Mistake #1 can destroy your business
“I’m going to quit my job and start a business!”
I hear it with so much enthusiasm–and being an entrepreneur, I REALLY want to encourage that optimism.
But the problem is that quitting your job to start a business will almost always ensure failure. Why? Well, unless you’ve already stuffed your mattress with hundred-dollar bills, you’re not going to be able to pay for your rent, food, electricity, lattes, whatever, while you’re starting your business.
You’ll be so desperate for work that you’ll take ANY job at ANY rate from ANY client–no matter how demanding, difficult, outside your expertise, or menial. And within a few months, your business will be dead, you’ll be neck deep in credit card debt, and you might even be crawling back to your old job (and nothing says defeat better than crawling back to your old job…), burned by your failed attempt at entrepreneurship, never to play with that fire again.
Big, BIG mistake.
(Even if you have a crushing defeat, remember: it’s only temporary).
Mistake #2 will prevent you from ever starting a business
“I need to have 6-12 months of savings before I start my business.”
Now, I love to save, and I’m pretty dang risk-averse. But, you DON’T need a giant emergency fund to start making money on the side. The mistaken idea that you need a huge emergency fund to start a business is similar–and often goes hand-in-hand–with the mistaken idea that you have to quit your job to start a business; in other words, to quit your job and start a business, you need tens of thousands of dollars to pay bills and fund your business. Wrong.
You may be the exception, but for most folks, building up an emergency fund of 6-12 months will take years. Years! Do you really want to wait that long? Not me–besides being risk-averse, I’m also impatient.
The fact is, you can start a consulting business with less than $100. And if you don’t have $100 to spare, cut out the lattes for a few weeks, and you’ll have your business seed fund. Besides, there are a ton of free & low-cost tools to help you start and run your business. You CAN start making money on the side.
Sometimes–and you need to ‘fess up and admit if you’re doing this–the excuse that you need a giant emergency fund just means that you’re afraid to start a business.
Guess what? Fear is normal. Everyone who’s started a business has been afraid.
We’re all afraid of failing, of tackling something unfamiliar, of looking like an idiot.
But you can get past those fears by:
- breaking the problem into tiny, manageable, easy steps, and
- testing your business idea to make sure it’s viable WITHOUT risking more than $100 and some of your time.
Why you need to start your consulting business as a side hustle
A side hustle is something you do to start making money on the side. See, when you have a day job, you have–guess what?–MONEY. If you quit your day job, you have–yep–bills. I’d rather have money, since it pays the bills.
When I started my consulting business in January 2007, I had a full-time day job. I had just left a job at a software company, and taken a job at a non-profit. But at the same time, I started my consulting business so I could start making money on the side.
Granted, I spent WAY too much time planning & researching my consulting business (and all that time spent on planning cost me thousands of dollars in lost revenue; find out why…), but I did eventually start my business. And I made sure I started it in addition to my full-time job; it would’ve been financial suicide to quit my day job to do consulting full-time right from the start, since I had no clients (and I know other people who tried and failed by going the quit-my-job-to-start-a-business route).
Instead, I learned how to market my business, got known in my niche, started getting more and more clients and work, to the point where I was able to quit my day job virtually risk-free, since I had plenty of clients and plenty of work.
Several months before I quit my day job, I saw that the time I spent at my day job was getting in the way of how much I could earn consulting. So, quitting my day job to earn more was less risky than staying at the job.
Another great benefit of starting your business as a side hustle is that in addition to learning how to start & run a business, you’ll be making money on the side–which means you get to build a nice emergency fund.
Even if you hate your job, keep it–for now
You do NOT need to quit your day job to start your business. In fact, it’s BETTER to stay at your day job WHILE you start your consulting business. There are a couple reasons for this:
- Hating your day job keeps you motivated to build your business.
- Your day job can fund your consulting business.
You DON’T need a pile of cash to start a business. But, you DO need to pay the bills, and that’s where your day job comes in. And–surprise!–your day job is already paying your bills.
So, if you’re on the fence about whether or how to start your consulting business, or if you’ve just been stuck in the planning & research phase, or if you’ve been making excuses about what you need before you start (“if only…”), just stop it.
Start taking actions–no matter how small–to start your business
Do something EVERY DAY on your business.
Push yourself a little outside your comfort zone.
Tell other people that you’ve started your consulting business (so long as they’re supportive).
Do things that make your business seem more “real” and made your feel like you have to keep pushing ahead so that you don’t risk feeling like you’ve failed.
Start your side hustle, and start making money on the side.
Launch Checklist is HERE!
Yep, the Launch Checklist is here. I’ve seen a couple dozen other business start-up checklists, and truthfully, they’re terrible.
Other start-up checklists don’t cover the MOST ESSENTIAL tasks you should focus on to get your business collecting cash. And if you aren’t collecting cash, then you don’t have a business. Besides, those other checklists aren’t tailored to starting a consulting business, and they don’t go into detail on how to test your idea and get paying customers.
So, forget about traditional business advice. Don’t waste your time on a traditional business plan. Instead, spend your time on ONLY those things that will help test your business idea and get paying clients. Ready? Then click the button below to get instant access, or find out more.
In addition, if you buy both the Launch Checklist AND the Start-up Blueprint, you’ll get a 15% discount.