Starting a Business While Working Full Time: What You Need to Focus On

Have you heard that you have to quit your full time job in order to be successful with an online business? It isn’t true. Don’t let worries stop you. There are ways to be successful while also working full time.

Start a business while working full time

The idea of having your own business is exciting but you know that you need to keep your full time job.  You may even love your full time job.  

No worries! 

There is no need to quit your job to be successful.  Many have created their own businesses while working full time jobs.  Some even have kept their full time jobs after reaching success.  

It is totally up to you.

Working on a business outside of your 9-5 takes some dedication and focus, but it can be done.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.  

Why Start a Business While Working Full Time?

If you love your job and earn a decent salary, why would you want to start your own business?  

This is an independent decision that each person has to make for him or herself; however, a few ideas come to mind:

  • There’s something you’re passionate about outside of your job that you feel you can help other people with.  You will feel more fulfilled creating a business around helping others with this 
  • You don’t see a lot of growth potential in your current position, especially in regards to salary.  Starting your own business can help you increase your income.
  • You want to make more money so you have more for retirement.  
  • You’ve always wanted to start your own business but weren’t sure how, or even what your business will be.  The internet has provided huge possibility for those wanting to make more money and more impact.  

If you’ve decided to pursue your own business, yay!  It’s an exciting time.  

If you will be doing this on the side, there are a few things to think about right from the get go.  

What Type of Business Should You Start?

My number one piece of advice is to get very clear on what you want to do with your business and then put your nose to the grindstone and focus.  

If you struggle with figuring out what you need to do to move forward, I recommend the book The One Thing (click to buy it on Amazon).  This book helped me to figure out what the most necessary was for me to be focusing on to make progress and get where I want to with my business.   

You see, I learned that when I tried to do everything, it made me do nothing.   

When I started out, 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. (Just saying this makes me feel exhausted).  

On top of that, I wanted to blog about about 12 million different topics.  This caused me to come to a crashing halt. I never knew what to write about or what to do next.  

Trying to do everything 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.

Not only that, but you confuse anyone out there who might be interested in what you have to offer.  If you’re all over the place, what does someone follow you for?  

Also, depending on what your business is, some of those things won’t even matter.   

So how do you choose? What do you focus on? How in the world do you prioritize?

What Do You Want To Do For Your Business?

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.

When you think about going into business for yourself, what do you imagine doing that you could see yourself doing over the long haul?  

When I started out, I was doing network marketing and I hated it. I couldn’t see myself reaching out to people I didn’t know asking them to buy things from me for one day, let alone for years to come.  

So that was out.  

What I do like to do is help people. I’ve been a therapist, a manager, and a teacher.  My favorite thing is helping others to learn and improve.  

Knowing what I like to do helped me decide what to do in my business. 

How about you?  What do you like to do?  What is important to you? 

This is where you start thinking about what your niche will be.   

I really loved this book on business ideas which had some great exercises for thinking through different ideas for what you could build your business around.  Great news is it is free on Kindle Unlimited. At the time I am writing this, you can get a month free, which means you could read this completely for free.  

Narrow Your Topic or Niche

Once you have this idea about what you want to do (for example, start a blog, coaching, network marketing, etc), you’ll want to figure out a specific niche.  

Who do you want to help and what transformation would you like to help that person make?  

All businesses are about solving problems for people.  What problem do you want to solve and for who?  

Get very specific. 

For example, “I help busy moms plan out their meals for the week.”  

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.  The truth is you can do more than you think and you might just be the one person who can help a person you end up helping!  Negative self talk is just limiting beliefs getting in the way of your success.

Try to suspend those thoughts as much as possible because the truth of the matter is you have skills and can help other people.  Even if you’re not an “expert,” it doesn’t matter in most cases. You really only need to be a step ahead of the other person to guide them toward their goals.  

Know Why You Want To Have a Business

Once you get an idea for what you want to do in business, you want to get real clear on why you’re doing this.  Starting a business while working full time will take a lot of work.  

You are going to make some sacrifices in order to do this.  When your favorite television show is on but you have to work on your business, you will have some decisions to make.

Having a strong “why” will help you with that.  

Why do you want to do this?  

Is it because you want to make money?  Hey, that’s a good why…it just might not sustain you when you feel you are working your butt off for pennies in the beginning.  (Don’t listen to all the people out there saying this is easy. They’re just trying to sell you stuff).  

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’ll 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’ll never be successful.  See this post for more information about working with this voice.  

Prioritize Your Time

Ultimately, starting a business while working full time will come down to prioritizing how you spend your time.  

You have to figure out what is the most important thing to focus on 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.

Television, social media, restaurants, all the fun things in life will call you to distract you from your goals.  

Even mundane tasks like cleaning the house will sometimes feel more important than what you need to do next in your business.  Having a plan and sticking to that plan will help you focus your time.  

If you have a giant to do list, you can do some simple things to make your priorities stand out.  

When I was working on my doctoral dissertation, it was a struggle.  Talk about a boring, unpleasant task!  

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.

Still Want to Start a Business?

I’m glad to see you’ve made it to the end of the post.  That tells me you are interested in taking the steps to start your own business.

You’ll need to figure out what you want to do and who you’ll do it for.  Then you have to make a commitment to yourself that you will make time for and prioritize your business.  

So tell me, what business will you start and what is your why?  Leave a comment and let’s discuss.  🙂

4 thoughts on “Starting a Business While Working Full Time: What You Need to Focus On”

  1. Hey Marlena, loved the article. Chuckled a few times….minesweeper not my choice for distraction, but can relate.

    I decided to launch my business for multiple reasons, the primary being wanting Independence and control over my mobility. I want Independence and freedom and working for someone else doesn’t provide that. I’ve sought out Entrepreneurship since my 20s and have always yearned to do my own thing and be responsible for my own destiny.

    I work full-time and come home to work my business. Not easy but rewarding.

    M Turner Technologies

  2. I look forward to learning more about your business! I’m just lucky I did not find World of Warcraft while I was doing my dissertation!

  3. Loved this post! I work full time & hope to get my blogging off the ground at some point. I can relate to a lot of the challenges you shared and your progress and success gives me hope!! Thanks for sharing. P

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