A Moonlighting How-To

Over at the Elance blog I wrote a how-to piece on incubating a startup business while you are still employed. One of the tips involves setting aside dedicated time and sticking to a schedule with your side startup:

5. Set Aside A Dedicated Schedule for Your Startup

In my experience, the biggest challenge you will have during the incubation is sticking with it and finding time. After the initial flush of giddy energy, it’s hard to stay motivated to build a business. It’s even harder when you are tired and stressed after a full day’s work.

Many entrepreneurs who have successfully started a side business do it by setting aside dedicated hours each day for their startup. I’ve known budding entrepreneurs speak about going home to “start the second shift.” That’s exactly how you have to think of it. Commit to spending X hours per weekday and/or on weekends on your business. Stick to a regular schedule — it makes it easier. P.D. James, the novelist, worked for years as a hospital administrator, arising early to write for 2 hours each morning before work.

You see, I started Small Business Trends as a side business. It was a side business to my regular business at the time, when I was a consultant. For several years I continued to be a consultant by day, Web entrepreneur by night.  Eventually that side business grew to overtake and far eclipse the original business.

My experience is not uncommon.  Today, so many of us have multiple businesses — a portfolio of businesses, if you will.  As I look around at other entrepreneurs like you, I see many “side businesses” to the main businesses you own and run.  Sometimes I think it’s par for the course.

Read the whole article for all 6 tips: Tips for Incubating Your Small Business Idea While Still Working Full Time.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.