How to Build a Successful Business While Keeping Your Day Job
Emily Weiss started Into the Gloss while during her last year at Vogue. She tells Fashionista that she would conduct interviews “at Karlie Kloss’s house or Sally Singer’s” on the weekends. "Often, she worked in the mornings before work, rising as early as 5 a.m. to ensure she got three posts up per week," Fashionista reports. Weiss says: “It wouldn’t have been possible without passion. Unless you are totally obsessed with that you’re doing, it’s hard to wake up at 5 in the morning.” Like Weiss, a lot of successful entrepreneurs have started profitable businesses while keeping their office jobs. How do they find the time, energy, and mental capacity to handle both—and do both of them well? Read on to find out three tried-and-tested methods for launching a company while working a day job.
“The insight you gain while working for someone else can mean the difference between a successful entrepreneurial enterprise and one that fizzles,” Michelle Goodman writes in Entrepreneur. Weiss agrees. She tells Fashionista that her time working at Vogue was “useful for learning how to behave and how a well-organized workplace runs.”
Given the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, and most of those hours are dedicated to your job, your commute, and sleep, it’s essential that you prove your concept before anything else. Shara Senderoff, co-founder and CEO of Career Sushi, an online marketplace that connects young professionals with employers, says “holding down a day job means having only so many waking hours to devote to your side venture. That’s why validating that your idea will work—and that people will pay for it—should be priority No. 1.”
It’s not always about working longer. It’s about working smarter. Allyson Downey, co-founder and CEO of baby product review platform weeSpring tells Entrepreneur that her daily goal management is a direct carryover from her previous job at an educational nonprofit. “I have a column called ‘user growth,’ a column called ‘revenue growth,’ and a column called ‘development.’” Downey uses this system to keep herself from “going down the rabbit hole of fixing little things and building new features.” Her development column, for example, is half the size of her other two columns.
For more lessons on how to keep a job while starting a business, visit Entrepreneur.
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Opening photo: Courtesy of Glossier