I heard some pretty terrible advice the other day.
The advice came on a business podcast from a successful entrepreneur who had built a company to billion-dollar status. In this podcast, he told the audience that if you are going to be successful as an entrepreneur, you cannot have another job.
Perhaps the goal of that blog post was to scare away the wimps and whiners, but the advice was terrible nonetheless. Very few companies that enjoy incredible success today were started by people who had no other commitments. Instead, they were built in basements and garages, and while the founder was employed at another company.
I spend my nine to five (and then some!) working at BiggerPockets.com, while owning and managing 42 real estate units, flipping the occasional house, buying new rental properties every several months, writing two full-length real estate books that will be published this summer and building two separate side projects in the online space, totally unrelated to real estate.
But I’m not Superman — I’m just incredibly efficient.
Today I want to help you become incredibly efficient, as well as to expel the myth once and for all that a person needs to quit their job to enjoy entrepreneurship and build an amazing business.
The following are five incredible ways to build your entrepreneurial pursuit despite (and even with the help of) your nine-to-five job.
1. Think of your job as a blessing.
Your job is not some dead weight holding you back. Your job is the gasoline that will keep your entrepreneurial dreams alive while you are building your side project.
Without that paycheck, you’ll be out there spending all your time trying to raise money rather that spending your time perfecting your business. So stop thinking of your job as something that is dragging you down, but as a partner that is holding you up until the time is right to leave.
2. Maximize your time.
Yes, the major disadvantage of a job is the 40 hours of time you need to spend working on something else that is not your number-one priority.
However, you’ve likely heard the numbers before: There are 168 hours in a week. Your job takes up 40, your sleep takes up 56, and you are still left with 72 hours to build your business.
Of course, you have other obligations. I get it. You need sleep. You need food. You have kids.
However, you don’t need Netflix. You don’t need CNN. You don’t need the two hours and 57 minutes per day you spend staring at your smartphone. Yes, that’s how long average smartphone users are glued to their screen each day.
Find ways to maximize your time. Maybe this means waking up earlier. Maybe it means more meals in the microwave and less at the restaurant. Maybe it means getting rid of your smartphone for a while (gasp!).
Stop whining about how “little time” you have, and start asking yourself, “How can I manage the abundance of free time I have better?”
3. Focus on daily imperative action.
Too much attention is given to “hackathons” and people who build a company by locking themselves in a room for a month and emerging with the next Facebook.
That’s not how most businesses are built.
Instead, successful businesses are built on consistent imperative action taken daily. It’s not enough to just work hard. It’s not enough to work hard every day. It needs to be imperative work, done daily.
Not busy work. Not checking more email. Not wasted phone calls. You only have so many hours to work on your side business outside of your job hours, so you better make them count. Make sure you are taking consistent imperative action, daily.
4. Outsource what you can.
What can you do that no one else can do?
Do that. Everything else, outsource.
5. Use your job as fuel.
Want to learn how to run really fast through the woods at night? Steal a baby bear cub from its mother.
In other words, peak performance is predicated upon an intense reason to perform.
You might utterly hate your job. Good! Use that as fuel to motivate yourself to operate at peak performance!
- When your alarm goes off two hours earlier than normal — use your job as the fuel to jump out of bed.
- When you hit writer’s block and can’t decide what to write next — use your job as the fuel to keep writing.
- When fear creeps in, and you don’t want to make that important sales call — use your job as the fuel to overcome the fear.
Whatever you need to accomplish in your business to drive forward consistent action, use your day job as the motivation to push through.