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How To Start A Business When You Have A Full Time Job

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how to start a businessAre you wanting to start your own business and pursue your dreams?  Do you want to be able to quit your job and fulfill your passions?  

Starting your own business is definitely a fantastic route to take to create your own destiny.  The challenge is, most people are stuck with their “full time job”, which doesn't allow them the time or energy to really start their business and get it off the ground running.  Not only that, but other commitments can get in the way – friends, family, your social life, other activities, etc…  This is not only a problem that I've encountered when I first decided to start my own business, but it's something many others have faced as well.  I recently received a message from a follower of PLM asking how they can start their own business while working a part-time job and I decided to create a video blog post to share my answer.

Watch the video below:

(Click here to watch on YouTube)

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You Have To Be Willing To Make Sacrifices

starting a businessStarting a business isn't an easy task.  It requires a lot of time, energy and effort.  Running a business isn't like a “job” where you punch the clock and you're off work at 5PM.  You also don't get paid for just “showing up”, rather you get paid only based on performance.  If you work 8 hours a day at your job and don't produce any results, you still get paid for that time you spent.  With a business, YOU ONLY MAKE MONEY WHEN YOU PRODUCE RESULTS.  To build a successful business, it takes more commitment than anything else.  It has to become your #1 priority and you need to be willing to give something up in order to succeed.  The bottom line is, you have to be willing to make sacrifices.

I started my first business when I was 21 years old.  I quit my job and went cold turkey, pursuing this dream I had of creating a coaching and seminar business to help people overcome some of the challenges I went through in my life.  I didn't know squat about business, I just knew I had a passion for coaching.  I was in for a huge surprise, as starting a business and making a profit wasn't as easy as I first anticipated.  I struggled for months finding ways to pay my rent.  I was in total desperation mode and was without any “security” that my job provided me for years.  I had my back against the wall many times and had to tap into my resourcefulness to find ways to make money.  As a result,  I didn't have much of a life outside of my business.

I still remember at one point in my life, I was living in my friends living room as a “sacrifice” to get out of my credit card debt.  I was embarrassed by this and definitely wasn't living at the standard I had expected. Some of the other sacrifices I made was to work 7 days a week, including Friday and Saturday nights.  I wasn't going out much and often had to say “no” to many friends that invited me out.  I made a bold move that year and decided to travel Thailand and Southeast Asia, as I figured I'd be able to travel and work, and even save money as it's very inexpensive in that part of the world.  I didn't have a “home” anyways, and I figured this way I could work on my business and not have any distractions.  I was first getting into starting an internet business, as I knew making passive income was going to be my path to financial freedom.

I was at the Beijing airport for a layover when I took out my journal and wrote down my goals for the next 3 months.  My goal with my internet business was to make $300/mo passive income and I decided I wasn't coming back to Canada with anything less.  I believed that $300/mo would change my life.  It would help me be able to afford my own place and not have to live in my friends living room.  It would be the start of something big, as I knew if I could make $300/mo, I could easily scale it up to $1000/mo and more.  The work was about to begin.  So was the sacrifices.

During my 3-month trip to Southeast Asia, I spent 90% of my time at restaurants, cafes and inside my hotel room building my online business.  I was going through multiple programs, hired a coach even though I couldn't afford it, and was working nearly 16 hours a day.  I would stay in hostels in most cases and share rooms with out backpackers.  While nearly all of these travellers were out partying and having fun, I was working.  I didn't want to be struggling anymore and I dreamed of being able to stay at the beautiful hotels and resorts, having the finances and freedoms to do so.  I was committed.  I was willing to do whatever it takes.

Long story short, I achieved my goal within those 3 months.  Soon after when I returned to Vancouver, my income grew month by month.  It went from $300/mo, up to $500/mo, then $1000/mo, $2000/mo, $4000/mo, and in a little over a year, over $10,000/mo.  The sacrifices and commitment that I made is what got me to where I am today.  At 24 years old, I became “financially free” and had my passive income cover all of my expenses.  I didn't have to “work” anymore, but I soon discovered that being semi-retired is extremely boring.  When I was 25 years old, I started ProjectLifeMastery.com as a passion and have been able to grow it to be a successful blog, which is something I'm very proud of.

SACRIFICES ARE REQUIRED.  Part of getting what you want is to understand what you have to give up to get it.  When I hear people not willing to give up their social life or other activities to grow a business, I know right away they simply aren't committed enough.  They are “comfortable” and want it to be easy.  If you are working from 9-5, what are you doing from 6 to midnight?  It's during those hours that you are going to have to commit to building your business.  If you want to know what the truth about success is, check out this blog post that I put up that really explains what it takes.

Create A Schedule

part time business

Scheduling is important when it comes to managing your life effectively.  Most people don't have a “system” or way to really manage their lives.  In the my life plan video blog I talk a lot about how I manage the different areas of my life.  A big part of it is planning the week in advance. I know exactly when I'm going to be working on my different businesses, the times and dates that I'm going to workout, which days of the week I'm going to socialize, and the days that I'm going to “relax”.  This is extremely important and you MUST NOT deviate from this schedule.  If you have a work session planned and scheduled for Monday evening and your friend calls you to invite you out to an event, you need to be willing to decline it.  You have to be proactive, not reactive.  You need to make sure you're consistent with your own standards.

I generally don't recommend to people to just “quit their jobs” and go for it with their business.  The younger you are, the more risks you can take, whereas if you're older with a family, I definitely wouldn't recommend it.  I've always believed you need to have SOME source of security first and a back-up plan.  Make sure you have at least 3 months of earnings as savings in the back for security.  I'd also make sure that your new business generates enough cashflow for you to live off of for a few months first, then quit your job.  This is important, as with business, income isn't always stable.  Your income from your business will always fluctuate month to month, whereas a job provides you consistent security.

Make sure you determine however many hours each week that you need to start your business.  Project Life Mastery is a part-time business that I run.  I run many other online marketing businesses that are much, much more profitable to me than Project Life Mastery is.  With Project Life Mastery, I simply schedule certain hours each week to work on it.  I usually just focus on doing one video blog post each week and have been fairly consistent with that for a year and a half.  With coaching, I schedule specific days and times each week to focus on coaching my clients.  I also run a business publishing books on Kindle and I usually spend a few hours on Monday for that.  My life is managed effectively, because I schedule my time and I'm able to run multiple businesses because of it.

Starting Your Own Business Is Worth It

It is worth it to start your own business.  It is definitely not “easier” than a job, but it will force you to really grow and the potential is much more lucrative.  With running my online businesses, I set my own hours, get to work from home, and have freedom to do what I want, when I want.  I have been able to travel around the world and still work from my laptop, which is an amazing privilege to have.  With an online business, you can also make “passive income”, which means you can make money while you sleep!  A business allows you to really make a difference in the world, while pursuing what you're passionate about.  It can be very rewarding and fulfilling.

I don't regret starting a business.  I do think if I knew what it would have taken to get me to where I am now, I most likely wouldn't have started one in the first place.  But the struggles are something I am grateful for having gone through, as they shaped me who I am today and made me a much better person.  A business is the ultimate training grounds for anyone that is on the journey to self-development and wants to become more and give more.  I wouldn't have it any other way and I could NEVER see myself ever having a job again.

If you are considering starting a business, DO IT.  Make sure you are aware of what you're getting into and what it takes to really succeed.  If you are willing to do what it takes, take that leap and go for it!

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How To Start A Business When You Have A Full Time Job
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  • Marta

    wow! you simply rock man! the best coach ever!!! I actually quit my job too about year and a half ago to continue with my studies and set up my buisness and I don´t regret it. Quitting your job( I had some savings and a few clients to support myself just in case )is a very drastic , high-water jump way, but it worked for me as it is really motivating! You know you have to get started as you need money to eat and a place to stay, haha! Now I am very happy making money from what I really love( active income- as you defined it-should be your passion like coaching in your case). I don´t have any passive income yet but I will get there as well. I had to make a lot of sacrificies, also before quitting my job- working full-time, getting back home at 6 or 7 and studying…then at weekend doing workshops and finally a proper training…no social life..I couldn´t go partying and also getting thirty I felt like I had it done, also..I had exams to do! but those who cared about me gave me their support and I learnt not to waste my time. I don´t have regular income but those ´low´ months I don´t complain but work my ass off. Sometimes I want more free time and less money and so I work less. Being self-employed is the best. I don´t hate Mondays. I can work Sundays, I don´t care. The whole process was easier for me as my partner was doing the same- back from work and studying or working more. We gave each other lots of support. LOts of ´friends´ were laughing at us back then. They depended on their jobs which in the end turned out to be very unstable as the economical crisis took is toll in Spain. Then I felt relief I had my own clients and something on site. And I fucking love living in Spain and instead of complaining like most of the Spanish people do, I just decided to MAKE IT WORK FOR ME! Looking forward to more videos!:)

    One question Stefan, out of curiosity, how old are you now if I can ask? How long have you being coaching for and making passive income?

    • Hey Marta, thanks for sharing your experience with starting your own business. Glad to hear that it has been an amazing experience for you, I can definitely relate! I’m 27 and I’ve been coaching since I was 20. I started my first business coaching and doing seminars at 21 with two partners and worked with hundreds of people during that time. I’ve been into making passive income since I was around 23 or 24, with online marketing, and it was the best decision I’ve made in my life.

      • Marta

        Wow, only 27! I thought you were older( I mean I don´t say you look old or anything like that but judging from what you have done and achieved I would say you were 33-34, haha!)! I only discovered what I wanted to do when I was 27 and am 30 finally now doing what I like and so my next goal is to have something like a passive income by the time I get 35. Again I like your defintion of active income that it should be your passion, really inspired me! I guess I always wanted to live in a different way than established by a society(typical 9-5and I hate Mondays and fleeting moments of happiness at the weekends) but I didn´t discover my path until I was 27. Luckilly I left my country when I was 22 and have been living abroad ever since and it wasn´t until I moved to Spain that inspiration came. Before that I felt a bit confused and didn´t know what to do really. Someting that I felt like sharing for other people who follow PLM is: if you feel stuck and have no focus and no ideas, just go travelling or change the country- it helps to break patterns( you don´t need that much money to do this). So you were very lucky to get to coaching being only 20! well done man!

        As for sacrificies- they are always temporary, just like you said, like we had to live in a really shitty apartment for a year and a half. Now looking back at it- it was all fun!
        Again, looking forward to reading more of your articles. They way you explain things is very easy to apply to real life. I followed some of Tony Robbins stuff as well, however I much prefer the way you structure it, it is very practical and motivating! I also have my Life Coach here and the progress I have been making in different areas of my life and my quality of life and those around me has definetely improved! The world needs more people like you! all the best to you and your projects!

  • Hey Stephan, what did you for money in SEA while working on your online business? I’m seriously considering the same thing and live somewhere cheaper while I get my biz off the ground.

    Thanks

    Tim

  • Greg Pasden

    Thanks Stephan. Keep up the vids and ideas to help us

  • Willy

    Great Vid Stefan. Thanks. I opened my own business quite a few years ago too. I had to talk myself into it. Quit my job and pretty much forced my self to believe in it and that I could do it. The first couple of years was very painful just like you described. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. I still have the business. Bricks and mortar. Retail. It doesn’t afford me the same kind of freedom but it is still rewarding. I want to move in a new direction now. Thanks for being inspiring young man.

  • Dane Earl

    Thank you Stefan.I moved from Jamaica in early 2013 now I am starting a online business. am working 6 AM-2 PM. Question Which way can is the best way to get social media followers to build customers and relationships to drive people to my websites?

    • Hi Dane, the best way that has worked for me has been putting out high quality content (videos, articles and podcasts) and then people find you and will follow you!

      • Dane Earl

        Ok thank you. Very much. I stared following you about in February this year and it has been way easier to reach some of the goals I set for my self . One of my bigest goal for the rest of the year is to start my online marketing business. I think social media is the way to reach customers and follower.

  • Kyle

    So glad I found this article. I feel really encouraged now. I am still stressing over how to organize my taxes and finances, but if you were able to figure it out in your early 20’s, then I can too 😀