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Trying to get a business going while working


#1

Last Sunday I left my partnership and I’m now looking for a job.
I have some really good ideas I want to pursue as an entrepreneur individually that I couldn’t before.

However I’m going to have a job soon, how does this affect things? How do I get my business going with the job on the side? Is this doable or will I end up burnt out?

Traditionally I have skills as a web developer but should I pursue a job as one or find something different while I do my other thing on the side? I’m very short on money but only need $1500 per month minimum to live on.

What gives me the best chance of getting something off the ground over time?

Sorry for the tons of questions just trying to figure out something I can do to keep on keepin’ on.

Thanks!


#2

If you’re going to bootstrap, i.e. write you own code, then I do not see a point to abandon your profession.

Lack of wife, kids and age-related sicknesses.


#3

I do not have lack of wife, kids and age-related sicknesses. I am probably gonna need more coffee. <3 Seattle.


#4

This is possible and has been done by a lot of people already (including me).

I would stick with the web development in this case. You still need to learn a lot about business, marketing and so on but at least you can develop the application yourself instead of paying somebody to do it. As a developer keep in mind that most of the time the “fun to develop”-solution is not necessary the best.

I would say validate your idea early and go for a minimal product first. Don’t get caught up in the perfect application which needs 1 year of development time. And most important talk to potential customers (which ideally should be businesses). Talk early and talk often!

Good luck!


#5

Can you negotiate yourself a three day-per-week job? If so, that gives you two whole days for your business, financial stability, and, importantly, plenty of time for wife, kids, and age-related sicknesses.


#6

I’m in a similar situation :smiley:

If nothing changes, in a few weeks I will be going back to a full time job.

After trying and failing with my first startup attempt (this) it actually feels good returning to a more stable situation.

Something I’ve learned during the last few years is that, at least at this moment, I’m much more attracted with the idea of launching products than with the idea of starting a company.

A few days ago, I found this post from a guy that is trying to launch a business on the side.

What was interesting is that his goal is not to quit his job (which he loves). He simply wants to have fun and make extra money launching his own business ideas.

It really resonated with me.

This can totally change in the future, but my plan for the following year is:

  • Enjoy my full time job, which gives me the chance to work on cool projects while giving me financial stability.
  • Have fun trying different business ideas on the side, always focusing on products I can eventually automate and that can be tested/designed/launched/managed dedicating about 10 hours/week and using my own resources.

Let’s see how it goes!


#7

That could be too radical for most employers, especially for a new hire.

What I found though is that WFH is a much easier sell (just complain on a daily basis how stressed you’re after that traffic jam and how it affects your performance). I’m doing 4 to 5 days a week WFH, and that alone gives me 2 hours a day for doing my things.


#8

Loads of people work a job while building a product on the side. Working as a web developer gives you a good shot at maximizing your income per hour & your schedule flexibility, both of which help a lot. It also helps you build skills related to your product (rather than, say, building sailboats – which might be really fun but won’t help as much with your side project).

Whether you end up burned out is largely up to you. Make sure you don’t ignore the basics (food, sleep, and exercise). Make sure you leave at least a small amount of time for yourself, fun, and family. Even if you’re working a crazy amount, those things make it sustainable.


#9

You make excellent points. In my last partnership I neglected myself, fun, and family quite a bit. Learning the balance.

Tons of good info in How did you finance your first year bootstrapping?


#10

Me too - I made some big priority shifts 3 years ago when our daughter was born. Having kids transformed the way I looked at everything in my life, especially work.


#11

I’ve been bootstrapping on the side for about a year now. It’s definitely been tiring and there have been a lot of ups and downs. I’m still hustling a lot and only about 15% of the way to the MRR that I need to go full time.

I wish 1500 / month was all I needed. I’m gonna go into the corner and cry for a little bit now :slight_smile:

One thing that’s been really helpful though is that my day job uses my saas app and I’ve been able to work on it a little bit during work hours.