Many entrepreneurs face a daunting task as they transition from their full-time job into their own business. The transition can strain relationships, finances, and sanity. But it is possible. Here are five tips that will help you navigate the challenges you are sure to face as you make your entrepreneurial dream a reality.
Minimize your personal expenses
Eliminate as much as you can from your personal expenses and create a budget that accounts for the necessities only. This may mean canceling your cable or cutting back on how often you eat out each week. Regard every dollar you spend or save as an investment or an expense. Evaluate your priorities accordingly.
Create a Time Budget
Create weekly schedules that account for every minute. Without a boss to police you or a time clock to wrangle you in, it may be tempting to treat the time dedicated to your start-up as optional. Not committing sufficient and consistent time to your start-up erodes your productivity. Even if it’s only five hours per week, schedule and commit that time to your burgeoning business.
I further discuss how to better manage your time and get more done here.
Set Defined Goals
Develop a business plan that includes specific and measurable goals. These goals serve as an essential driving force and help you focus your resources. As a start-up, there is nothing more discouraging or frustrating that wasting your most valuable resources --- your time and your money.
It is also very helpful to break larger goals down into smaller more immediately achievable goals. This will help you chart a path to success and track your progress. And have some fun along the way. Remember to celebrate your success when you reach key milestones.
It can be incredibly hard to stay the course while balancing all your personal and professional obligations. Burnout threatens every entrepreneur but staying inspired and encouraged is vital. Carve out time to engage in activities that inspire you and restore balance. Of course this is different for everyone but it could be as simple as getting a good night’s rest or taking a walk for some fresh air.
When you feel burnout creeping in or loose your spark, it’s also helpful to consider your core values and recollect why you initially decided to pursue entrepreneurship. Allow the key values that drive you and your business to ignite, inspire, and propel you further.
Finally, find your tribe. What I mean by this is to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. There are innumerable professional organizations you can join and social media puts ambitious and engaged business leaders within reach. Networking is essential so seek authentic connections that propel your vision and offer to you valuable insight you may not have access to otherwise.
Don’t quit your full-time job too soon. Avoid stress, regret, and ruin by carefully considering how and when to transition from your full-time job. Though it may be incredibly exciting, securing your first client or generating your first sale does not mean your business can support you. Make sure to step down from your full-time job only when it makes sense for you financially.
So, how are you preparing your business (and life) for full-time entrepreneurship?