“Hi Laura, How do I find the energy to build my side business? I’m trying to juggle family, and my day job as a head of social media and content marketing.”

Let me first say, thanks so much for asking this question! I think this is a common feeling amongst those who are yet to make the leap and on some levels something all business owners struggle with. When you’re a startup business owner, you’ll ask yourself “How do I find time to work on my business, when I’m working in it?”. Same struggle, slightly different context.

Firstly, make sure you’re only working on things that will give you the most leverage when you make the leap. You already know the huge value of great content and social media so make sure you’re doing that for you!

Now I want to dive a bit deeper and throw some tough questions in here to help others understand their own position on your struggles.

How much do you really want this?

When we are driven to do something in our lives that is important to us, it doesn’t matter how tired we are we do it anyway. Personally, I really struggle with improving my fitness as my drive to be fit is low but when it comes to business my ambition is so strong that I push myself beyond my limits, admittedly to the detriment of other things in my life. I speak for many others when I say unquestionable ambition to build a business pushes you through any energy, time, resources issues. You just make it work and if you do make the leap, you’re going to have to work much harder than you do now anyway. Flipping your question on its head, do you have the energy to make your side business your full time?

Is your partner on board?

I can really appreciate how hard it is being a parent, in a high pressure day job and wanting to build your business. I wear the “been there, done that” t-shirt on this subject and for the biggest part of my twenties I did this alone, with 2 young children and whilst at university full time. When I met my husband and decided to leave the corporate world I found myself in, I was very honest about what was going to lie ahead (unpredictable income, stress, sacrifice, pressure). I needed his support to make this happen and we agreed that I would take a back seat on anything that he could manage in order to focus all my time and efforts onto building our future. Whilst I technically have and could do this without him, I wouldn’t have a marriage if we weren’t in this together! We made the decision as a family, children included, and although it wasn’t easy to begin with once the profits starting building and life got more fun we all agree the sacrifice was worth it.

Are you making sacrifices?

Coming onto the point of sacrifices, are you making them in order to grow your side business? When you come home from work and your parental duties are done, are you spending your time watching TV or other hobbies or are you building your side business? When you take holiday time off from the day job, are you building your side business or sunning yourself on a beach? Are your weekends spent playing golf, or building your side business?

If you really want your side job to be your full time gig you’re going to have to make some sacrifices in your life to make it happen and put “me time” on the back burner for now. If you aren’t willing to make those sacrifices or you have a tonne of reasons why you can’t make those sacrifices then chances are you’re not an entrepreneur and that’s ok.

Entrepreneur or intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur is someone who thinks and behaves like an entrepreneur, but within an organisation. There are many people who think they want to be an entrepreneur, but whilst they have that spirit their talents truly lie in intrapreneurship. I’ve often reflected on this personally, particularly when business life gets really challenging, but being anything other than an entrepreneur is just not something that’s in me. Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about the fact that if you’re in a day job, you might have entrepreneurial spirit but you’re not a true entrepreneur and I would agree. Let me state that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this, the world needs more of you believe me.

My final thoughts on this are that if on reflection, you decide the entrepreneurial life is just not that important to you then there are literally thousands upon thousands of business owners like me who want an “intrapreneur” to lead their business. Perhaps your focus could now be finding that ideal role that allows you the freedom you need, whilst giving you the stability you want for your family.

25 comments

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Literally just what I needed to read this morning! Thank you!

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You’re so welcome Laura!!!! <3

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Laura

Excellent reading this morning x

Christina

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Thank you Christina for taking the time to read & comment x

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Thank you so much for this wonderful insight! I’m currently at this crossroads and this is really what I needed to read! 🙂

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Really glad this helped Claire – thank you for commenting x

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Thanks Laura! You talk a lot of sense!

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Thank you Sarah – wish the same could be said for everything that comes out of my mouth 😉

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Thank you Sarah – wish the same could be said for everything that comes out of my mouth 😉 x

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Refreshing and hit all the right buttons regarding weekends and how you spend your time. Thanks laura

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Decisions determine destiny Sharon – thanks so much for your comment today x

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Hey, you missed out something I think!
Try Yoga every morning, and you will never know what tiredness is. I even made an Android app of what we do daily weekdays!

Maybe other things also work like Pilates but I don’t know.

Regards
Kumar
https://www.webprogr.com

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Great article for those worried about whether they have the strength to take their business idea to the next level – it’s about commitment and belief.

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Thank you Chris! I got your linkedin message, I’ll respond as soon as I can 🙂

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Very true, a great insight into the commitment required and the need for family support x

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That support is so important Jacqui 🙂 thank you for your comment x

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I have so got to say thank you for the title of you email. I never had the chance to read the full blog this morning but seeing the title alone made me think ‘dman right it is!’ That has been my attitude today and boy has it paid off!
I’m like you. I’m an Entrepreneur through and through and have made every single one of those sacrifices and then some until my business started to pay off, then I went through it again to set up a second business much to my husbands bemusement!
Thank you for putting much needed ‘attitude’ into my day 🙂
Steph x

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Yes Steph!!! Kickass!! #allaboutyou

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Great point about the INTRAPRENEUR! I had never heard that word before. But, I discovered the concept from Gary Vee, too and that empowered me to be more “intrapreneurial”! 🙂 I love entrepreneurship but something wasn’t a fit for me and having my own thing (right at this moment). I’m so happy I still get to put all my entrepreneurial spirit into a business I love though!

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Exactly Femi!!! We’d all love a YOU on our team believe me!! xo

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OK this has been a lot of help now to make some changes in my business thanks laura this is just what i needed.

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Thanks for reading Thomas! Hope all is going well with the website launch

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As a father of three and trying to grow side projects into a business this really resonated with me. I am not alone

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Awesome, you have wired your mind right! In the process of rearranging my wires… Much respect!

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Thanks so much Steve! I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

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