreneur, you have a full-time job, too. Most people think that entrepreneurs can't have day jobs. You find yourself disagreeing with that sentiment – and you're right. It is entirely possible to run a company while keeping a day job. It's certainly more difficult in some ways, but it is also far from impossible.

Resist the temptation to roll the dice, quit your job, and hope your start-up makes it. You don't need to bet everything on your start-up. You can have both.

Make full use of your time

If you're going to be both entrepreneur and employee, you're going to need to learn to manage your time better. Your job is going to take up around 10 hours of your day, depending on your travel time, and your start-up will likely eat up your weekend. Add in family, friends, and hobbies, and you'll find that the week is a lot shorter than you thought.

Managing your time, thus, becomes a matter of trimming down your schedule. If you can live without watching CNN daily, cut it out. Train yourself to stop checking your phone every six minutes and you may find yourself with two extra hours every day. Stop hanging out with people you're not really that interested in and you may find more time for the people you love, such as your family. You might even consider sleeping earlier so you can wake up earlier, if you find your nights largely unproductive.

The fact of the matter is that people waste a lot of their time, in that they can live without doing a lot of things. Find the things in your life that don't contribute to your start-up, the people you don't really care about, and cut them out.

Re-think how you view your day job

Entrepreneurs who have day jobs can easily end up viewing their day job as a millstone, something that holds them down. The fact is that the reason they have those day jobs is because without those jobs, bills wouldn't get paid and food won't be on the table. In all likelihood, that's the same situation you're in. Your job is what's keeping you alive, while you wait for your start-up to make a profit.

Without your day job, the start-up may very well be impossible. It may be in fact the only thing allowing you to even consider becoming an entrepreneur. Be thankful for it and what it provides you instead of hating it.

Delegate and outsource

Whether you have a day job or not, the fact is that you can only do so much and that of the things you can do, someone can probably do it better. Since your day job already takes up so much of your time, focus on doing something that no one else can do. The things your start-up needs, but you can't do. Outsource it or delegate it to capable employees.

Act effectively daily

Since your time is limited, the number of things you can do daily is also limited. That means that every action you take must count, and you cannot waste a day doing something that does not further your goals.

You need to perform consistently. This isn't about being busy – it's about being effective. Compulsively checking your email is not effective action, it is busy work. Make every hour and every action count, every day.

Find motivation wherever you can

Entrepreneurs need motivation. Entrepreneurship is by no means an easy path, and only those who have strong reasons for being in it have a chance of making it. There must be a reason that you're making a start-up. If you're doing it because you hate your job, use that hate to motivate you to work harder at the start-up. If you're doing it because you're tired of not being financially independent or wealthy, look at the things you want to buy and use that to push you to work.

The fact is that your day job does not necessarily get in the way of a start-up and in some cases, is actually beneficial. Don't be so quick to hand in your resignation letter.

Think of whether or not you'll actually be able to turn the time it frees up into profitable effort. Think of whether or not your bank account can survive. You don't need to become a full-time entrepreneur right off the bat.

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