Debunking the Myths: Myth #6: You Can’t Start a Business While Looking for a Job

Most of us have unexpectedly lost a job and subsequently thought about starting our own business; however, having little or no income while we launch a business and grow a customer base makes getting a job a necessity.

You really can do both if you take an approach that reduces your financial risk and sets you up to succeed.

Invest the minimum amount to launch and start delivering your products and services. It’s tempting when you launch a new business to overspend, particularly if you’ve received a severance package.   Set a budget and don’t buy anything that’s not absolutely necessary.

Reduce Your Living Expenses.  Make a list of your current expenses, then review each one to see what you can eliminate or reduce. Here are a few things to consider:

Operate on a cash basis: If you’re currently buying your groceries or visiting convenience stores and using your credit card when you do, visit your bank once a week and draw out enough for your living expenses. For many of us, we spend differently when there’s a limited amount of money in our wallets.

Cable: You really don’t have time right now to sit around and watch the latest installment of your favorite series or movies on a premium channel. Call your cable provider and have it turned off.

WIFI/Internet: You will need access; however, if you have a library or community center you can use, many of those provide free access. Warning: if you’re visiting an expensive coffee shop five days a week and buying a designer coffee so you can use their WIFI – that’s $200 a month!

Segment your time. If your priority is to make certain you can remain financially solvent while you open your business, spend the time you will spend at the job when you get the job, finding the job. If you’d spend eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, that’s the amount of time you should spend looking for a job. The great news is every other hour belongs to you to focus on getting your business started.

If you adopt this mindset you’ll set yourself up to continue working on your business once you have a job.

Select a business that will allow you to continue growing it while you work. This leaves out business that require a storefront or office hours; however, it leaves every other type of business open.

Consider a job in or related to your business.  If the job is related to your business, odds are it’s something you enjoy doing and you have something to offer your employer. You will also meet people involved in the industry in which you have an interest.

You can look for, obtain, and thrive in a job while you’re launching a business. In fact, it might be the best approach.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.

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