If you’re thinking of starting your own business, the whole issue of “HOW do you start, HOW do you do it” can really get in the way.

If you’re working full-time now there’s a reason for it. You have created an income and a lifestyle that requires that income.

There’s no getting away from the need for an income in our current society.

So before you even start, there’s a couple of issues to deal with:

  • A time restriction– There’s only so many hours in the day, and the work on your new business is going to have to occur around your existing commitments; and
  • A financial need– You’re going to need an income to support the lifestyle you’re choosing to live right now, while you do this.

There are really 3 clear ways to make this move from your current job into your own business. I’ve done all three, so here’s the pros and cons of each option, and what you need to do to make each one work.

01 – Work Full Time, Build Your Business On The Side

Building a business on the side while you work in your existing job is often the most obvious way to start.

Often, it’s the only choice, especially if you don’t have a lot of money saved up to support this process.

The Pros

  • Maintain your current lifestyle– You get to keep living the life you’re living without having to sacrifice the things and the stuff you like, and have become accustomed to.
  • No financial stress– “Making the first sale” does not become a driving factor in the creation of this business. You get to build it at a pace that works for you, and know that there’s still money coming in.

The Cons

  • You end up working all the time– Think about it, you’re working an 8 hour a day job, travelling an hour each way, and then coming home to do another 3,4,5 hours work in the evening. That can really take the fun out of every thing.
  • Burnout– When you’re working full time it’s often hard to fit in all the things you need to keep you in balance – exercise, eating well, plenty of sleep, social connections, and just time out to recharge and relax and do nothing. When the little spare time you have is now taken up working even more, this can be really hard.
  • It takes a lot longer– Depending on how much time you can put in each day is going to determine how long this takes. But, if you work 2 hours a day, versus 8, it will take 4 years to create what you could in 1 year full-time.
  • Hard to create momentum– It’s hard to get real momentum when you’re stopping and starting all the time. This is only going to add to the overall time it will take.

What You Need

If you’re going to take this option, which you may have to do at least for a while if you haven’t saved a lot of money to back your self, here’s some key things that need to happen:

  • Start Saying No– You’re going to need every spare minute to get this gig going, and maintain all the things to sustain you. Start taking your time back. Start saying no to unpaid overtime, social obligations you don’t want to go to, and anything that is sucking your time without a reward. You need to start putting your self first.
  • Start Saving– Start putting every cent in savings. The faster and the more you can save, the faster you can start cutting down your job commitments and move into the transition option.
  • Review Your Budget– If you’re serious about this, you may want to review your budget and look at where you can make some changes in your life, and put that money into savings. I’m not saying sacrifice, but, if you were currently eating out 3 nights a week and now you’re choosing to work on your biz instead, that money can go straight into savings. You’ll be surprised.
  • Work On Your Stuff At Your Peak– Figure out when you are most productive and work on your stuff at this time. It may mean getting up earlier and doing 2 hours in the morning. If you work best in the middle of the day, can you structure and extra long lunch break, and work on your stuff then. It’s going to be different for every one, but make sure you’re still fitting in all the things to support your self.

02 – Jump – Go Cold Turkey

This is one I did a couple of times when I was so over my job I could not bear to face another day. For me, I let it get to breaking point and literally jumped cold turkey with no real plans – just a knowing that I had to do something.

I do NOT recommend this option. If you’re working so hard in your job that this seems the only option, I suggest taking a bit of time out to breathe and create a bit of a strategic plan that involves some kind of income, even if it means getting a new job.

The Pros

  • You can work full time on your business– When you jump and go cold turkey, you have all the time in the world to work on your own business. Unfortunately, if you go cold turkey, it could mean that you spend a lot of time faffing about, trying to figure out what the heck you’re doing.
  • Things happen a lot faster– Because you have more time, you get more done. The time you spend is quality time, not the leftovers at the end of the day.
  • You have more time to create balance– When you’re not working a job, you actually have the time to spend on your self, on the things that you need to recharge and regenerate your self – whatever that is for you.
  • You have more energy– Working for your self just seems to create inspiration – if you’re doing the right thing for you.

The Cons

  • Financial stress– Going cold turkey with no cashola can create more stress than the job you wanted to get away from. Trying to build a business and sell from a desperate need for money is not a great place to be. This is probably the biggest thing to avoid for long term success.
  • You have to motivate your self– Going cold turkey can be really challenging. Gone are the job requirements of certain hours to be done and deadlines and budgets. You have to create your own constraints, and that can be really hard.
  • If you don’t make $$ you’re back to a job– If things don’t happen fast enough and you run out of cash, you’re back to a job. This could happen at any time. There’s no shame in this. It doesn’t mean you failed. It just means you didn’t have all the resources you need. Maybe use a different strategy, like a transition.

What You Need

If you’re going to go cold turkey, here’s what you’re going to need:

  • A Clear Plan– Before you go cold turkey, you’re going to want to create some kind of a strategic plan. (I go through this in a bit more detail in the Essential Business Start Up Training HERE). A plan is going
  • Money in the bank(at least 6-12 months, depending on your own comfort zone) – There’s no guarantee that this thing is going to succeed exactly the way you want it to first go.
  • Discipline– You’re going to need to be able to drive your self in terms of productivity and working hours. Because it’s just going to be you.
  • Like your self– Because it’s just you, you’re going to want to like your self, and trust your self, because again, it’s just you, and that can be quite a culture shock.

03 – Transition Out

In my experience, this is probably the most effective and least stressful of the options. It’s what I did to create my ultimate business. It worked, because it was strategic, calm and logical.

Transitioning out of your job means decreasing the amount of time spent in your job and increasing the amount of time spent on your business – while your income remains approximately the same.

There’s a few ways of achieving this:

  • Work less– Rationalise your living expenses and budget, and reduce your required income so you can negotiate working reduce hours. You could start with a 9 day fortnight or a 4 day week, or take extra unpaid leave.
  • A new job– If you have a boss that expects overtime and is not open to negotiation then you may have to think again. It may be worth finding a new job with a different culture that is more aligned to you and accommodating your boundaries.
  • Get paid more– Is there a way that you can share your expertise for less time and more money? This involves leveraging what you know. For example, you may discover that lecturing and tutoring at university is a far better pay rate – in terms of the reduced stress, and being paid for every hour worked, AND once you create the content you can re-teach it with less work.


  • Stress free– The stress of both time and money is removed, and you start to have more flexibility and control over your time, because you’re choosing it.
  • You start working your way right now– If you are focussed on transition and where you want to be in terms of your business, you’re already working on your terms.
  • You start to see your own value– By setting your own terms for how you want to work both as a business owner and an employee, you start to empower your self and see more of your own value, and this can only have a positive effect on your growing business.


There’s no real cons to this, which I why I recommend this process. The only con I can honestly think of is:

  • It takes longer than working full time– Yes it is, but if you’re working less in your job, and more on your business, you’re going to start enjoying your job a lot more, rather than resenting it.

What Next? What To Do With This Information Now!

If you’re thinking of starting your own business but don’t have the time or money to even start or think about what it might be, you need to start your transition NOW! Or this thing is never going to happen.

  • Start Your Transition, Just Say No – You have to start putting your self first. You have to start your transition by saying NO unpaid overtime, NO to obligations you really don’t want to do, and NO to other people’s agendas. This is your time, and that time starts NOW.
  • Leave a comment below – What’s stopping you from starting your business? And, what’s one thing you can do right now to start your transition – either creating more time or reducing your income requirements so you can start your savings.


Liz Watt


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