So you have a great idea, and you want to start a business. But you’re hesitant to go full throttle. You have bills to pay, so you can’t spontaneously quit your full-time job. Or, maybe you just want to test your ideas before jumping into the game full-time. Whatever your reasons may be, starting part-time may be your best option.
We started our mobile app business while keeping our full-time jobs. Pursuing a part-time business is at times tricky, time-consuming, and frustrating. But we continue to pursue it because we all know that the potential rewards far outweigh any current struggles. You need to stay positive, focused, and motivated in order to achieve your dream of launching a successful part-time venture.
Here are some tips we’d like to sharethat enables us to stay positive and continue moving our business forward:
1. Have a winning mindset
This may seem obvious, but when we deeply examined ourselves, we realized having a winning mindset was one of the most important prerequisites to starting our own business. A winning mindset is about being proactive and taking ownership of your life. If you have a victim mentality that prevents you from being proactive, it’ll be difficult for your business to succeed. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change is an amazing book that we recommend if you are unsure on where to get started. In the past, when thoughts about starting a business crossed our minds, we unintentionally focused on the negatives:
- What if I end up just wasting my time and resources?
- I’m already swamped, there is no way I can make more time for myself.
- I’m not sure about my idea. Even if the idea is okay, someone must have done it already.
- There are many people out there who are smarter and more resourceful than me. I would never be able to compete.
However, our perspective changes with a winning mindset. Instead of the above negatives, we focus on positives:
- I am now using my spare time and resources in a more productive way. I’m investing in my future.
- Time is always available, it just needs to be prioritized correctly.
- If someone has pursued my idea already, that means I can learn from them and find a way to succeed.
- Yes, there are many people out there who are smart and skillful. But not everyone has started a business and put their skills to use. I can always find a way to succeed.
A winning mindset changes everything, and it’s a MUST for starting any type of business.
2. Visualize your end goal
What is your end goal for your part-time business? We feel it’s very important to think about this and continue to visualize it as often as you can. Our goal is to create a sustainable app business which can function on its own, while generating passive income. This will eventually free us from our current full-time job, giving us more time to spend with our family and friends.
When visualizing, we try to be as detailed as possible. Whether you realize it or not, we actually apply visualization for many tasks in our life already. If you play golf, when you are putting on the green, you visualize the path of the ball. When you think of getting an A on your next exam, you actually visualize the A written on the report card. When you think about buying a certain car, you visualize yourself driving it.
Visualize your end goal. Visualize success.
3. Set a realistic schedule
Just because you work on your business part-time, doesn’t mean that you only give your partial effort. When we set goals for our part-time mobile app business, we set aggressive targets, just as if we’re operating a full-time business. However, we try to set a more flexible and realistic schedule. We set a specific goal for the week, but we don’t make unrealistic promises, like working every night, or even every other night. Instead, we start small by promising ourselves that we will dedicate at a minimum of 6 hours a week to our project. The 6 hours can come all from one weekend, 3 hours on 2 week nights, or an hour every morning. We try to keep it flexible and try to keep this promise every week. By setting a realistic schedule like this, we keep ourselves from getting discouraged when things don’t move along at the pace we anticipate. Since we know we’ll be working on it for at least 6 hours in a week, we get less anxious when we’re unable to get to our project on any given day. Essentially what we’ve done by setting a realistic schedule is to give us a starting point every week so that we can keep our momentum going. Starting is half the battle, and usually we end up far surpassing our goal of 6 hours per week. With a winning mindset and a clear end goal, it’s just too exciting not to work more! This brings us to our next tip.
4. Stay the course
Regardless of how exciting it is to start your own business, everyday can be a struggle. Especially with a part-time business, you have the “comfort” of your full-time job, which makes it easy to fall back to your comfort zone and put a hold on your business for long periods of times. Don’t do this; stay the course. Again, you should treat your part-time business as seriously as a full-time business owner would. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.
“The default state of a startup is failure” – Chris Dixon
A good mental aid in staying the course is to expect failure. Business decisions are made everyday, and not all your decisions will be correct. Expect yourself to make mistakes, and learn from them, so that every step takes you closer to success.
Everyone has great ideas. The ability to execute the idea and stay the course is what really distinguishes the winners from the losers. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be as rewarding.
5. Learn from others
With the massive amount of content on the Internet and the various social media options, it has never been easier to get a glimpse of what others in your business are going though. Learn from the success and failure of others who have already pursued your line of business. We follow other app developer blogs and follow many people/businesses on twitter who share our interests. Immersing ourselves in the business and consuming these social media feeds enable us to think and breathe this business, which may otherwise be difficult for part-time business owners to do. We frequently visit these blog sites by Patt Flynn, Seth Godin, Chocolate Lab Apps, Sensor Tower, and many more to gain valuable insight into mobile app development and the Internet business in general. Also, podcasts such as Mixergy and Mobile App Chat have numerous interviews with successful entrepreneurs, where they candidly speak about their business successes and their lessons learned. Knowing that there are other success stories out there keeps us motivated. Again, staying positive and keeping the passion alive are key ingredients to success. If you continue to move along, you may one day succeed. If you stop, you will most certainly fail.
6. What is your tip?
We said 6 habits, but we only mentioned 5. So, the 6th habit is yours to share. What works or doesn’t work for you? What would you recommend to a new part-time entrepreneur? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below.
You may also be interested in reading the 7 Business Lessons From CNBC’s “The Profit” By Marcus Lemonis – Part 1
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Cover Photo by Sean MacEntee