Want to start a part-time business from home without quitting your day job or putting your family at risk of losing the house? Good, because risking it all to go all in on starting your own business is not only not necessary, it can be one of the worst decisions you have ever made.
I get it, high risk, high reward, but what if you could risk nothing but your time, and potentially be rewarded with a full-time gig running your very own business. Well if that sounds appealing keep reading because I am going to outline a simple approach to building a business from home, while you continue to work your day job.
I am going to break down the 5 step process of starting your very own part-time business from home that will help prepare you for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
If you could not tell already this post is not a Top 50 Businesses Ideas You Can Start From Home kinda post, this is all about you getting ready for the process. There are tons of lists out there with hundreds of business ideas to choose from, but this is all about getting you ready for the tasks ahead.
Read on if you want to increase the odds of any part-time entrepreneurial venture actually working. You can’t just jump into the deep end before learning to swim.
Prepare For The Process
“The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights.”
– Muhammad Ali
Well I have to be honest about this one, nothing can fully prepare you for the process of starting your own business. What you can do is prepare yourself as best you can, then should be able to avoid several of the pitfalls and setbacks that are sure to come your way.
I only say this because…
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”
– Mike Tyson
…and if you are going to build a company, you will in fact get punched in the mouth, several times in fact.
But just like training in the gym with someone like Constantine D’Amato (Mike Tyson’s Trainer) can help you take more punches, you will need to prepare yourself before you step out under those lights and start taking punches.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs had and have discipline in several areas. If you are going to give this entrepreneurship thing a shot, even if it is only part-time, you will need discipline, as a matter of fact, because you are juggling two careers, and the rest of your life for that matter, you will need even more discipline.
Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for the process:
- Meditation: I won’t get into the multitude of benefits that mediation has been shown to provide time and time again, as that has been covered everywhere, but I will say that if you are going to be switching your focus from your full-time day job to your part-time side-hustle then you will want to be able to clear your head of the chaos from one before you step into the other. Mediation is one of the best ways to “reset” your day to start focusing on something else. I recommend first thing in the morning for about 10 minutes while using an app like Waking Up or Headspace.
- Exercise: The benefits are similar to mediation in terms of the focused reset, but you get the added bonus of clearing your body of restless energy and prolonging your life through he seemingly limitless benefits of daily exercise. I recommend a combination of cardio in the morning while listening to podcasts or audiobooks related to your side hustle, and weights or yoga in the afternoon as your reset before diving into your part-time business.
- Education: You are going to be learning a lot when starting a side business and you will need to stay fresh on keeping your brain fresh. You will need to unlearn a lot of what you have been taught in your corporate gig over the years and start learning more about what it really means to be an entrepreneur. There are several books I would recommend including, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, Getting Things Done by David Allen, and The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber just to get started. You will also want to start listening to podcasts and reading as many blogs as you can get your eyes on. Never stop learning.
- Discipline: You will need so much discipline to pull this off it is not even close to being funny. You will need to work longer hours, learn new things, overcome obstacles, and so much more, all while maintaining your sanity, social life, and relationships. Do not compromise your life in any way, the only way to do this is to not waste time on what does not need to be done. Learn to say no to the things that no longer serve your new direction, and take disciplined action on the things that do.
Now this one is pretty straight forward and means exactly what it sounds like. But I don’t just mean get your desk organized at home, or clean your room, I am actually referring to everything. Yes, I mean everything.
The best way to avoid overwhelm when building a new business is to get and stay organized with your entire life (Click to Tweet this).
If you want to get anything done during that precious spare time you have set aside for your side hustle, the best way to make it happen is to ensure the rest of your life is in order. Get your finances straight, get ahead of schedule with your day job, go ahead and start planning that family vacation, get your car serviced, get your teeth cleaned, get your annual checkup, etc.
The best way to avoid getting derailed by something is to make sure you are on top of what you can control. Of course life is going to throw you curve balls, but a curveball when you are already playing catch-up because you forgot that your annual review at work was coming up can put you down for the count.
Get your life in order, get your shit together, then start to build a business. Do not try building a side hustle without having the basics of life squared away. Trust me.
Set Up Your Stack
Now that your life is in order and you feel good about sitting down to build your side hustle from home we now need to get you thinking like an entrepreneur, and setting up your workflow like a business owner.
This is a pretty straight forward process, and you will likely have your own variations as you dig in and start building out your stack, but I think this is a great place to start.
- Google Drive: Google Drive is free and a game-changer. You will want to organize your projects into folders, and create sub-folders for each of the elements of these projects. For example, you will want a folder titled “Legal Docs” and “Accounting” to keep your, well, legal documents, and accounting records such as receipts, and a spreadsheet of any purchases you make. Trust me when I say that not doing this now, will set you up for headaches and many wasted hours trying to hunt something down. Set it up and get organized.
- Asana or Trello: Asana and Trello (Monday is also making headlines these days) are going to be the lifeblood of your productivity. They allow you to create projects and manage tasks for each of your projects. Think of them as post-it notes and checklists on steroids. Setup a free trial and get to know them, they will be a game-changer.
- Pipedrive: Pipedrive is the most affordable sales CRM I have been able to find that has all of the features you could ask for and then some. I would not recommend signing up for this until you have a solid list of people or organizations you want to start selling to, and you are ready to start selling. But they have a free trial and it is only about $15 per month and can save you a ton of time in the long run and even help save some sales that may slip through the cracks otherwise. It has automated reminders to ensure you reach out when you are supposed to when following up with prospects.
- YouTube: Go ahead and sign up for and start watching all of the videos you can get your hands on to learn more about the industry you are interested in breaking into. Chances are there are people offering insider guides to your prospective industry, and not only that anything else you need to learn to do can be found there. Start watching the stuff you need to learn about and the YouTube algorithm will start feeding you more info you need to learn.
I would consider each of these items the starter package of building a part-time business even though you will continue to use them for years to come. The goal here is not to become a pro with these tools, but to start using them so that when your business does start to take shape, it is a clean and organized machine from day one.
This will save you so many hours I can’t even begin to describe. If this stuff does not feel important yet, then it is. Because it either isn’t important yet, or it is too late. Trust me.
Design A Workspace For Focus & Productivity
If you live alone, you are set, if you have roommates or a family, this can get tricky. Our goal here is to allow everything we have built up to this point to flourish. Now that you have your head in the right place, and you’re stacked for crazy productivity, it is now time to find the place where you conquer.
You will want this location to be as private and quiet as possible. You will need to work for long periods of time and stay focused, so avoiding distractions is essential.
This room should be well kept, organized, and your desk should be clean as well. Make sure that anyone else in your house, understands that this is your sanctuary, and solitude is the name of the game.
I know this is a difficult task but it is an essential one. Kindly let everyone in your household know that between certain hours, you are not to be interrupted unless it is an emergency, and it damn sure better be an emergency.
Once you have your space, set it up for inspiration. If you need some family photos to remind you of your “why”, some motivational posters to keep your drive alive, or just some soothing music playing on a Bluetooth speaker, then have at it. This is your space. Design one that fits you and your personality and inspires you to build your future.
Get To Work
Well, this one seems obvious, right? Get to work. It really is that simple. It is not easy, but it really is that simple. No need to complicate things or over-analyze anything, just start.
Doubts will creep in and you will find it hard to concentrate from time to time, but you have to keep moving forward. In this stage of the journey, you have to realize that most of what you will spend your time doing is learning lessons, the hard way, unfortunately.
Every word up to this point was written to prepare you for what lies ahead in the best way I know how. It will not prepare you for all of the work, and inevitable hurdles you will encounter, but if it saves you just a little headache, heartache, or some of your precious time, then my work is done here.
Once you have the stage set, and you really want to get down on building your own business, feel free to apply for the School For Startups Program. We can get you from here to wherever you want to be with your new part-time business.