The Journey of Becoming a Full-Time Entrepreneur

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You’ve probably had a good business idea for years now, but you’ve decided to put it on the backburner because time or resources were an issue. The fact of the matter is that if you are determined to launch a startup, you need to fully commit not only financially, but also time-wise.

Some people are not able to leave a relationship regardless of how bad it is, until they are actually certain they have the next thing set in stone. Sometimes, this actually leads to months of overlap “should I quit or should I wait a little bit longer?” and tiptoeing over blurry lines. This happens when people are not giving a hundred percent to anyone, themselves included.

The same thing can be said about entrepreneurs. Of course it’s scary to quit and to let go of your sources of income only to dive headfirst in an unfamiliar area. However, with great risk comes great reward.

Come to think of it, have you ever wondered why the sharks on Shark Tank usually ask entrepreneurs if they have another job as well? Some of these entrepreneurs who appear on the show usually respond with a solid “Yes”, considering that by doing so they show both dedication and hard work. However, investors aren’t really interested in seeing this. They want you to be fully committed to your project. If you’re not, why should they care?

Here are some tips that will help you become a full-time entrepreneur:

1. Create a Safety Net

The possibility of you launching your startup shouldn’t get you to tap into the emergency funds. Unfortunately, as an entrepreneur, it is likely that you’ll have to deal with this aspect. Make sure that you have enough money to last you anywhere between six and nine months, and preferably more so that it will last you up to a year. By doing so you’ll have a buffer and also teach you how to save and get creative with a limited amount of revenue. All these aspects are important tools for a new entrepreneur because finances for a startup are like air. Moreover, they are hard to come by.

2. Ensure you have an Aggressive Timeline

Once you start saving, give yourself an aggressive timeline of 18 months. That’s it. Adopt the “all in or out” mentality. If you’re not able to save a minimum of six months’ worth of finances in a year and a half, you have way more serious problems than drafting a business plan. Whether you need to work on your money management or your heart’s not really into becoming a full-time entrepreneur, it’s a red flag.

3. All Job Ties Should be Cut

Does your company offer you flex-time, telecommuting options or even a part-time gig? Maybe you’re in the look for a weekend job in the retail business to get your hands on some money before your startup takes off. However, a part-time job may be just as demanding and stressful as a full-time job. It’s something that may even distract an entrepreneur from his or her endeavors. So, quit thinking about getting that job. Instead, devote all your time, every minute of every day to your startup.

4. Not Everyone Will Support You

Even if they prefer to avoid saying it, not everyone you know will be supportive. At times, they may even ask you whether you shouldn’t take a part-time job or how are you going to make ends meet. It doesn’t really matter if these questions or concerns arise from a genuine place. Just grow a thick skin and surround yourself with the people that truly support you and your business idea.

5. Allocate Enough Time for Your Business Plan

As an entrepreneur, the first thing you need to get right is the business plan. This is an essential tool that will help you let people know that you’re serious about starting a new company and that you’re here to stay. The business plan should encompass solutions on how to get out of worst-case scenarios, planning for bumps in the road before you actually encounter them and also where you begin researching networking or investor options. Avoid turning in your two-week notice without having a solid business plan in place.

If you need tips on writing your business plan, visit our Business Planning section.

A real full-time entrepreneur on average spends much more than 40 hours per week working. If you are able to commit only part-time, the results you produce will be 50 percent as well. Avoid shortchanging yourself or even your business.

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