I have to admit that I had the luxury of starting my first business while I was at home and not working a regular 9 to 5 job. Although, raising 3 children (5 year old twin boys and a 7 year old daughter) at the time wasn't exactly less work than a 9 to 5! But over the years I have coached many women who had to work at a day job, look after their family and work on a business from home. It's not for the faint hearted but when you have a burning desire to work for yourself and build a meaningful business, then you do what you've got to do!
One of the benefits of keeping your day job while you build your business is that you get a chance to decide if this business that you're starting is going to be for you. Keeping your day job will help you figure out if you're serious or not. Of course the other benefit of keeping your day job is that you have money coming and save up some cash before you make the big leap into your own business full time. This will give you a buffer to pay some bills while you're still building your own business.
Yes, it's going to be stressful at times. It's two full time jobs squeezed into one full time life, especially if you also have a family. It's important to have a strong focus on why you are so passionate about your business and your long term goals to help you through those times, otherwise it'll be just another thing on your plate that you'll come to resent.
One thing to remember is that your home business needs to be done ‘part time' and not ‘spare time'. If we're waiting for spare time, it'll never happen! Schedule time (yes, put it in your planner) that you can work on your business, even if it's one or two hours a day. That scheduled time will help you move along much faster than if you're working at it every now and then when you get a chance. Whether you're seeing clients after work, or writing a book, or working on an online business, scheduling your time is a must.
Where Do You Find The Time?
One place not to find it is during your day job, you want to keep any personal business to times when you are on a lunch break, travelling to/from work or after hours. Can you organise to start work earlier or later? It'll save you on commuting time if you're not travelling during rush hour. Some companies will even give you the flexibility of working 4 days a week with extended hours to give you an extra day at home, and again saving you travel time and giving you a decent block of time to work.
Make things easier for yourself by setting definite goals so that you're not wasting time when you're at home. You'll want to make sure that your goals are realistic with your lifestyle and schedule so you don't feel discouraged if you have to move a goal post or a self-imposed deadline.
Need more time? You know where to find it, TV, Netflix, surfing the ‘net. Schedule your family time first so no one misses out then use TV time to get some business work done. Can you get help around the house? Share your goals with your family, explaining what you want to achieve is not only for yourself, but for the whole family. This will help you get everyone onboard. It's amazing how you can suddenly get kids chipping in doing stuff when they know there's something in it for them. Can you outsource something? If you can afford a cleaner, it'll be one of the best investments you can make. If not, can you get someone to do your ironing for you?
Use your commute time wisely. If you have to drive to work then listening to audio books or business podcasts while you drive helps keep you motivated and up to date with with business skills. If you're travelling by bus or train then use that time to make notes, plans and brainstorm your business. Travel time on public transport is a great time to create drafts of emails, drafts of blog posts. Get creative and work on planning so that when you do get to your desk you can get down to real business.
Now I'd love to know, do you have a day job? Or have you made the leap from 9 to 5 to your own business? How did it work out for you?