How To Start A Business While Keeping Your Day Job

How To Start A Business While Keeping Your Day Job

Millions of people work in corporate America and daydream of becoming an entrepreneur.

The trouble is, it’s easy to resist starting a business. Too much risk and uncertainty.

Add a family to the picture and entrepreneurship becomes a very scary proposition. It’s best to settle down and tell yourself how lucky you are to have your 9 to 5. Right?

What if you could have the best of both worlds and start a business while keeping your day job?

I want to share an article from the archives of Business 2.0 magazine. The magazine is no longer in print, but the principles and ideas in this article are as relevant today as they were in 2006.

The article delivers on 5 points:

  1. Use Your Salary as Funding
  2. Turn Common Complaints Into a Business Plan
  3. Take Advantage of Your Company’s Reputation
  4. Make Your Boss a Beta Tester
  5. Convert Your Employer Into a Business Partner

These are great ideas. In fact, one of the most successful entrepreneurs I know followed several of these suggestions while working as a software engineer.

He listened to customer complaints about not having a software solution they wanted and he started a business providing the solution. Fifteen years later he sold the company for roughly $65M dollars.

Read this article and use it as a catalyst to get your butt in gear.

Do any of you have a business idea you can start while working at your day job?

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About Alex Lawrence

Alex has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. His current venture Lendio ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list. Alex earned a BS degree at the University of Utah and his MBA at Weber State University, where he is Vice Provost and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program. If you want to talk with Alex about business and entrepreneurship (or other questions), email him (alex AT startupflavor DOT com), or you can find him on Twitter @_AlexLawrence.
  • I think this is an excellent idea.

    I’ve had a lot of lame jobs while I was in college (and a couple since) and each time I saw a definite need for a product — generally a piece of software — that they could desperately use.

    I’ve often thought that each of those was a missed opportunity to make that product and sell it first to my employer, then keep on going with it.

    • Alex Lawrence

      Thanks John. I have a question for you – when are you going to give it a try?

      • Someday… someday…

        The trick is finding someone that can code from my design work. Not exactly a big challenge but that’s generally where things end.

        I do need to take advantage of the inspiration sometime though.

  • I totally agree with this. I’m in the throes of doing it myself. I’ve got a couple of really great ideas, and one for sure is game changing.

    There’s no reason to quit my day job though! 🙂

    • Alex Lawrence

      Hi Aaron, thanks for coming over from Twitter to engage here. Keep the day job, but pursue something if it’s legit!

  • Good tips. I like #4 and 5 – make your boss and company partners. I run into a lot of people that have day jobs and are too scared to talk about their side projects for fear of what their boss will say. Instead of being open about it, they try and hide it. This never turns out good.

    I took the opposite approach – I talked about my businesses I was creating the whole time. Everyone was always interested in them and offered help and ideas along the way. It never hurt my career progression either – it actually helped because I was able to demonstrate skills that I was developing outside of work hours and use them in the day job.

    When I did finally turn in my 2 week notice they were excited for me (not too mention jealous).


    • Alex Lawrence

      Dave, your story is the perfect example. Well done sir!! Keep us posted on your company progress, I know you are building and shipping a lof apps! Stay connected!

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