Think of how many amazing business ideas are left on the shelf to collect dust because they are not pursued. Dreams are left to die because their creators assumed that he or she didn’t have the time to start a business. What a horrible excuse.
If you have an idea for a business, go for it. Why? Because if you don’t, you are going to regret it and you might be passing on a truly amazing experience.
“I’ll start it next year.” What if there isn’t a next year?
“I’m not sure if now is the time.” If you don’t do it, someone else will.
“I don’t have the time now.” Make the time.
Here are six tips to help you start a business, even if you have a full-time job or feel like you don’t have the time.
1. Wean yourself off social media.
What did Richard Branson or Mark Cuban have for dinner last night? Who was their #WCW? What #TBT picture did they post this week? You probably aren’t going to find the answers to these questions -- they aren’t glued to social media 24/7 like 99 percent of the population.
There is nothing wrong with social media, but if you are serious about starting a business, think of how much extra time you could round up if you scaled down your social-media use. You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but less hashtags and more time devoted to bringing your business idea to life will help you realize your dream.
2. Stop watching marathon sessions of TV shows.
I have a confession to make -- I have never watched a single episode of Game of Thrones. Seriously. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone mention a “Game of Thrones marathon” when asked what their plans were for the evening or weekend.
I know people that constantly talk to me about how they would love to start a business and complain about not having extra time -- the same people that piss away hours every week watching reruns of a TV series they have already seen multiple times. I can’t comprehend that thought process. Cut back on TV binging and watch how much extra time you now have for your business.
3. Organize personal errands.
Everyone has personal errands and responsibilities -- there is no way around them. While you can’t avoid things such as grocery shopping, trips to the bank, shopping and other miscellaneous errands, you can structure them in a way that makes you more efficient.
When you have structure, it eliminates wasted time trying to figure out when to get tasks accomplished. For example, do your grocery shopping early on Tuesday mornings after the gym and hit the post office on Wednesdays on your way home. A very simple, but concrete, personal errand schedule will free up a lot of extra time that was once wasted trying to schedule these little tasks.
4. Wake up early and stay up late.
Anyone can start a business, even those that are currently working a full-time job. Do you currently wake up at 8 a.m. just in time to shower and make it to your job at 9 a.m.? Then wake up at 6 a.m. and work on your business idea for two solid hours.
A full-time job is just an excuse -- if you want it bad enough you will make sacrifices. I hear many people say they can’t find extra time because they have a family and small children. When you get home from work, play with your kids, eat dinner with the family and then switch into business-building mode after you put the little ones to sleep. Nobody said it would be easy, right?
5. Set realistic goals.
It’s important that you set realistic goals for yourself from the very beginning. If you can only dedicate one hour to your business every day, then so be it. Understand that it will take longer, but if you are constantly picking away at small goals that help you reach your main goal, you are going to eventually get there. Start now.
The worst thing you can do is continue to make excuses. Imagine if you said, “I’ll start my business when I have more free time” every day to yourself for six months. You would waste 180 hours that could have been dedicated to your business.
6. Convert "downtime" to "business-development" time.
If you take public transportation to work every day, allocate that time to your business. Instead of playing Candy Crush Saga on your phone while you ride the subway, use that time to complete small tasks related to your business.
Rather than leaving the office to grab lunch, pack a lunch and eat it at your desk while you work on your business. Even just an extra 30 to 45 minutes per day is valuable time invested in your business dream. Run through your typical day in your head and find downtime that you can convert into a more productive and beneficial block of time.
What are some other ways to make time to start a business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.