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5 Ways To Stay Motivated While Building Your Business On The Side

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Building your business on the side

A common strategy for many aspiring entrepreneurs is to ease their way into it by building their business on the side while working a full-time job.

While this approach helps reduce the initial risk of diving head first into being your own boss, delaying the gratification of quitting your job to run your own business can take its toll on your motivation.

Here are 5 tips to keep your entrepreneur flame burning strong while working for someone else:

1. Keep it a secret

In theory, telling others about your plans to start your own business seems like a smart idea. Conventional wisdom says you’ll have others to hold you accountable. And it feels good to see people nod in excitement when they hear your plans.

But according to Peter Shallard, the shrink for entrepreneurs, telling other people about your big plans robs you of your motivation. You get all caught up in talking about your plans, instead of actually doing the work to bring your goals to life.

In addition, having people continually asking you about your progress can also zap your enthusiasm if you’re not progressing as quickly as they think you should be. Another consequence of spreading the word about your side business are the naysayers, people who will warn you about all the terrible things that could happen to you as a result of venturing out on your own.

Instead of running the risk of having other people rain on your parade, keep your plans to yourself. Make it your own little secret. Then use that private piece of information as fuel. For instance, every time you get frustrated with work, remind yourself that being there is temporary, because you have an exit plan.

It’ll help you pull through the tough days, and give you an extra dose of energy to make progress on your side business once you get home.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

2. Work on it a little every day

Progress is an extreme motivator. When you see how far you’ve gone from where you initially started, it gives you an extra boost to keep advancing toward your end goal. The best way to make progress is to do something every day.

As you work your day job, it may seem difficult to find the time to devote to your side business. So don’t leave making progress up to chance. Schedule appointments with yourself on your calendar. And make showing up for them non-negotiable.

Don’t worry if you don’t have large blocks of time to devote. Consistently spending thirty or even fifteen minutes a day to grow your business will bring you far more results than longer, sporadic blocks of time once every couple of weeks.

The daily progress will help you gain momentum, which will further drive you to keep going.

 

3. Celebrate small wins

Building a business is a major undertaking, and there are multiple milestones you’ll need to hit to make it thrive.

To help you stay motivated during the process, you should celebrate your small wins along the way. Little bonuses will help energize you to continue to take action.

The rewards don’t need to be elaborate or even cost any money. They just need to be meaningful enough to you to inspire you to keep going.

 

4. Set a departure date

When I worked my corporate job, I used to work with a man that was counting down the days until his retirement. When I first met him, he had 186 days left. And every couple of weeks he’d let me know what the new number was.

Eventually, he retired and took his wife on that cruise around the world he’d been planning. It was a major life event for him, and he was understandably excited about it, even though for a while it seemed far away.

Having a finite date of when his retirement was to begin gave him hope, and a very clear light at the end of a long tunnel. When it comes to keeping motivated while you build your business on the side, you need an absolute date too. It doesn’t matter if it’s six months or two years from now.

Besides, a specified departure date will make the dream of running your business full-time feel more tangible.

 

5. Write your resignation letter

One of the most exhilarating feelings is handing in your resignation letter to pursue your dream. But there’s no need to wait until you officially upgrade your status to a full-time entrepreneur to experience some of that thrill. You can write your letter now.

Put the date on it that you set in the previous tip. The euphoria of writing the words will help you better visualize yourself being in the moment where your dream is your reality. The desire to give the letter to your boss will help get you in gear to do the work to help you be ready when the time comes.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

The journey to achieving your dream of running your own business full-time may seem long, but if you stay motivated and take consistent action, you will get there. And the sacrifices you make today to live your dream in the future will be worth it.

How do you keep your entrepreneur flame burning strong while working for someone else? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Sonia Thompson is a content marketing strategist who’s obsessed with roaming around Buenos Aires. She’s the founder of TRY Business School where she’s on a mission to help you build your dream business by combining the right mindset with the right strategy. Grab your free 3-part video series on How to think like an elite entrepreneur here.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Richard

    Apr 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Great post Sonia. One day i will be leaving the corporate world and doing my own thing. A bit goal for me in the upcoming years. As i see it, we are only on this world once so it would be worth to try it at least to see what happens.

    Still working full time and just starting to venture in my fist business so really exciting times. It is all about rewarding yourself with the small wins which i do weekly with my accountability partner.

  2. Richard Blakemore

    Apr 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    What a great read Sophie, I would class myself an Wantrepreneur at the moment. Bored of the normal path carved out by everyone else in the world! I am currently still working full time in a IT role that is holding me afloat in life but I do feel like I am floating and I need to start swimming.

    I am currently working on a website with a mate and this will be my first official stab at starting a business. I am so excited and can’t wait for it to be officially launched.

    So at the moment I am currently doing the first 3 of your ideas and will hopefully one day fulfil the last 2!

    You have got me pumped and motivated to keep working and keep smashing out the goals.

  3. Stefanie

    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Hi Sonia, thank you for sharing some advice on this topic! I have been asking myself over several years the very same question. I have a corporate job and founded a business with my husband who is working full in our business. This is a great help for growing your business faster and maintaining the motivation: getting in a partner you know and trust.
    On the other hand, I often feel kind of tired because we have so many plans, and sometimes things still don’t go as fast as we want them to go.
    What keeps me going is reviewing successes we already had and remembering our vision of planting one tree for each client we have in educational events with children. The sometimes scary quantity is 1,000,000. Making it about others is so much more powerful than just thinking “my vision is to have the best product in the area x”.
    And final point: I strongly believe it’s important to make sure you care for yourself. This includes the basics such as getting enough rest, exercise, great food, and also some rewards, e.g. taking some time for what you really enjoy and love.

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