Maybe you’ve been dreaming about going solo for some time, but quitting your day job and starting a new business venture is risky. So if you’re seriously thinking of taking that leap of faith, take a close look at these tips to help structure your entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Have Enough Money Saved
Starting any business venture is expensive, especially when considering how much start capital you will need. When you quit your day job, you’ll want to keep your business afloat and should be prepared to pump in the money to make it happen. You might want to determine how long it will take your start-up to begin seeing enough profit to match or exceed your current personal expenses. Know exactly what your monthly outgoings are. Especially if you are a part-time entrepreneur, don’t expect a pay cheque out of your start-up any time soon. Everything is going to take that little bit longer until you can afford to spend 100% of your time on the business.
Have a Social Life
Without doubt it's incredibly time consuming running your own business, so it’s important to know that the dream you are pursuing is worth the sacrifice of time away from friends and family. Your personal social life in the short term will suffer. You won’t feel it because you will be busy building your product or chasing your next customer, but your friends know how many parties you are missing.
The value of intentionally spending more time out of the office is that you are sure to meet new people. Always be ready to share your offering and value proposition in one sentence; surround yourself with smart people who will argue with you; and network as much as possible.
Effective Time Management
Why is effective time management so important? Firstly, it’s a determining factor for your overall productivity. The better you manage your time, the more productive you become. Secondly, it bears a massive impact on your psychological disposition. The worse you are at time management, the more stress you’ll experience, and the more easily exhausted you’ll be in your position.
5 ways you can manage your time better
Draw The Line
Part of being an effective time manager is knowing what to do and when to do it. You must know when to “cool down” and have a firm time to go home. This line will keep you refreshed, mitigating the risk of burnout, and help you focus on the work that needs to be done. All entrepreneurs are passionate about their work, so it’s tempting to take on as much work as possible. However, if you do this at the expense of your personal life, it could have dire consequences on your mental and physical health.
A recent study suggests that working for 52 minutes and breaking for 17 is the optimal pattern for productivity. As ridiculous as this sounds, it is a fact that taking regular breaks will actually help you be more productive.
Choose Efficient Modes of Communication
You don’t need to call an hour-long meeting every time you have an update. Emails are instant, written and permanent. They can be executed much faster than a phone call. Try and communicate as concise as possible, and you could save yourself hours a day.
Most new entrepreneurs see their businesses as their baby, and they’re intimidated to let anyone else take control. There is nothing wrong with delegating. Save yourself a lot of time and be an effective ‘delegator’.
Focus On One Thing At a Time
Multitasking is a good thing, but can be quite distracting. Do not attempt to multitask, and let yourself get distracted by items that have newly risen. Instead, focus on one item at a time, and don’t stray from it until it’s complete.
What Is The Right Skillset?
Dealing With Pressure
As an entrepreneur, stress is a part of our daily lives and includes having to juggle relationships and financial challanges. Dealing with pressure has to do with your personal perspective and the importance you place on a task relative to your own self-identity and self-worth.
Rather than seeing pressure as a negative, an entrepreneur identifies the need to apply core skills and knowledge to solve the challenge at hand. Learning to perform under pressure is crucial to surviving personally and professionally.
Building a start-up requires that you constantly find new ways of doing things and to react as new information emerges or situations evolve. Running a business in an ever-changing environment is difficult enough but a successful entrepreneur needs to be able to adjust quickly and seamlessly.
From the initial decision to becoming your own boss to changing markets in the business landscape, you need to be able to change your focus accordingly to drive your business forward.
A firm belief in your abilities and your own success is the most important characteristic to have. You represent your business and have to be confident in your ideas, services and capabilities. This will help you to rule out any fears or doubts.
Part of having high self-confidence means being able to identify where you are and where you would like to be. Establishing your idea of success in your mind’s eye will motivate you to progress and overcome any obstacles in your way.
Ambition is probably the single key factor to an entrepreneur’s success. The will and courage to achieve your goals fuels an entrepreneur through economic uncertainties. A never give up attitude drives you to actively seek out opportunities, to think big and take calculated risks.
Setting your sights higher will help you prove to yourself that there are no limits to what your business can achieve. Embrace failure, learn from it and tirelessly seek out new ways to improve your business.
Being a leader means being able to engage and invest in people in a way that motivates them to reach their business goals. Your communication skills are directly linked to how much influence you have over the people you work with.
Successful entrepreneurs need to be able to build people up, value them and inspire them. Social skills are also essential for networking with other business owners to secure potential partnerships and customers.
Research, Research, Research
Whatever talent you’re using for your business venture, it’s always important to believe in yourself and your idea one hundered percent.
This is where you’ve got to ask yourself some hard questions. Will anyone other than my [deceptively supportive] friends and family buy what I’m selling? Is there anyone else already doing what I want to do, and at what level? What will it cost me to offer my service/make my product? Where will I get that money? Am I fit for the job? Understand that being an entrepreneur starts long before you ever sell your 1st product or service – like any structure, it begins with a solid foundation. And knowing what you’re working with is a great place to start.
Have you planned in detail?
So what is your big idea? Is there a gap in the market for it? How is it unique from all other businesses within its field? Basically you need all the research and your business plan in check before starting anything. Proper planning always leads to better execution and, at the end, successful results.
Checklist before leaving your job
- Why quit? Is it because I hate my boss or work, I want to pursue my passion, or I want to become my own boss?
- Can I work on my dream venture while holding down a full-time job?
- How much time will it take to launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)?
- What is my Plan A and B? What if both fail? Do I have plans C and D?
- How much do I spend monthly? Calculate your monthly expenses.
- How long can I survive without a salary? If you think your venture will start paying you back in one year then save money for yourself for at least two years, because your plans will always take longer than you expect.
Last question to ask yourself. If I quit my job and follow my passion only to have it fail miserably after two or three years of dedicated work, how will I feel? If you feel terrified, then reconsider your decision. If I failed, am I willing to bear the pain of failure?