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Launching While Working? Three Pitfalls to Avoid as you Grow your Business

Guest Blogger | December 7, 2016

Written By: Chivon John, Founder & CEO of Secrets of a Side Hustler

There was a time when starting a business and keeping your day job was seen as taboo but nowadays you’d be hard pressed to find a person who isn’t a proud ‘employedpreneur’.

Although starting a business as a side hustle can give your start-up an edge, here are three pitfalls to avoid if your plan is to grow your business from hobby to profitable venture.

Pitfall #1: Getting side tracked by ‘side hustle shame’

As sexy as the ‘fire your boss’ or ‘escape from cubicle nation’ narratives sound, quitting your day job to immediately start a business is not realistic for every aspiring entrepreneur. In reality, many well-known businesses such as Mailchimp, Freshbooks and Convert Kit originated as ‘side projects’ and research is revealing that doing so can give your business a leg up on the competition.

A study entitled ‘Should I Quit my Day Job?” in the Academy of Management Journal revealed that businesses that are launched while the founder is employed and later become their full-time gig, are one third less likely to fail than those begun as full-time enterprises. So if you’re feeling self-conscious about your ‘employedpreneur’ status take comfort in knowing that hanging on to your job and taking intentional steps may help your business have a greater chance of success in the long run.

Pitfall #2: Slacking at your full-time job

Answer honestly – Are you giving the same effort to your full-time role since starting your business? If the answer is no, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to learn to become a better entrepreneur.

Why? Because your full-time role is the ultimate training ground for how great and not so great businesses are run. Not to mention, as a full-time entrepreneur you don’t have the luxury of checking out when you no longer feel interested or inspired to do something, so why should you show up this way at your job?

As a full-time Executive Assistant and Founder of three profitable businesses, Pauleanna Reid regularly shares with her clients the importance of not letting your ambition for entrepreneurship cloud your judgement and performance at your full-time role. “When you get into the office, give your best effort. Not just some days, but every damn day.”

As a side hustler, think of your job as your ‘angel investor’ in your business growth that may eventually lead to future leads and opportunities for your career. When you’re on the job, commit to being fully present and identify the ways how your current role can actually contribute to your business growth or entrepreneurial knowledge.

Pitfall #3: Over-scheduling your time and under-scheduling self-care

Don’t let the excitement of having a business cloud your judgment of how much you can actually get done in a day. When you work full-time you have to factor in:

  • The 7.5+ hour investment at your full-time job
  • The time to commute if you don’t work from home
  • 2-3+ hours to actually work on your business
  • Personal and family commitments
  • Sleeping

Typically sleep is the first thing to go when we’re in hustle mode but self-care should be your sidekick when you’re living the side hustle life.

Stacking your to do list without giving any thought to how much effort it will take to complete the work will contribute to you becoming a stressed out entrepreneur instead of a successful one so pay attention to where you invest your energy and time.