How do I start a startup and work full time?

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fund your entrepreneurial dreams

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10 Ways to Leverage Your Full-Time Job to Fund Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

What is one way someone can leverage their full-time job to fund their entrepreneurial dreams? To help you best leverage your full-time work to fund a startup, we asked successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and other business leaders how they used salaries for side gigs.

From taking advantage of paid courses from your full-time job to building networks and relationships through your present job, there are several insights that provide ways to capitalize on your full-time job to build enough funding and be well-prepared to transition from corporate. Here are 10 pieces of advice these leaders followed to leverage their full-time jobs to fund their entrepreneurial dreams:

  • Take Advantage of Paid Courses From Your Full-Time Job
  • Fund Professional Development With Your Full-Time Wages
  • Learn From Podcasts and Audiobooks While Commuting to and From Work
  • Find a Niche that is a Compliment to Your Day Job
  • Learn Whatever You Can Where You Are
  • Use the 50/20/30 Budgeting Method to Save
  • Find Partners for Funding and Other Resources
  • Ask Questions to Learn About Things You Would Use in the Future
  • Use Income From Your Full-Time Job to Invest in Real Estate
  • Build Networks and Relationships Through Your Present Job

Take Advantage of Paid Courses From Your Full-Time Job

Paid education is one of the most overlooked employee benefits. Companies that offer this perk will fund learning opportunities for their employees. You should be aware that there is usually a limit to the number of funds they will cover. Some companies will be willing to cover tuition almost entirely, while others can pay a few online certifications. Regardless, you should take advantage of this benefit to learn new skills or refine your skill set. Of course, these courses should likely be related to your current position. Therefore, it would be wise to select a field that is most applicable to both your full-time job and entrepreneurial project. You will be able to enhance your education in business management, marketing, finance, or similar, either free of charge or with minimum payments.

Brian Nagele, Restaurant Clicks

Fund Professional Development With Your Full-Time Wages

Professional development is key when starting your own entrepreneurial endeavor. You need to be knowledgeable in the field you are entering and possess the proper skills to give yourself the best possible chance of achieving your dream. This way, when you launch your business, you can hit the ground running.

Rather than immediately quitting your full-time job to dive into your business, it might be wise to take some time to invest in relevant courses or coaching sessions. Take the time to build your skills whilst you have a steady income, as this will reduce stress when you decide to fully dedicate yourself to your dream. Focusing on your own professional development and slowly easing yourself into your business will also allow you to test new ideas. The safety net of a full-time income often allows entrepreneurs to truly experiment when exploring an entrepreneurial endeavor, something which can be highly beneficial in the long run.

Teresha Aird, Offices.net

Learn From Podcasts and Audiobooks While Commuting to and From Work

One excellent way to leverage a full-time job with entrepreneurial aspirations is to optimize your commute. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks on how to build your ideal business while you are driving into your nine to five to gain valuable insights. Keep a notebook by your side to jot down ideas that speak to you, but only at red lights or stop signs. Never text and drive.

Sasha Ramani, MPOWER Financing

Find a Niche that Compliments Your Day Job

One way to leverage your full-time job to fund your entrepreneurial dreams is by finding a business niche that is a complement to your day job. If your side hustle can help you have more success at your day job, it can be a win for you and the company that employs you. You need to think of it as a partnership and not just another way to make money. Make sure that you are mindful of your employer and how they would view your startup. Would they agree that it is a compliment to their business? If your day job has helped you become an expert in a specific skill set, you can use that to build a business outside of your normal job duties. For example, if you are an accountant by day, you could start a bookkeeping or tax preparation service on the side. If you are a web developer, you could create custom WordPress themes or sell your own plugins. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.

Shawn Ryan, Techtopia

Learn Whatever You Can Where You Are

Look for mentors at work that you can learn from as you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. For example, perhaps your boss became your boss with nothing but hard work fueled by his own dream. Ask to meet with him to learn how he overcame challenges and glean as much as you can to inspire your own dreams. Even if you aren’t where you want to be today, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn something useful in your current circumstances.

Erin Banta, Pepper

Use the 50/20/30 Budgeting Method to Save

You can leverage your full-time job to fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams through savings. Ideally, you can use budgeting methods such as 50/20/30 to accomplish your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. However, you can adjust the percentage of your needs, wants, and savings. It depends on your goals and how quickly you want to achieve them. The savings should be redirected to your savings account. This would act as a passive income stream and help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

Simon Bacher, Simya Solutions

Find Partners for Funding and Other Resources

One of the best ways to use your full-time job to fund your entrepreneurial dreams is by finding a partner that can offer the financing you need as well as other partners who can offer the skills necessary to make your idea come to life. By finding the necessary resources through family and friends and colleagues, you’ll be able to see your startup idea become a reality and finance it as well as limit expenses.

Jenna Nye, On the Strip

Ask Questions to Learn About Things You Would Use in the Future

One of the best, most straightforward pieces of advice I can give is to ask the questions you wish you’d asked before you left your full-time job. Being an entrepreneur means wearing many hats (you’re the accountant, the marketer, etc), and if you’re starting out alone you may not have the right people to ask questions relating to a certain discipline or approach. For example, if you have accounting questions regarding what software you should be using, speak to a member of the accounting department at your workplace. For the department you currently work in, think about questions you can ask your peers, and make it your goal to get as much information out of each sector-specific expert or employee that you have access to currently.

Ian Wright, Business Financing

Use Income From Your Full-Time Job to Invest in Real Estate

One way someone can leverage their full-time job to fund their entrepreneurial dreams is by using their income from their full-time job to invest in real estate. This can give the individual the capital needed to start their own business. Additionally, the individual can use their knowledge and experience from their full-time job to help them succeed in their new venture. Wholesaling properties requires no upfront capital!

Jordan Woolf, We Buy Houses in Bama

Build Networks and Relationships Through Your Present Job

Professional networking during your day job is an excellent way to connect with people who may be interested in investing in your venture. While many startups bootstrap their way to success, you can raise capital through venture capitalists or angel investors. Often, you can meet these folks through networking events, conferences, and industry trade shows. But be sure to focus on building relationships rather than pitching your idea. So cast a wide net and introduce yourself to as many potential investors as possible. Though they may not seem like the perfect fit for your dream venture today, your idea may evolve, as will your goals. Forging numerous meaningful relationships also raises the possibility that they’ll introduce you to people in their network who may be open to seed funding rounds.

Jayme Muller, RTA Outdoor Living

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