When you work full time and want to start your own business, you need to make sure you have a compelling reason to stay the course. It also takes some creativity with time management and productivity.
Start a Business While Working Full Time
Who in their right mind would work a full time job and then start a business in their free time? It is hard to remember exactly what initially got me to want to start a business while working full time, but I got bit by the entrepreneur bug about a year ago. Once bitten, there was no looking back. Crazily enough, I was going to go for it, even though I earn a great salary and have my dream job.
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I work full time in a job that I love about an hour and a half from home. This means that I not only am I working an eight-hour day, but I’m also in my car for three hours each day. After that, I come home and work on my business.
It has not been easy. In fact, it can be quite overwhelming at times. There are so many things I would like to do and the to do list can be quite huge. I imagine you feel the same. Every day another cool sounding venture comes across my Facebook page or in my email. There are network marketing opportunities, blogs, podcasts, membership sites, social media management opportunities, virtual assistant businesses, affiliate sales, and online courses. So many of these sound exciting and doable…
As A Person Working Full Time, You Can’t Do All The Things
When you try to do them all, you just do nothing. I know this from firsthand experience. I decided I wanted to do network marketing, affiliate marketing, Facebook marketing, Twitter marketing, Pinterest Marketing, Instagram Marketing, a membership site, an online course, a blog, and a podcast.
I have lots and lots of time in my car to listen to training, so learned a ton about how to do each of these things.
Trying to do them all resulted in doing nothing. There is only so much time in the day and even a person who is doing the business full time cannot accomplish all of those tasks. When you try to do so much, you do a little on each thing which does not result in moving forward.
So how do you choose? What do you focus on? How in the world do you prioritize?
What Is It That Gets You Going?
Well first, you have to think about what it is you want to do with your time. What do you like to do? Maybe more importantly, what do you NOT like to do.
Using myself as an example, I do not like to do network marketing. I started out with network marketing and used Facebook as a primary marketing method. In doing so, I ended up with so many network marketing “friends” on my Facebook profile. Watching my news feed turned me completely off of being a network marketer. While I have the skills and knowledge to do so, I’m not interested in going that route. I’m happy to share my business knowledge with others and to use it in this blog instead.
So, network marketing and Facebook are out for right now. (Yes, I know I have to get back to Facebook eventually, but a break is nice!)
What I do like to do is help people. That is why I am in my current job. I started out as a therapist, providing therapy to individual clients. I knew early on that I wanted to leverage my skills by teaching others and ultimately getting into management. I am attracted to the idea of helping as many as possible and being a manager allows me to influence others who are providing therapy to clients, so I get to influence a ton of clients.
So I know I have to do something that involves helping a lot of people. So, I’ve narrowed my focus to working on creating a profitable blog. This has the potential to touch a multitude of people. Ultimately, the more people I can help, the better!
Narrow Your Focus
What will you narrow your interests to? What interests you? What does not interest you? For now, try not to listen to the voice saying “that’s too hard” or “I am not good enough for that” or “no one will listen to me.” We all have those thoughts and you don’t know what you can do until you do it. Sometimes those negative voices are just limiting beliefs getting in the way of your success.
I certainly never thought I would have my current job. I am not kidding when I say that I am an introvert and used to be so shy and socially anxious. But once I decided I wanted to make more of a difference, I made it happen. When you believe you can do something, you can…
While it may sound like I am contradicting what I said earlier about having to narrow things down, I am not meaning to. In fact, maybe you can do it all…it will just take A LOT longer.
For those of us who want to continue to work full time, we just have to make sure that we are doing something that can be accomplished in our more limited time. We need to have specific, well thought out goals and have a plan.
We also have to make sure that whatever we are doing is worth doing. This usually comes down to knowing why you are doing it.
Knowing Your Why
You’ve heard it before but I will say it again. You need to know why you are getting into business and it cannot just be about money. There is just too much work involved when you start a business while working full time and it is too easy to give up when you don’t make the money you thought you would as fast as you thought you would. Many people think when they start an online business the money will just start rolling in but that is not true. There is a TON of work that goes into the business.
A relatively common “why” is getting into business for your children. You may want to spend more time with your children and provide a comfortable life for them. This is a great “why.” It is easy to remind yourself of how success might impact your children during the times you are feeling discouraged.
Without a strong why, you will come home from work and sit on the couch watching television or something equally unrelated to success in your business. I’m sure everyone has had the negative voice in their head that tells them it doesn’t matter anyway, they deserve to sit and do nothing after all the hard work they’ve done. Or the real fun voice that says that you will never be successful. See this post for more information about working with this voice.
The voice in our head that discourages us from reaching our goals can be strong. After all, quitting is much easier than doing the work necessary to go forward.
What is your why? I would love if you would leave a comment letting me know. You never know who you will inspire by leaving that comment!
Managing Your Time
Ultimately, it comes down to the management of resources, the most important of which is time. You have to figure out what is important and prioritize. You have to find a way to decrease distractions, especially on social media.
When working online, much of your marketing efforts will be done on social media. Not sure if anyone else has had this experience (haha) but I can turn on Facebook and get lost for hours. Don’t even get me started on Pinterest…
Yet, Pinterest is one of the most successful avenues for promoting your blog. So you have to figure it out.
For now, I am going to leave it at that. See this post on how to manage your time and complete tasks even when you don’t want to. I have great experience with this because I wrote a dissertation, one of the most boring experiences I have ever had.
It was NOT easy at all. I am not known for my powers of focus and concentration. I’m super distractible and there were several times I had to ask myself, “Would you rather get your doctorate or become a master at Minesweeper?”
Sometimes it was a hard decision.
See ya next time. In the meantime, if you found value take a moment to share this post on Pinterest. I’d greatly appreciate it.
What struggles are you facing with managing your at home business with other responsibilities. Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Marlena is the blogger behind apenandapurpose.com, where she writes about using journaling for self improvement and reaching goals in life and business. Using her experience as a Licensed Psychologist with a Master’s in Business, she teaches people how to break through negative thoughts and fear to do what matters. For more about me read my about page.