Most people start their business ‘on the side’ while still working full-time. If you are able, I highly recommend keeping your full-time job while building your own business. It’s no secret that there are many challenges and obstacles that come from juggling your full-time job and business.
To help you I’ve created this Business Planner to balance your life and build your business, while still working full time. I’ve learnt the hard way – so you don’t have to!
Related Post: Step by Step - How to Start an Online Business
18 months ago, I was working full-time, building my coaching business, teaching Yoga 3 evenings a week, studying for a nutrition course part-time and trying to fit in my own Yoga practice twice a week.
You may feel exhausted by just reading that! I often think back and question how I managed to fit everything in, but I did it for about a year. I have to admit it was exhausting and I would do many things differently if I could turn back time.
For this reason I wanted to share my tips and recommendations, so that you don’t feel completely overwhelmed and burnt out by juggling your full-time job, business, family and social life while taking action towards growing your business.
#1 SHIFT THE NEGATIVITY AROUND YOUR JOB
Many people usually start their own business because they are unfulfilled with the job they are in. (If you are happy in your current job, you can skip this bit!)
I wanted to start with this subject because I know it can be difficult to stay positive when you are in the job you dislike. However thinking negatively about your job will only make you feel unhappy and depressed. This could lead to making rushed decisions and taking the wrong action. Also this negativity drains your energy and won’t bring good vibes to building your business.
Having a job that brings you a stable income whilst building your business is a great thing and you should appreciate it and take an advantage of it.
ADVANTAGE #1: You will have money to invest
You can invest the money you earn from your job into your business, so that you can grow your business faster (with the right investment of course!). With an online business, much of your investment will go towards online tools and software that will enable you to automate your business and save time. With the right investment into these tools and software, you will save your precious time.
ADVANTAGE #2: You are not 100% reliant on your business income
Remember, it may take at least a year to really start making a profit from your business (depending on what you do and the start-up costs involved). By having financial security, you can focus on building your business without any worries and anxiety that comes from financial insecurity.
ADVANTAGE #3: You can avoid borrowing
Plan well and you will most likely to not need to take up a loan or use your credit card to finance your business. By having a job that brings in stable income each month, you can avoid borrowing money to invest in your business. Even you do decide to take up a loan or use credit card, you can pay it off faster if you have a stable income each month.
What if I still struggle to enjoy my job?
I recommend writing down at least 3 things that you are grateful for about your job every morning when you get into work. For example, “I am grateful for having my job because it brings me a stable income which I can then invest into my business”.
Writing these down really helped me shift my negativity around my job. Of course, there will be times when you may feel really unhappy and want to quit your job like right now! When that happens, I suggest reading back your journal or think about everything you have achieved in your business and how your job has allowed you to make them happen.
#2 CREATE A BUDGET
I know this sounds pretty boring but this is super important!
If your goal is to quit your job eventually and make your business a full-time enterprise, it’s important to work out how much you need to generate from your business in order to quit your job without worrying about money.
Work out your monthly income and spending for both your personal needs and your business. If you have an existing debt or decide to take loan to invest in your business, make sure you have a repayment plan in place and work out how long it will take to pay back all your debts. Ideally, you’ll want to pay off all your existing debts before you quit your job and loose that stable income.
How much do I need to make before I can quit my job?
It really depends on your business and your circumstances in terms of how much you need to generate from your business in order to quit your job.
However, before quitting I would recommend having at least 6-12 months of consistent business income that replaces your corporate income (or more) and have enough savings to live without any income for at least 6-12 months to allow you not only to have slow periods, but to also have enough to invest in your business when necessary.
Another great option is to move to part time, if your job allows. This still provides you with a solid income and also the time to spend building your business.
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#3 SCHEDULE WORKING HOURS
I have to admit that I am a bit of workaholic and would work on my business all night if I could. My partner often needs to stop me and get me to go to bed. Sleep is important!
I know this is not the best way to work as you can burn yourself out very quickly and it’s not productive. On a weekly basis, I highly recommend scheduling time in your diary to spend on your business and set yourself tasks to complete.
Remember, be realistic when planning and allow yourself to have time to do things you love outside of your business. But then be strict with yourself when you have allocated time to work on your business and commit fully to the task.
Times you can work on your business:
Everyone has different commitments and schedules, but here are some recommendations that might work for you:
#1 Spend early mornings to work on your business:
Before I leave for work in the morning I spend about 45 minute to an hour on my business. That means waking up an hour early and it may not be for you if you are not a morning person, but give it a go.
You can use this time to do small tasks such as checking your emails, scheduling your week, writing comments or replying to comments on social media platforms or even journaling.
#2 Use your lunch break to write:
Now, I don’t recommend working on your business 5 days a week if you are working full-time. But working on your business during your lunch break 2-3 times a week will enable you to have a business-free evening where you can spend that time doing something you love outside of your business.
Again, you can use this time to do smaller tasks. I often use my lunch break to write my social media posts, blog and newsletters as well as scheduling my social media posts.
#3 Use your commuting time for self-development:
This is a great way to use your time on self-development if you have a long commute. I often use my commuting time to read or listen to educational or inspiring books, read educational blogs or listen to podcasts or recorded webinars.
#4 Spend a couple of hours in the evening to work on your business:
You can use your free evenings to work on bigger tasks such as working on your website, creating content for free or paid products, speaking to potential clients, client calls and so on.
I highly recommend setting time to finish your work in the evening. I try my best to stop working by 10pm. I suggest setting an alarm or ask your other half to remind you to stop working!
#5 Use the weekend:
Now, if you have a family you may want to avoid working on your business on weekends. But if you have a lifestyle that allows you to work on your business on weekends, this is the best time to get things done without any other distractions.
I recommend taking at least one day off from your business to do something you love outside of your business. If you set yourself to work on your business all day on your days off, take regular breaks. Go for a walk or fit in a 30 minute workout, or even do some house chores to get your body moving!
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#4 GET SUPPORT & ACCOUNTABILITY
If you have a full-time job, you have a limited time to work on your business. So you’ll want to make sure that you are focusing on the right tasks. Working for yourself may also make you feel isolated or de-motivated from time to time. I highly recommend getting a coach, mentor or accountability buddy who already has a successful business to help you focus.
There are a few things to remember when you are hiring a coach or mentor.
#1 Make sure you do your due-diligence:
There are many business coaches and mentors in the online world of business. And there are so many super convincing marketing messages, promising all sorts of results. I highly recommend doing your due-diligence before hiring any business coach or mentor. The best way to do this is to get in touch with their past clients and speak with them. It’s totally fine for you to ask them to give you their past clients contact details.
#2 Make sure the coach or mentor you are hiring has experience working with people in your industry and niche:
Most coaches teach you the strategies that worked for them and tell you to implement the same strategies – which is all good but remember each business is unique and what work for others may not work for you.
#3 A premium fee is no guarantee of quality:
Be aware that paying a premium fee doesn’t mean that the coach or mentor is the best and can guarantee results. You don’t need to pay thousands of dollars on a coach or mentor - especially if you don’t have that kind of money to spend. If they have a lower priced e-course or group program, start with that first and see if you could benefit from one-on-one support.
#5 OUTSOURCE YOUR WORK
You have limited time to work on your business, therefore I highly recommend hiring somebody to help you with time-consuming or complex tasks that you have little interest or experience of delivering. For example a good virtual assistant will be able to help with a wide range of tasks. Or if you are not massively tech savvy get a web designer/developer to help with your website etc.
Many people tend to avoid investing their money into hiring other people to save costs. But if you are working full-time, it’s good to be strategic with the time and money you have. By getting a virtual assistant or freelancer to do tasks that either you are not really good at or that take up a lot of your time, you can spend your time effectively. Allocate that time to tasks that you are really good at or you enjoy.
This is a lesson I have learnt and something that I should have done from the beginning, before I switched from full-time to part-time. If it’s not your ‘thing’ get some help.
Places you can find virtual assistants and freelancers:
Again, I highly recommend doing your due-diligence before you sign an agreement with a virtual assistant or hiring a freelancer. Make sure you have clearly defined what you need and the terms are clear and fair.
It’s also totally fine to ask them for reference or speak with their existing or past clients. If you find the right person this could be the start of a long and fruitful relationship for you both.
#6 REWARD YOURSELF
Finally, make sure you reward yourself for every success, even a small one! This will not only motivate you to move forward with your business at challenging times, but it will give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement in how far you’ve come.
There will be no doubt that you’ll have moments when you will feel stuck, de-motivated or struggle to juggle everything in your life. When this happens, always revisit your “WHY” - why you started your business, and list everything you’ve achieved so far in your business. Then celebrate your success by treating yourself with something you love or spend quality time with your loved-ones.
I’ve created a Business Planner designed for a full-time worker, which includes a Monthly Budget Worksheet, Freetime Mapper and Task Planner to get you organized so you can build your business effectively, while working full-time.
Monthly Budget Worksheet: Use this worksheet to create a budget to plan and work out how much you need to generate from your business in order to quit your job. This can then be used to track your income & expenditure on a monthly basis.
Freetime Mapper: Use this to calculate your average weekly free time that you are able to spend on your business.
Task Planner: Use this to set out all your tasks, allocate time against them and when you need to have completed them.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE BUSINESS PLANNER!
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Do you have any questions? Share your questions in the comments below!