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One of the biggest questions I see when people want to start a business or blog is how to start a side business when you work full time. As someone who worked 60 hours a week at a full time job while starting my business and taking care of my duties at home – I can tell you – it’s not easy.
It can absolutely be worth the effort, tears, and stress when you finally get to quit the day job and be a full time work at home mom. It takes a lot of dedication, hard work, and a set schedule.
The one thing that stops most people from starting their own side business is lack of time. The problem with this type of mentality is there is time just a lack of management in that time. If starting a side business is something that you really want you can manage all of it.
Time Management To Start A Business
There are several ways that you can make this process easier.
First, you need to figure out exactly what it will take to make this business successful. Do your research for a few weeks, just don’t get sucked into analysis paralysis. This will prevent you from actually starting your business because you will spend so much time just analyzing what it takes to make it succeed.
Next, you will choose your business of choice and start researching others who have been successful in their own versions of this business. I want to caution you here. Do not play the comparison game. No two success stories are the same so yours will be different from someone else’s. Additionally, you cannot compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end.
Likewise, don’t copy a similar business. Find a way to make it your own. People only see success when they stop doing what other people are doing and are themselves. Be you, put out products and content that reflect you.
Finally, you will follow some of the steps I’ve laid out below to starting and running your side business while working full time. These are the exact things I did to start a successful Etsy shop and a successful blog while I was working full time.
How To Start A Side Business When You Work Full Time
In order to start a business there are 5 things you need to do. Pick your sacrifices, set your priorities, create and stick to a schedule, set detailed goals, and learn when to ask for help.
Check out my post How To Say No To Favor Asking Family.
Pick Your Sacrifices
The first thing you need to do and probably the hardest thing is picking which daily tasks to give up.
These could be small things like watching TV or they could be bigger things too like chores or social engagements.
For me I cut back on my expectations for my house. I focused heavily on tidy not perfect, I learned to deal with the toys on the floor knowing that my twice a week vacuum was fine. I didn’t worry about the fingerprints on the glass door that would be there within just a couple of hours.
While I don’t recommend giving up all social engagements, you may need to sacrifice some of them. Being social is a great way to get the word out about your new business while also providing you with some great self care practices.
I recommend creating a list of all your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Put a little star next to the most important tasks that you cannot stop doing. Put circles next to the ones that you can do less to of to save time. Any tasks left over can be removed completely from your schedule or delegated to someone else.
By figuring out where you can make more available time in your day you can instead use it to start and run your side business. It doesn’t matter if this is a hopeful full time business or just an extra side hustle, creating more time in your day is crucial to your success.
Related Post: 10 Habits of Highly Motivated People
The next step in how to start a side business when you work full time is figuring out your priorities. Now when most people set priorities they lump their entire life together and pick from everything. This is not what you are going to do.
The best thing to do is separate out each individual part of your life. The things that make your life as busy as it is. Your job, your family, and now your side business are all separate parts of your life. So set priorities in each section.
Assuming your job has a set schedule you will set work as a daily task that cannot be changed. If your job does not have a set schedule see if your boss would be willing to give you a more stable schedule.
My job did their best to give me a set schedule but it was a bit different each week still so I had to plan out my weeks one at a time.
When it comes to your family your most important priorities could be spending time with your kids daily, weekly date nights with your husband, and cooking dinner every night. Figure out a schedule for these things so that you can schedule your business time around your work and family schedule.
Finally, when it comes to your business consider what things have the biggest return on your time invested. It could be creating new products, writing a blog post, or marketing.
When it comes to your business your priorities will be ever changing as you create an inventory of products, get more clients, and start to grow. You will want to make sure you evaluate the priorities of your business often to make sure you are getting the most out of what you spend your time on.
Check out my post The Morning Routine of A Work At Home Mom.
Create and Stick to a Schedule
This is the part that most people fall down on. If they create a schedule they will most likely at some point stop following that schedule. They go over by 5 minutes here, cut 30 minutes there. When this happens they end up spending a lot more time doing things that are not as necessary.
You need to set time for each of your major priorities. If you work during the day and spend the afternoons with your family than the evenings need to be set aside for business. Be careful of trying to mix any of them.
You don’t want to be working on your business while you are sitting at work. Likewise you don’t want to be splitting your focus by working on your business while playing with your kids. This not only hurts your business and makes you less productive, it hurts your kids too. Children crave your undivided attention.
So pick times that normally work best for each major part in your life. Dedicate yourself to focusing on only the tasks within that major part of your life. This will greatly increase your productivity.
Always be willing to adjust your schedule as needed so that you can attend to emergencies. I find it helpful to only actually plan out my schedule at most a week in advance. This leaves room for last minute engagements that are needed.
If you happen to be a morning person try getting up at a super early time to get uninterrupted work time in. For many moms waking up at 4 in the morning to get in a few hours of work is the only way they get work done each day.
I’m personally not a morning person at all. I have the hardest time pulling myself out of bed before 7 am and need a cup of coffee before I can even function. If you’re like me you’ll have to make sacrifices and schedule yourself carefully.
Set Detailed Goals
Setting actionable goals is crucial to running a business while working full time. An actionable goal is not setting a dollar amount or traffic amount you want to reach.
An actionable goal would be, for example, writing 1 blog post every week. Or creating a new product every week.
By creating these actionable daily or weekly goals you can focus on the tasks at hand. You have a goal that you need to push for.
By setting smaller daily goals you are setting yourself up for success in reaching those long term money or traffic goals. A detailed actionable goal will help you in finding success as you move forward in your business.
Ask For Help
Starting a side business no matter what the ultimate goal of it is – is a difficult task. You need to learn to ask for help. If the house needs to be cleaned but you have a deadline looming, ask your husband to help. If your business needs your attention call in a babysitter.
This is all about learning to delegate tasks so that you can get more done. Of course if you are going to delegate learn to actually delegate. Don’t hand out tasks and then stand over the person doing them. Trust that they can do it and go do what you need to do.
Even if it’s not in your nature to ask for help it’s important to learn to do it anyways. Even a side business will require a bit of attention until you have it running on auto pilot. There is no such thing as fully passive income. Everything requires time and attention in order to make it successful.
By asking for help you are then able to focus on the tasks that need to get done in your business. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help within your business, or even just so you can get some time for yourself.
Starting A Side Business While Employed
To start a business while working full time you need to pick what tasks you currently you can sacrifice and you need to set priorities. After you do that set your schedule, set your detailed actionable goals, and don’t be afraid of asking for help. The most successful people delegate tasks often.
By doing these things you can focus on building your side business while you work. You’ll be more focused as you work towards each task and far more productive.
What side business are you planning on starting and building? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and be sure to share this with your other work at home friends.
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