Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the capitalist system. People with new ideas, who see gaps in markets and fill them, are crucial to the economy. However, there are some myths about entrepreneurship that should be left behind. One is the idea of striking out in pursuit of new business, with no source of income and no real safety net. Though there may be some overnight success stories in business, most entrepreneurs have to build their companies slowly. One way they do this is by keeping their day jobs.
Starting a new company on the side doesn’t show a lack of commitment. Instead, it shows prudence. In some careers, it can take a year or longer to become firmly established. Building a new business as a side job is an excellent way to manage risks. Though striking out on one’s own is a challenge, most successful entrepreneurs don’t take unnecessary risks. Instead, they lay plenty of groundwork and find ways to nurture and protect their dreams.
Keeping a day job allows entrepreneurs to move forward with an idea without putting themselves, or their families, at financial risk. Starting a new business is stressful enough without worrying about how the rent will get paid. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to research after hours. Instead of going to the library or town hall, entrepreneurs can look up licensing rules and other information online. There are even companies like LegalZoom that can file all the paperwork for a fee.
The internet also makes it possible for a company to have a digital footprint long before it has a brick-and-mortar one. Establishing social media accounts and a website can help to attract a company’s first clients. Once an entrepreneur has seen that their ideas are bringing in money, it’s much easier to cut ties with an old job. It’s a bad idea to put your notice in before your side business has proven viable.
In some industries like real estate, talent management, and anything sales-based, it can take up to a year to build a reputation. Entrepreneurs in these areas are wise to maintain a part-time job during that transition and embrace the slow but steady pace of building their new career.