BY KARA I. STEVENS
Raise your hand if you want to quit your 9-5 and start your own business. Raise your hand if you are ready to quit your 9-5 and start your own business.
Is your hand still up? I know that mine isn't.
While I fantasize about quitting my 9-5 nearly everyday to work for myself, I know that my business is not ready. I still need the income from my full-time job to invest in building a strong and sustainable foundation for my coaching and consulting empire.
Working full-time while building your side hustle is definitely a juggling act, but it can be done. Your time is limited, so you have to use it wisely. Since building your brand on the side takes more time, you will need even more patience, hope, and motivation when the realities of little sleep, incremental progress, and the desire to give up hit you.
Here are some ways to stay productive and motivated on this journey toward self-employment.
Calculate How Much Time You Can Actually Commit To the Business
From Monday-Friday, I have committed to dedicating two hours per day to working on my business. On Saturdays, I have committed to five hours. On Sundays, I have committed to six hours. With a total of 21 hours per week, I can think more strategically about how to prioritize my tasks.
Go To a Coffee Shop, Library, or Diner To Work On Your Business Before You Go Home
I don't know about you, but it proved difficult, if not near impossible, for me to seriously work on my business once I got home from work because of all of distractions--cable, Facebook, Twitter, and my bed. But I had to come to a point where what I wanted for myself in the future became more important than giving in to my laziness in the present.
Have A Short "To-Do" List
When I am at the coffee shop, I have a list of 2-3 things to get done in that sitting. On the weekends, the list may include 4-5 items. I do not start the second task until the first task is complete. I also treat myself to a nice mocha or gluten-free chocolate chip cookie (they are the truth) after I have completed what is on my to-do list.
Own and Release Your Doubt and Fear into a Journal
The journey to entrepreneurship can be a long, lonely one, especially if you are working your business on the side. When your goal seems so far way, there is a lot of room for self-doubt, negativity, and "thinking small" to invade your mind.
When I am feeling like my progress toward my goals is not coming fast enough or big enough, I own those feelings by writing them down. The act of writing (and crying) allows me to release the negativity. In many cases, I almost instantly feel a sense of relief.
Give Yourself Permission To Not Be Perfect In Every Area of Your Life
Do you know how much willpower it takes to focus and stay disciplined on such a lofty goal as self-employment? When you are giving your all in one part of your life, you may find that other things--big and small-- get neglected, including your household chores and your friends. But remember this: you can buy paper plates or invest in a housekeeper. You can tell your friends that you are trying to live your dreams and that your isolation is temporary. Your real friends with dreams of their own will definitely understand.
I hope you find these tips to be helpful. Good luck and don't give up!
Read more compelling, entertaining and thought-provoking African-American focused content at EBONY.com.