Here’s What It Takes to Become a Full-Time Entrepreneur in 2016

Lately, we’ve talked a lot about working on new ideas on the side, but sometimes you have to push your chips and go all in on an idea you believe in. As the year is ending and resolutions for 2016 are being made, there’s no better time to make a 100% commitment to your own business.

Still, it’s a scary thing to start from nothing and to find a way to support yourself and your family. That said, if you have some support structures going in and a plan of action, it’s a much less scary proposition. So here are some of the steps that you can plan to take in your push toward self-sustaining success. 

1. Have a Backup Plan

This may seem like a strange first step when the plan is to go all-in on your new business, but the fact of the matter is it’s important that you have some base of income or savings to protect you and keep the lights on. May that be a job or something else you can monetize comfortably, or a few months worth of savings at least, that cushion will cut down on the stress of growth dramatically. 

2. Identify Your Skills and Interests

If you want to build a successful business, you need to know what you like to do and more importantly, what you are good at doing. Before you commit to an idea, take a mental inventory of what your best assets are and what you care about doing. 

If you’re not genuinely passionate about whatever form your startup takes then your motivation may die out early. Consistency is the key to success and if you can do what you have do and do it well every single day then clients, customers, and investors will recognize that you’re here to stay. 

3. Budget Yourself

If you don’t want to rely on a regular job to sustain yourself, you need to have a very clear budget of how much time, effort, and money it’s going to take to stay the course. Growth for most businesses requires real financial investment so you need to know month-by-month how much exactly that is. You’re not going to get to that point right away, but ideally you’ll be there within a year. 

4. Monetize and Sustain

Most startups don’t make money right away so it’s often necessary to figure out some source of cash flow that doesn’t require that you work for someone else and that hopefully connects to your idea. This may not be your full-time venture, but it’s good practice for being your own boss and incredibly practical. 

What form this takes exactly doesn’t really matter. It’s about money at this point, not really about satisfying a vision. Grow and expand whatever effort you decide is best and always be working towards an exit or expansion strategy once you know you’re in good shape. Whatever deal you can make when you sell or pivot doesn’t have to be amazing, this is just about getting more capital. 

5. Keep Scaling 

Now that you have the resources and the backing you need to take that next big step more comfortably, it’s just a matter of pushing everything you’ve got into creating an idea and a business that people can’t help but pay attention to. 

Don’t sacrifice growth for anything, keep on plugging and by the end of next year, you very well may have scaled yourself to a business that any entrepreneur could be proud of. 

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment