I’ve met many people who work a full-time job while also maintaining a business on the side. Most of these individuals have dreams of turning their side business into a full-time endeavor. Unfortunately, in many cases, a consistent income is needed to provide for themselves and their families, so quitting their job is out of the question. Every now and then I run across a story in the news or LinkedIn about someone who took the leap of faith and left their job to run their business full-time. That’s great, but that route won’t work for everyone. So as you contemplate the right move for you, I’ve come up with a list of ways your job can both help and hurt your efforts to run a successful business.
Ways Your Job Can Hurt Your Business
Time at Work Could Be Spent on Business –When you run a business on the side that you really want to be a full-time thing, you always think that the time you spend at work could be well spent on your own business. Being a business of one, I wear many hats, and I always have tons of things that I need to get done. Working 40 hours a week for a company can sometimes seem more like an inconvenience than a help. Meeting client’s needs, balancing a family and various other obligations can be tough. Now imagine if you had an extra 8 hours per day to work on your business. How much further along you would be? The solution to this problem is to manage your time wisely and leverage technology when possible. It’s surprising how much an hour here or there could do. Most people who have a brick and mortar business run them full-time. People who operate online or part-time pop-up kinds of models have a bit more flexibility. One other thing associated with not having enough time is not having the energy to put forth towards your business when you get off of work. However, it all comes back to managing your time wisely. Things as simple as waking up an hour earlier and working through lunch breaks will allow you to see better results. Be disciplined. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by watching television, playing on your smart phone, or procrastinating.
Work Stress Can Spill Over To Your Business – If you work at a place that is stressful, it can affect your business. Stress can actually have physical and mental effects on your body. When you’re stressed you are more prone to illness (which will definitely make you less productive). If you must work, then my advice is to be sure you actually like your job. Not only can stress from work affect your business it can work its way into other parts of your life as well.
Ways Your Job Helps Your Business
It Keeps You Fresh – This point is assuming your work is somewhat related to your business. Personally, I never do anything that I am not passionate about. My job is directly related to what I do in business. If you are not working in a field that is related to your business, then I suggest making that change. If your dream is to run a successful business, why not find a position in a successful company that specialize in you want to do? You can learn best practices and strategies that can help your company. Your time spent at work will keep you fresh on the latest happenings taking place in the industry. If you work in a field that is not directly related to your interest, you will have to find relevant practical experience elsewhere. Working in Career Services in higher education is very rewarding to me. I get to do what I love. In helping individuals find career success, it also helps to improve the quality of living for the entire family. I face similar situations and challenges working with students as I do with my clients. These experiences help me hone my skills and stay fresh.
Adds Credibility – Having experience in the field you want to run a business in is very important. Sure, you can gain experience running a business, but people want to know that you spent some time working on your craft before you started a business. Would you visit a barber who didn’t have any experience before opening his shop? I highly doubt that you would. Just like you want experience from the businesses you support, people want to see a track record of success from you as well. Showing that you have had success in your work can add to your credibility.
Provides Finances – Whether you have a brick and mortar building or you run an online business, you will need money if you are to be successful. Unless you have tons of savings or a large trust fund, your job will often provide the finances to support your business. In an article in Fortune Magazine by Anne Fisher, she writes “Toshniwal and Mehra funded Y Media Labs with their own savings and credit cards, and then took no cash out of the venture for the first two years”. The founders say “If you work for someone else, you always get paid no matter how the business is doing.” Not so with a startup.
So there you have it some great ways your job can help your business and ways it can hurt. Having a job while running a business can be very stressful at times. You long for more time to work on your business. However, running a business requires capital and unless you have lots of savings then you will need money to put into your business and to take care of your general expenses. One thing that I didn’t mention above was health insurance. This is a huge expense that you will have to take care of without the benefit of a job. If you feel that you are ready to take the plunge to leave your job, go right ahead. For the people who can balance both, I recommend finding something you enjoy doing for a job while continuing to work on your business. If you enjoyed this piece subscribe to my blog to see future posts.