Many people don’t leap into entrepreneurship head on, but instead take a slower part time approach to test the waters. Regardless if your salary, family, or obligations are holding you from jumping in head first, there is typically a need for making more money or gaining an additional layer of financial freedom that is not directly linked to your day to day job. The real question is if it is possible to be successful part time entrepreneur.
Based upon years of coaching people, from entry level money hungry people, to the highest of executives in Fortune 500 banks, there is a pattern that is consistent as to why part time entrepreneurship seems like a good idea, even if it goes against your workplace’s corporate policy or code of ethics.
Lets face it… most people are not trying to be entrepreneurs, they simply want more money which is why more people need to be clear about why they are doing what they are doing. The clearer you are up front, the easier it becomes to understand if indeed you are trying to take a stab at true entrepreneurship or simply add a layer of financial security.
When you think you are taking on entrepreneurship but are really only adding to your income, it can give you a false sense of accomplishment and may even make you consider quitting your job because of your misunderstanding of your own abilities. There is a significant difference between the two and we are going to look at how you can gauge if you are indeed a part time entrepreneur.
Here are three signs that can help you understand if you are:
1. You find your side gig much more fulfilling, even when you don’t make money.
2. You work daily only to fuel or fund your part time gig.
3. You tell everyone outside of your work that your side gig is your main role.
These three hints are a good gauge at understanding if indeed you want to innovate or simply adding cash to your bank account.
Now lets understand why being a part time entrepreneur is very difficult and what limitations it poses.
1. People don’t take you seriously, as you are not willing to give a new idea everything you have. This may not make sense to someone who supports a family but I can guarantee you that if you quit your job and look back after 1-2 years, you’ll understand why.
2. You tend to keep your day job private which means that despite your true desire and belief in your real venture, you’ll always have a dark secret and one that will make you seem “unclear” to others as they will be suspicious.
3. Your time can only stretch so far and you’ll be faced with many slowdowns depending on the seasonality of your work and your ability to manage both simultaneously.
Part time entrepreneurship is very hard and the odds are against you, but it is not impossible to start, gain leverage and traction before leaving your day job.
In order to do so, you will need to be able to remain quiet and keep the two very separate. You will have to curb your enthusiasm and not share it with others at work.
You will also have to make sacrifices around your personal life in order to support two full time jobs. At the end of the day, regardless that you believe it to be part time in terms of what society considers it to be, entrepreneurship in its purest state never is as your mind never stops working.