Let’s do a little imagination exercise.
Imagine a world in which people did what they loved to do – and they got paid for it. What would you be doing?
You could be working in a 9-5 office job which filled you professionally and offered a clear career path into upper management.
Maybe you’d be a freelancer, doing what you loved while having geographical freedom. You could travel the world and still have financial security.
Maybe you’d decide to start your own business, filling that gap in the market, selling that thing that you’re passionate about. Remember, it wouldn’t have to be anything new to succeed.
How wonderful would that world be?! We’d all feel like we belonged. We’d feel like we were giving the best of us to the world.
Reality check: That’s not how the world is
Most people are unhappy or unsatisfied with their jobs. A new job satisfaction report by the Conference Board says that only 49.6% of US employees are happy with their jobs.
That means more than half are unhappy!
Considering we spend half of our waking hours working, (assuming a 40-hour working week) this is terrible.
We may not live in the ideal world I described earlier, but I really think everyone should do his/her best to do something they love – or at least really, really like.
If you’re someone who feels like the only option you have is working a 9-5 job, let me show you another way.
Best course of action: starting your side business while working full-time
As you know, I started to prepare my escape from my engineering career around a year before it happened.
I didn’t know exactly what I would be doing, but I started to track my expenses and save money – the money that would end up being my safety net!
While my emergency fund was growing, I started to plan my business. I asked myself questions like:
What would I be doing? Was there a market for it? Would it make me happy? Could I make a living out of it? Would I be able to keep it up long enough for it to be successful?
The result was Escaping to Freedom, and I planned it all while working a full-time job.
Here’s what I learned.
Find out your strengths and your passion
The idea here is that you’ll be creating a business that will eventually become your main job. Since you’re trying to get away from a job that isn’t making you happy, you need to start with what does make you happy.
Make a list of what you love to do – a little trick here is to ask yourself this question:
What can you talk about for hours?
When you have a few of these, make another list. This time note down what your strengths are. What are you better than average at?
Ideally, you want your business to be based on something that you’re passionate about and that you’re pretty good at.
Realise that it takes work
Starting a side business while working full-time won’t happen without some buckling down.
You’ll have to allocate some time after work, and at weekends to make your project a reality. Unfortunately, this is non-negotiable.
Even an hour a day should be enough, as long as you’re mega productive.
Related: How to Start Working From Home Like a Boss
I use a method called the Pomodoro Technique. You set a timer, like this one, to 25 minutes. After that, you take a 5-minute break – even if you feel you don’t need one.
This has been proven to make you hyper-focused on the task at hand and will let you do more with less time!
I love it. When I need to really get stuff done it’s what I use.
Make a plan for your escape
Let’s say you’ve been working on your side business for a few months now. Everything’s going well and it’s even generating a bit of income. Nice!
Now what? When will you quit your job and give your business a real shot?
Quitting your job isn’t easy. You need to stop fearing the unknown and take the leap.
And to do that, you need a plan. You must have targets that you strive to meet and deadlines that you mustn’t pass on.
The most important one is, without a doubt, the point at which you’ll quit your job.
This could be a specific date, an income target or a stage or your business. Whichever it is, you should set it at the start – even if you change it later on.
Otherwise, it will be too difficult to take the massive leap of faith that you’ll need.
A guide to show you the path
I’ve done this, and I know what it takes. That’s why I created a guide for you. It’s a PDF that will show you all the most important stages to start a side business while working full-time – and then make it your career!
Starting a side business while working full-time isn’t for everyone. However, if you know you’d be happier doing something you loved for money, then it’s definitely the route I recommend!
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