The mistake a lot of people make is forcing themselves to choose between entrepreneurship and working for someone else. A false dichotomy has been created by the industry of entrepreneurial gurus who are in the business of cannibalizing your attention. These people do not care about your success, they only care about making you watching more of their Youtube videos and buying their book or sales product.
The simplest way to get started in entrepreneurship is to start an online business while you have already have a job. This allows you to ensure you have a safety net and solid stream of income you can invest into your new venture. This is the greatest tip anyone can give you about entrepreneurship – start your business while you have a job. Starting a business is high risk and if you are inexperienced you will likely have a lot of learning experiences before you start making good money.
Are you a morning or evening person?
This is the question that will structure your lifestyle while you are starting and building your business. The period when you are most productive (morning or evening) is when you will do your deep work. This is the work that requires the most focus and concentration, e.g. coding or writing. It requires the most concerted effort so you do it when your energy is the highest. The other time will be when you organize, and create the structure for your deep work, as well as do management and operational tasks. This is the best way to achieve success in a side business while holding a full-time job. Work twice a day, morning and evening, and do the same things in each period daily. My organization and structuring of an article allows me to write it more easily the next day. Set up a process like this, you won’t regret it.
My Work/Build Balance
I work a regular 9-5 job, so hopefully the illustration of my average weekday will help you understand the structure needed.
6:30 am – Wake up, meditate, make coffee, start writing
8:10 am – Get dressed, eat breakfast
8:30 am – Leave house and take subway to work (read fiction on the subway – often short stories or a novella)
9:00 am – Work
5:00 pm – Leave work, take subway home (read fiction on the subway – often short stories or a novella)
5:30 pm – Arrive home, go to gym
6:30 pm – Finish workout, walk home, shower
7:00 pm – Eat supper, do miscellaneous tasks (laundry, groceries, meal prep), or general tasks for business, a lot of the time I will save big changes for the weekend and simply spend this time brainstorming and drafting a blog post to write for the next day. Once you get good at this process of drafting/outlining in the evening (morning) and writing in the morning (evening) you will become much more productive.
10:00pm – In bed, read for 30 minutes or an hour and then fall asleep.
Is This Lifestyle Sustainable?
Most work weeks I follow at least the 80/20 principle with my entrepreneurship efforts. If I do this at least 4 out of the 5 workdays in a week I do not think twice about meeting up with friends for dinner, or drinks, or to watch a stand-up comedy show. This isn’t about achieving work-life balance because with entrepreneurship (at least at the beginning) you will need to make sacrifices to the life side of the balance. The purpose of doing fun activities a couple of times a week is to avoid the greatest trap entrepreneurs and people interested in self-improvement fall into, the neuroticism trap.
To become successful but also lose the ability to feel joy and enjoy life is a true nightmare scenario. You need to avoid becoming boring and neurotic as you become successful. This involves taking occasional breaks (without feeling guilty) and doing simple things you enjoy. Fortunately, even when I work hard I still have times I enjoy a lot in my current “grind” of daily life. I read books on the subway to and from work every day and at night before bed, and exercise daily – which I love.
Ignore the Gurus
A lot of entrepreneurial gurus will tell you absurd things to motivate you. Their grandiosity is great enough to keep people hooked and watch their next video, and the dopamine people get from this motivation actually gives them pleasure. Teaching people to get rich and selling a 4 hour work week is a great way to make money, I don’t hate the game I understand it. If you want to become financially independent you need to live a different lifestyle than the average person, but you don’t need to wake up at 4 am daily or work 100-hour weeks. The flip side of the coin is that 4 hour work weeks have never built anyone a business, c’est la vie, you need to find a lifestyle you can sustain to maintain and grow your online business.
Online Business Recommendations
With any online business, my recommended domain registrar is Namecheap and our recommended hosting is Siteground. These are both the premier resources in their respective areas. I have done the research on many websites and forums and these are the best, and I use them both for this website. As always, if you need guidance starting a website, there is a full step by step guide to start a website, this will help you with the technical side and give you the best resources.