Starting a Business, on the Side…

Your passion is within you, waiting for a vessel. Your starting a business is the ship. 

You have decided that you are starting a business. Congratulations! Now you have to figure out how to make it happen with your current lifestyle. What needs to change? What has to stay the same? That’s something I’ll help you figure out here.

I have done (or contributed to) the startup process with dozens of businesses. Some have made it, others have not. This chapter of a person’s dream is both the most delicate and most exciting part of the entire business process. Every action has an impact on the overall trajectory of the company. But don’t stress about the “what if’s.” Those can all be adjusted in time, as you grow.

The key factors, and what I want to discuss here, is how to reallocate your time and resources to best preserve your sanity and to also set you up for success.


1) Decide now that you are going to play to your passions.

Success will come with work. It’s a guarantee. If you already read the article on the first steps of starting a business, you have made the decision that your startup is possible. But what is crucially important is that you recognize your passion, the reason you decided to start this kind of business in the first place and stay tuned to that purpose, your purpose.


2) Your budget income generators are part of your startup.

Budget generators are the things you do outside of the startup to fund your business until it can stand on its own. For most people, this will be a part time job, or a specific amount of your existing income. Let this element be part of your passion. When you are putting on the apron, or the magnet topper on the delivery car, keep in mind that this is a means to an end. You are doing this so that you can change your life and be doing the work that you love. You are sacrificing for change.


3) Plan on your first 100 to be your worst.

I’ve recently taken up bowling. I started out pretty good, but my technique was horrible. Reluctantly, I researched and found the laws of bowling. I decided do unlearn everything I thought I knew and start from scratch, beginning a “100 Games of Garbage” campaign. No scores counted. The only thing that mattered was making improvements each time I rolled the ball. This approach will hold true to your new business. Your widget production (slang for whatever you offer) will be rough at first. So don’t worry about being perfect. Your craft mastery will come. Just focus on providing great service and having happy customers, no matter the cost.


4) Don’t burn the ships.

If you live on cloud nine like me, this will be hard. This is not Cortez’s New World, where you can burn the ships to send a message to your crew. We succeed, or we die. You must be more practical with your startup. With your business plan, you should also set a breaking point, at which you will throw in the towel. I recommend two years. I recently closed a business. It hurt. I messed up on the monetization, and I knew it. But in like-mindedness to heavy dreamers, I tried to hold on longer. It cost me a few hundred dollars more and some broken ego on my end. Once I finally closed it, I felt great letting her go. What resulted was freeing up the time and energy to devote to something which was well worth the effort and has already created more success.

Remember this: Your passion is within you, waiting for a vessel. Your startup business is the ship.

Focus on the starting a business phase while you are in it, with the vision of going full time when you are ready.