Starting a new business is an absolutely insane amount of work. I totally underestimated how much it took before I started and I’m sure I’m not alone. To add to the work required to start a business, I also started while holding a full-time job.
I’ve seen a lot of people asking how to manage starting a business alongside a full-time job, so I thought I’d share my best tips here! Since it’s been 2 months since I quit my job to go full-time in my business, I’ll also add a quick update at the end. 🙂
How I Grew My Business While Juggling A Full-Time Job
1. Set specific times for work
I think the most important thing I did was to go into each day with a plan. I knew that every day from the time I got home from work from the time I went to bed that I’d be at my desk working. I’d take a short break for dinner and to catch up with my husband, but other than that it was go-time.
In addition, I didn’t get much “play” in on the weekends. It was common for me to sit at my computer from 5am-9pm working with quick breaks for food or to run to the gym. Was it healthy? Probably not. But it got the job done.
My husband took care of cooking, cleaning, laundry, getting groceries, and whatever else needed to be done. I know, he’s a keeper.
Between my night and weekend work, I probably averaged about 30 hours per week of working on my business. Not bad, huh?
It was exhausting, but it was what I needed to do to get my business off the ground as quickly as I wanted to.
Now of course, if you have kids this isn’t something you can do. But the most important thing to take away is to plan out your time for working. You’ll be able to mentally prepare each day and your family will know what to expect.
2. I said “no”
I’ve always struggled with telling people “no” and I think I always will. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it here.
However, I got pretty good at it in the 7 months I was starting a business and working a full-time job.
I probably hung out with friends 3 or 4 times in those 7 months and went from going home to visit my family 2 times per month down to going less than 1 time per month.
It was hard, but luckily my family was understanding and it helped me focus on moving my business forward.
3. Used income from my full-time job to grow my business
While juggling two jobs was difficult, the ability to use my regular income to fund my business was completely worth it. There were investments I was able to make that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
- An amazing web designer
- A virtual assistant
- A friend to help with design work
- MailChimp with automation (I’ve now moved to ConvertKit)
- BoardBooster for Pinterest automation
- A year of LeadPages
- A year of Teachable
- Two years of 17hats
My VA and the friend I hired to help with design work were such important investments. Since my time was limited they were really able to take responsibility for the things that would have otherwise kept me from the jobs I could be doing to generate income.
And 17hats has made managing clients one heck of a lot easier.
4. Built genuine relationships
This was never part of any kind of “strategy”, but in attempting to grow my audience I made some absolutely incredible friends. I’ve done some bragging on them before, but I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the support of these ladies.
Not only have I had extra people consistently sharing my content, but they were what kept me going in the times I didn’t think I could do it anymore. I honestly think I would have quit in those first 4 or 5 months if I didn’t have them there for encouragement.
Update: My First 2 Months Full-Time
The day after I left my job I wrote a post that you can find right here. Reading that post now is so surreal. I can really feel how terrified I was. I wasn’t quite convinced that I had done the right thing.
Well, the tides have definitely changed and I don’t know if you can find a happier person around. While this journey can be absolutely terrifying, it’s so incredible and exciting that the scary stuff can usually be outweighed pretty easily.
When I quit my job I was pretty certain that I’d be able to double my monthly income. I totally nailed it my first month, but May was a bit slower. I still reached my goals, but it was a good wake-up call that I need to keep working hard and not let my guard down.
I don’t have a “real” job
Something else I didn’t think I’d have to deal with was hearing how I don’t have a “real job”. If only you could see how hard I rolled my eyes as I typed that.
I guess I don’t have a “real” job, but I can tell you I work harder now that I ever had to at a “real” job. Now, if I don’t do the work I don’t make money! Oh well, my “fake” job is pretty sweet. 😉
Allowing myself time off
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve finally been letting/making myself take most nights and weekends off. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s SO refreshing!
I honestly don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not working and often end up laying on the couch staring at the ceiling or going for long walks, but the motivation and energy I have when Monday morning rolls around are worth a little boredom.
I even have my first “vacation” days scheduled for early July to spend time riding dirtbikes and four-wheelers with my family.
If you haven’t given yourself some time off in a while, give it a shot!
Do you people leave the house?
Seriously, do you?
I absolutely hate having to go anywhere. I came into this thinking that I’d work at a coffee shop a couple times per week, go grocery shopping a different day, maybe go to lunch with a friend once per week, and stuff like that.
I haven’t gone to a coffee shop in several weeks, I just finally had my first lunch date on Friday, and I found that Sunday nights are my favorite time to go grocery shopping (it’s seriously so quiet!!).
My husband tells me that I need to leave the house, which I respond to by kindly reminding him that I drive 1.5 minutes to go to the gym each morning. That is technically leaving the house. I win.
I hired a business strategist
I am so excited about this one!
Since business was a little slow in May, I naturally had a mini panic attack. I also realized that even if it wasn’t slow that I still need to do something to move to the next level.
I’ve been following the amazing Kyla Roma for a while now. After watching a few of her Facebook Live videos and a webinar she did, I knew that the services she provided were exactly what I needed. I meet with her next week and can hardly wait!
Seriously, manifesting is a thing
If you would have told me anything about manifesting a month ago I would have looked at you like you were absolutely insane. Like…you totally lost it.
But I’m a believer now.
I hadn’t had a client inquiry in 2 weeks (ahhhh!!) before I contacted Kyla about coaching.
Literally the day after I scheduled my call with her I had 2 inquiries in my inbox. In the weeks since then, I’ve been having more and more new clients come in and, call me crazy, but I always get at least 2 the day after I make a big decision.
I. Love. Routines.
Honestly, I was always kind of annoyed with the people who went on and on about morning routines. Buuuut now I’m a total hypocrite and have not only a morning routine, but also a lunchtime routine!
Here’s what my morning looks like:
- 5:00-6:45 – Gym (I’m doing this workout routine, if you’re interested!)
- 6:45-7:30 – See my husband off to work and have breakfast. My go-to breakfast is 2 scrambled eggs and homemade juice (7ish large carrots, 1 apple, and 1/3 of a cucumber)
- 7:30-8:15 – Write! I’ve found that writing blog posts, newsletters, and course material in the morning leaves me with high-quality content in a much shorter amount of time. For real, try it out.
- 8:15-8:30 – Shower, skip hair and makeup (because we all know I’m not going anywhere), and throw on yoga pants and a t-shirt.
- Get to work!
And here’s lunch:
- 12:00-12:30 – Eat lunch without working. However, I usually can’t stop myself from catching up on Twitter and Facebook.
- 12:30-1:00 – Bible study. I just finished Seamless and will be starting Discerning the Voice of God next week! (I do it through this amazing group if you want to join. Be sure to email me if you do!)
- 1:00-1:30 – Go for a walk and listen to a podcast
- I grab my homemade flavored water (strawberry and lemon is my current favorite) and get back to work.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for some of my very favorite products