For most of us, quitting a full-time job to start up your own business venture is quite a risk. With families to support and bills that need paying, the majority of people have no option but to keep their 9-5 job whilst building their new business.
The thought of juggling jobs can seem like an overwhelming amount of stress and complexity, however, some of the world’s greatest companies started as mere side projects and it does come with its advantages too. Not only are you in a situation where you can gain contacts and advice, but you are in a position to test your commitment to your business, making the decision to venture out on your own less risky.
Balancing two jobs whilst maintaining some sort of work-life balance will never be an easy undertaking but it is completely doable. myHermes have created this simple 5 step guide to show you how.
1. Start with small changes
Don’t make the mistake of diving into an ambitious schedule head first. You’ll never stick to it and it will likely dampen your spirits with a feeling of failure from the off. For the first few weeks, perhaps give yourself an hour of relaxation after dinner, and then once that hour is over, cut yourself off. Everyone has their favourite TV shows and it can be all too tempting to just sit of the sofa with your laptop, not really progressing with any actual work. So, each week, add a new change to your evening schedule, keeping it realistic, achievable and interesting.
2. Set clear, realistic goals
Make your goals realistic. Splitting your goals out into daily, weekly and monthly objectives is one of the best ways to sustain motivation and progression. Daily goals are likely to be your smaller to-do list items that you might set yourself to complete every evening. Physically write a to-do list every night. It’s only a small exercise, but it always feels great to cross things off a list.
Weekly goals are the slightly bigger goals that can’t necessarily be achieved in one evening. These could be for example, reaching out to your friends and family for feedback on your idea or, designing and developing different stages of your service or website. It’s important to still be diligent and cross them off your list at the end of the week to keep track on progress.
Monthly goals are your larger objectives that you’ll most likely set for one months’ time to up to a year. It might seem a bit pointless to write down goals for a year from now, however, it does help keep you accountable for that intention you might have set to leave your job in six months’ time. These monthly goals could be anything from launching your website to building up enough savings to leave your current job. Setting your goals can feel a bit awkward at first, but, like most things, it gets easier in time and gives you a clear focus.
3. Shut out the distractions
Now that you’ve created a clear, manageable, schedule it’s important that when you commit to spending time working on your new business, you’re focused on only that. It’s crucial that you spend this limited time actually working. So turn off your phone notifications, close irrelevant tabs, and turn off the TV. You might not be too thrilled with having to create a home schedule but it’s still important to still appreciate your time away from your 9-5 job. Giving yourself some parameters won’t feel like the worst thing in the world when you start seeing results.
4. Keep your two roles separate
We’re in the age of personal emails, smartphones and tablets. This means that there is no reason whatsoever to bring your new business venture into your day job. You can keep the two completely separate. It may seem an obvious one but, whatever you do, don’t use your work account to generate correspondence about your new business. Companies have strict rules about how you use their equipment and, in order to avoid conflict or interruption, it’s also advisable that you set up another phone number for your business. The last thing you want is people ringing you at the office enquiring about your new venture.
5. Choose an environment that works for you
Make every minute count. When juggling two jobs, you need to maximise all the time you have available. It’s therefore vital that you find a location that works best for you. You need to be in an environment which will enable you to be as productive as possible with minimal distractions. Some people can shut themselves away in an area of the house, but for some, working at home is more of a struggle. A lot of good coffee shops have Wi-Fi nowadays and if you enquire, friends or family might even let you use their offices. If the setting doesn’t work for you, you need to change it.
Starting your next business whilst working a full-time job is never easy, but put these initial steps into place and you’ll be on the way to working for yourself in no time.