Many of us have hobbies that we prefer doing than working at an 8-5 job. You may be doing it on the side and profiting in your own little way which is good. But often with the lack of time and capital, we just couldn’t seem to take the next leap forward.
So we go back to our day job to at least have that steady income to cover basic expenses. But with determination and proper time management, it is plausible to pursue your after hours project or your entrepreneurial dreams without compromising your day job.
1. Determine what you want
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Create a vision and set down milestones for your project. Say you are into crocheting and really believe you can make it into something profitable. If you envision an online shop with your fabulous creations selling like pancakes, then begin by setting up ways for you to achieve that.
Start small as you are still testing the water and only have limited time to spend on it with your day job. Perhaps start a blog which is free just so you can showcase your creations and you can readily update just before hitting the sack.
Then follow it by giving away some of your work to your loyal readers. Then eventually start selling your goods and even begin accepting orders. All these you can plan out on a timeline with consideration to the limited hours you have. Do not rush as it is a learning process.
Celebrate milestones reached, say when you sold your 20th piece. Over time you can confidently decide whether your dream is plausible and whether you are ready to turn this after hours project into your main source of income.
2. Schedule, Schedule
Never mix up your day job with your project tasks. The act of squeezing in your project into your official work hours may turn into a habit which is nothing but a distraction and can even compromise your main source of income.
It takes discipline to do this and it can be quite challenging especially if you are feeling all riled up and excited about your side-line gig. It is important to keep your focus on each at their own proper time as they are both equally important.
Scheduling is key, so set aside specific time or days for you to work on your hobby. And stick to them. You’ll find this way to be more productive as you can concentrate better and your momentum won’t be altered by any sudden task from your boss.
3. Slowly Build Your Clientele
This may mean you giving out your product or service for free just to get something out for people to share and talk about.
And with the digital age, this can be easily complimented by utilizing social media to market your business. This will cost you absolutely nothing but your time and Internet service which there is no doubt you have access to at home or at the office anyway.
Start with friends and families and hopefully they’ll the spread the word about how good you are. And eventually you’ll receive calls for orders and this time with paying customers.
Set up your own site to have a solid asset to send your leads to. Centralize all your activity around your own asset. Here’s a good guide on how to create a site.
4. Know Your Tools
There are plenty of tools that can help you realize your startup dream. There’s a tool for everything these days, from getting you organized to managing your invoices. The key is to create your own tool set. Too much of anything can hurt your productivity, even if it’s too much tools.
Here are a few tools I really like and use a lot:
- Bustaname to brainstorm a domain
- Optinmonster to set up email marketing campaigns
- Launch Rock to create beautiful pre-launch sites
- Trello to organize your plans and projects
5. Find Inspiration
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Read up on motivating entrepreneur stories. Many successful businessmen started small while having a day job like you.
Learn from their experiences and gather ideas that may work well for your side line. Realize that there will be days when you feel overwhelmed by your day job and project’s demands.
And you’ll start to lose hope that you can’t do both and may even be compelled to just drop the project altogether. There are many websites to help you out on these challenging times as there are many budding entrepreneurs who are pursuing their passions like you. So don’t despair. Get yourself inspired.