Your startup’s momentum is finally kicking in and now requires a bigger time commitment. Opportunity is knocking -- relentlessly. But you are still working a full-time job.
You know in your gut that it’s time to move on. You're just not exactly sure how.
Here are five strategies to consider for becoming a full-time entrepreneur:
1. Create an opportunity timeline.
Use your organizational track to reach your destination. Mike Cassidy, a serial entrepreneur, sold his company Direct Hit for $500 million a mere 500 days after the initial launch. His motto for startup success was to use “speed as the primary business strategy.”
So, be like Cassidy: Create a fundraising time line and look at ways to diversify your project to bring about more initial and long-term income opportunities. Develop new ways to utilize your extra time to take a solid bird’s-eye view of your start-up. This will help you to produce quicker results.
2) Create a personal financial time line and make the necessary arrangements.
It’s important to be financially sound. Build up your savings for at least six to eight months, initially, while your startup is generating income. Also, look at innovative and necessary ways to cut costs in your personal budget. Lower the cost of living expenses by eating out less, finding a cheaper place to live or renting out a spare bedroom (using websites like Airbnb.com) to create a better financial cushion.
3. Generate support from key mentors, colleagues, family and friends.
Make sure to associate with mentors and colleagues, particularly in similar industries, who are full-time entrepreneurs. Ask them for advice to shorten the learning curve in growing your own full-time business. Also, seek support from your family and friends about your new upcoming commitments.
4. Let your employer know about your career transition.
There is always an opportunity to work with your employer, your way: Before co-founding Twitter, Evan Williams worked in a marketing position, with O’Reilly Media. He transitioned from employee to independent contractor by writing computer code for O’Reilly, and later freelancing for companies such as Intel and Hewlett packard.
An employer may well be open to your working part-time, or working from home 20 to 30 hours a week. Eventually, you will be in a position to work on your venture full-time, whether that might mean leaving your job completely, or working additional hours on your startup.
5. Stay organized to increase higher productivity.
Organization is key to making sure that there is even more productivity in your business. So, sync your calendar with your smartphone and create a daily schedule. Wunderlist offers a collaborative and friendly to-do-list app that will keep you on your feet. Work to network, both online and offline, in the early morning or evening to continue building essential contacts.
Go to meetup.com to seek and attend other networking opportunities. Use tools such as Expensify to keep track of your receipts for your organization. Track your results, and look for ways to improve your use of time.
And never, never, never, ever give up your goal to become a full-time entrepreneur.