In our world today, as a startup you will realise that its not easy for you to survive without having a steady job alongside your passion and vision.
To this effect, Business Matter shares some tips that will be useful to so many startup on how to balance their day Job with their passion.
1. Know (and obey) your employee contract.
If you don’t already know the contents of your employee contract, revisit that paperwork. Look for any guidelines regarding a noncompete clause or your “after work” hours. Are you explicitly barred from working a second job? How much overlap is there between your current job and startup?
You particularly need to make sure that any intellectual property you create outside of work is yours and yours alone, and that your current employer can’t try to make a claim.
2. Be a rock star at work.
It’s going to be obvious fairly quickly if you’re not holding your own in the workplace. Working a second job often means late nights, so it’s understandable that you may roll into your day job later than normal, or yawn throughout the sales meeting. However, you can’t let your performance in the office suffer; both your steady paycheck and reputation are on the line.
You will no longer be able to stay late or work weekends for your day job, so you’ll need to make every minute in the office count. Master the arts of prioritizing and delegating, so you can get as much done as you can during normal work hours.
3. Create a regular routine.
Develop a steady rhythm for working on your startup; having a fixed schedule will help you stay disciplined. A common routine is dedicating one or two weeknights and one weekend day to the startup. If there are any other early team members, try to keep the same schedule, and ideally work in the same place.
4. Reserve one day a week for a break.
No matter how much there is to do in either your startup or day job, you have to take some time off. Ideally, you should be dedicating one full day per week as a true break; otherwise, you’ll burn out before your startup ever gets off the ground.
5. Consider independent contract options.
If your schedule becomes too challenging to juggle a full-time job with the commitments of a growing startup, you should consider other options. For example, you can leave your full-time job, but pursue independent contracting or part-time options to supplement your income while you invest more time in the startup.
Your current employer may even be open to this type of arrangement once you explain you’re looking to fulfill your passion or lifelong dream. Of course, this conversation will be much easier if there’s zero overlap between your employer and new venture.
6. Define your “time to quit” target.
Decide early on just what it will take for you to commit to the startup full-time. Will it take a monthly revenue target? A certain number of active users? Five committed clients? Funding? If there are co-founders working with you, try to get everyone on the same page for when it’s time to begin.
You can always reassess this target, but it’s nice to have a working goal in the early stages.
7. Don’t burn any bridges (no matter how tempting).
You never know if your business will succeed or if you’ll want to work in your employer’s industry again. Likewise, your current employer could very well become a potential customer, partner, vendor or investor for your new venture.
For this reason, you need to stay respectful and professional, no matter how eager you are to leave. If you don’t treat your employer fairly, karma will always come back to bite you.
Wherever you find yourself, whatever you do, always remember that your input and output to your day Job will determine how much success you will record when you fully stand alone. Put this tips to test, am sure you will greatly benefit from it.