Sometime ago, a friend of Daniel’s came visiting and we all had a discussion. During this discussion came the topic of having a side job while managing a personal business. This friend said that no one who is serious about entrepreneurship has a day job. He believed that anyone who took the step to set up a company should understand that their focus must be on the company full-time. This opinion of his was not contested for long as I figured I had no time to actually counter his opinion.
A few days later, I was back in one of my usual moody zones when Daniel walked up to me to ask what the matter was. Somehow I felt bad that I did not say anything to this friend of his about his opinion on the day job issue. “Does this mean that I agree with him?” I asked Daniel. “Does it mean that I am not serious about my company since I spend so much time trying to earn money via a side hustle?”
“He does not understand these things”, Daniel responded. Daniel gave me instances of friends who have their own companies but spend time during the day doing other jobs. “If you do not find a different means to make money, you will run your startup down by spending your almost non-existent profit and when your finish spending your profits, you will begin to spend your capital”.
In this day when random people spread the “QUIT YOUR DAY JOB AND BE YOUR OWN BOSS” mantra, it makes me wonder why they are misleading people. I am a wonderful teacher and a passionate scientist who has made many business mistakes just by listening to what some misinformed people said. Based on my experience, I make bold to say that quitting one’s job in hopes of starting up a self-managed business and making all your money from it, is what it is – hopes – and unless you have a solid means of getting constant financial flow into your startup, you may want to keep your day job or find a ‘side hustle’.
I am currently seriously managing my company and at the same time, making money on the side via part-time teaching. I love to teach and have found a way to marry my teaching and science loves so that I do not get distracted doing one thing and leaving the other lacking.
I think that the advice that should be given to ‘wanna-be’ business owners is that they should carefully choose a side job that will not take 100% of their entire time so that they can have spare time to gradually grow their company.
This is Nigeria where there are many forces against the growth of a startup. If one manages to scale through the funding bit, there is the issue with paying several taxes and numerous bills. These things are capable of making even a strong man to give up. When the finances do not come through initially, you would have to resort to personal savings to keep the dream flying. Where do you get your savings? A side job, and like mine, a side job that you love to do.
Therefore this whole post is to encourage business owners who go out to make money that is injected into their business, to keep it up. It is easy to assume that setting up a business equals making plenty money, until one is faced with the many challenges involved.
So even though the business is moving slowly just now, you are assured that it is moving anyway and that you are consistently creating value and finding time for your baby business. What competition exists is within oneself and the one thing that you do not want to do when no one believes in your dream, is to cut off your other source of income.
Take up that part-time job if you feel that it is necessary. Do it!