October 6, 2017
Is it crazy to juggle a full-time job with running a startup? Considering that over 92 percent of startups fail within 3 years, having a corporate job might seem like a set-up for failure from the very beginning. But people have done it and succeeded.
A corporate job will make an entrepreneur’s life extremely difficult, but it isn’t realistic for most people to quit their day job. Instead, they must learn how to cope with it.
Changing Your Sleeping Cycle
This is a rare lifestyle modification that is mandatory. If your plan is to go to work from 9am-5pm, and work on the startup well into the wee hours of the morning, then you’re setting yourself for failure.
It’s near impossible to keep a consistent schedule if you’re running your startup after a long tiring day at work.
Even Paul Howey, an entrepreneur who managed to succeed with a full-time job says that he was lucky to have found employment that allowed him to work during night hours. This allowed him to work on his startup before attending work. Had this not been possible, Howey believes that he wouldn’t have been able to maintain it after six months.
Most people don’t have the opportunity to work night hours, so they must make the necessary adjustments to their sleeping cycle. A good idea would be to work from 9am-5pm and go to sleep at 8pm. This would allow you to wake up early (at around 3-4am) and work on your startup before going to your job.
Prepare for the Physical and Mental Toll
The work ethic required to run a startup will shoot your stress levels through the roof; For instance Elon Musk has worked 100+ hour weeks for the past 15 years. This amounts to 14.2 hours per day.
According to Michael Gastauer, CEO of WB21, this sort of work ethic is not something to brag about, but something that’s required from entrepreneurs. It does take an obsessive drive to succeed in this business.
In order to reduce the mental stress, be sure to have a disciplined work life balance and a supportive circle of family and friends. Also consider the physical toll on your body. Can you survive the crazy work hours, sleepless nights and lack of exercise for 6 months, one year, or however long it takes for you to be able to quit your job?
Paul Howey says that this work ethic caused him to end up in the worst shape of his life – forming bald spots on his head and knocking his immune system out of whack. In order to prevent this, it’s crucial to follow a good home exercise regimen, avoid chronic stress and have proper nutrition.
Know When to Quit Your Job
It’s perfectly okay to have a full-time job during the early stages of a startup (called the gestation phase). But afterwards, it becomes near impossible. It’s a huge alarm for investors if you aren’t willing to 100 percent commit on your startup.
Instead, once you’re convinced that you have a feasible idea and have carried out an appropriate risk assessment then it’s time to make that leap of faith. The most tell-tale signs that you’re ready to quit your job are:
- You want to scale, but lack time
- You’ve reached a key milestone for your startup
- You have enough savings to support yourself
With the proper adjustments it’s possible to succeed with a full time job, but in order to reach your startup’s full potential, you’ll need to dedicate yourself fully.
Read more about startup life at TechCo
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