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The Benefits To Keeping Your Day Job While Building Your Startup

I recently had a heart-to-heart with a young woman who found herself at a crossroads. She had a job, bills to pay, and a burning desire to build her dream company. The question that gnawed at her was whether she should quit her job and dive headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship. It's a conundrum many of us face, (myself included), and the well-intentioned advice from thought leaders saying you have to quit can make it even more perplexing.

My own journey echoes this dilemma. Time and again, I was told to quit my job, take the leap, and "go-all-in" to be a real entrepreneur. But the real world doesn't always align with those inspirational quotes on Instagram. Bills don't pay themselves, funding is scarce for female founders (even scarcer for those developing women-centric products or groundbreaking inventions), and the road to success is often filled with detours and potholes. I was in my late twenties, had no kids, no mortgage, and was working as a lawyer at a firm that was aware and understanding of my invention. My circumstances are not everyones, that I understand. But I wanted to nonetheless share my journey to add alternative perspective to consider.

For me, I used my trusty paycheck from my full-time job at a lawfirm to self-fund my first invention, Straplets. I only waved goodbye to my job when I knew my business could cover my bare minimum life expenses. That's right, you can still be a bona fide entrepreneur, even if you don't plunge into the deep end right away. Let me share with you why this side-hustle strategy may be a good one to consider in your own entrepreneurial journey, and the valuable lessons I learned along the way.

Financial Stability – Your Entrepreneurial Lifeline

Let's face it, starting a business is like navigating a financial minefield. While we all dream of instant profitability, the reality often resembles a slow-burning fuse. Expenses pile up, and profits can feel like distant mirages. If they ever come…

This is where your day job can be your financial fairy godmother. It can provide the stability you need to keep your entrepreneurial dreams afloat, and your mental sanity too. Budgeting your paycheck to invest in your business without constantly worrying about how to pay the rent or afford groceries is something that can be doable. Plus, it's a mental lifesaver. As a founder, your plate is already full, you don't need the added stress of financial uncertainty.

Networking Nirvana – The Power of People

Most jobs come with an unexpected bonus: networking opportunities galore. Colleagues, clients, and even your boss can become valuable connections in your entrepreneurial journey. They have skills, insights, and connections that could be pure gold for your startup.

Your day job can also be your ticket to industry events, conferences, and seminars. Don't just clock in and out, seize these opportunities to fuel your business growth. And here's the flip side of the coin: building a startup can be a lonely gig. The first year I spent working on my business full-time was the loneliest of my life. The solitude made it tough to reach out for help, and as an extrovert, those hours alone were my own personal nightmare.

Time Management – The Ultimate Balancing Act

Launching a startup while working a full-time job is like juggling flaming swords while riding a unicycle. It's a heart-pounding, hair-raising feat that demands precision and discipline. You'll become a master at setting goals and prioritizing tasks.

Yes, the hours are long, and it's not a walk in the park. But being able to juggle both simultaneously is the true litmus test of your belief in your inventions. I was working at a law firm with grueling hours, yet, I persisted because I believed in my vision more than anything else. Sacrificing my free time for my invention was a no brainer.

There’s a notion that work expands to the time you allot it. Even if you only have an hour a day available for your side hustle, with the pressure of only one hour, you will be surprised how much you can get done in that hour.

Lower Risk – The Safety Net of the Side Hustle

Entrepreneurship is a gamble, and quitting your day job to go all-in on your startup is like betting your home on a roll of the dice. But what if I told you there's a way to play it safer?

By keeping your day job, you're reducing the risk and creating a safety net. If your startup doesn't soar to the heights you envisioned, you still have your job to fall back on.

Learning, Everywhere You Turn

Your day job may not be your dream career, but it's a treasure trove of learning opportunities. As you tread the waters of entrepreneurship, you'll face a slew of new challenges. Some you'll be prepared for, others will feel like tidal waves crashing over you.

Your job can equip you with valuable skills and knowledge. Pay close attention to the systems and processes in place as it can be practical learning lessons for your own business.

Don't Rush the Dream

Ladies, if you're on the fence about quitting your day job to chase your entrepreneurial dreams, please know this: you're not alone. It doesn't mean you lack belief in your idea or that you're not a bona fide entrepreneur. It means you're making a choice that is best for your current situation, and that's more than okay.

There are countless benefits to keeping your day job while building your startup. Plus, you can always take the leap when your business is thriving enough to support you comfortably.

So, don't let anyone rush you into taking a leap of faith before you're ready. Trust your instincts, embrace your unique journey, and remember that building your dream business is an adventure worth every step. Whether you leap in or wade in one foot at a time, you're the heroine of your story, and you've got what it takes to conquer your entrepreneurial dreams.

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