I’ve heard people say that they want to quit their jobs and start a business so often it has almost become a cliché. The truth, though, is that the process of becoming an entrepreneur is not one that happens overnight.
Most self-employed individuals, myself included, remain gainfully employed at another job while taking one step at a time to launch a new business.
As you might imagine, this is easier said than done, for you don’t want to ruin your reputation at your existing job as a hard worker. It’s only fair to your current employer that you efficiently do the job you’re being paid to do. Therefore, you should take care to avoid scheduling meetings or calls for your business during while you’re on the clock, and don’t use company technology or supplies for your new venture either.
Benefits of a Gradual Transition
Setting ground rules like these will probably mean longer hours and substantial juggling for a while, but starting a business while you’re still employed has its benefits. I’m fond of saying that not everyone is cut out for the risky and stressful lifestyle of an entrepreneur, and dipping your toe in is a good way to determine whether it’s really and truly for you.
Furthermore, if you take away the financial pressure of needing your business to make money right away, you will be more likely to have a successful venture in the long-run because you will be able to take your time with market research, real consumer trials, and consults with local, small business development centers.
Know When It’s Time to Leave
At some point, it will probably make sense for you to make your new business your full-time job. How do you know? A good sign is that your side gig’s revenue has now surpassed your annual salary, or that you are now able to support your family without the income from your day job.