How to Start Your Own Business While Working Full-Time For Someone Else

Dear Debra: I’m dying to start a small business. How can I find time to set myself up as an entrepreneur while working 9-5 for someone else?

Claim two hours a day for start-up activities. One is for creative, strategic, hard planning—activities that require your brain to be fully awake and fired up. The second hour is for the roll-up-your-sleeves, boring, rote grunt work that doesn’t call for mental alertness or focus—just time. Every one of us can find two otherwise wasted hours, no matter what our work and life situation.

At your best bright and early but you and the kids wake at 7, so there goes the morning? Load up the coffee pot before you turn in at night so that all you have to do is hit the on switch when you rise at 6 a.m. for solo sunrise brainstorming sessions. Use this fresh time to think through the hard stuff: map out your blueprint and specific short- to long-term goals; come up with a business name and value proposition; define your customer. Study the Wall Street Journal and Inc. to give you ideas and inspiration as you sip your coffee in peace.

Night owl? Claim for yourself the hour following lights out in your household, but skip CSI or CNN. Instead, research if your business name is available on Complete forms on

Carve out two additional hours over the weekend to listen to at-home study courses, or take one-shot, half-day live entrepreneurship courses at your local university.

Burned out after work? Instead of de-stressing with what my stepson calls supermarket trash (tabloids), use the hour subway or bus ride home to tackle mindless, boring-but-essential business tasks: record start-up expenses in Quick Books or a computer spread sheet; jot down accounting categories on your paper receipts (e.g., office supplies, technology, legal, advertising); file those receipts in a secure-location envelope so you don’t go crazy looking for them at tax time. Pay a couple of business bills, meaning write the checks, get them into stamped envelopes, and pop them in your mailbox before you unlock your front door and collapse for the evening. Done!

Your daily two hours gives you 56 hours a month for launching your business. Multiply that times eleven (I’m giving you a month off!) and you’ve discovered 616 hours for white collar moonlighting. Here’s to your startup success!

« Staying True To Our Dreams Makes Us The Best Parents We Can Be | Main | The First 10 Things You Should Do When You Get Laid Off »

More Like This: Career , economy , Money , Mothering , Small Business , Work/Life Balance

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


That's a very refreshing preparation of starting a business. I think planning is really a good start.
You can think of what niche you will work on base on your skills and hobby as the focus of your business.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to Updates

Email RSS Comments
Subscribe to Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word Blog with email Subscribe to Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word Blog with RSS Subscribe to Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word comments with RSS
FREE! Reality Check Quiz: "Are you holding yourself back—without realizing it?" Find out Now!

I'll also include my FREE Weekly "Break It Down, Debra! Updates (a $197 value) that expand upon the core concepts of my book with true stories from women like you. I answer your most burning questions on a weekly basis, show you how to take the pressure off, stop beating yourself up and putting yourself down + give you practical advice + solid support to break free and start living your best life NOW—at work and at home. It's worked for me. It's worked for thousands of women I've advised. It will work for you.
~Rest assured that ALL your information is kept 100% confidential.


Email me
Network with me and stay connected!

I’m all about creating ways for ambitious women to share our stories with each other.

I am a business psychologist, researcher, author, executive coach, and career advisor. I lead workshops and lecture frequently on women’s need to embrace our ambition. I founded the Women’s Business Alliance, a motivational think tank for more than 2,500 women. For more details, see my about page.

I’d love to hear your story. Ambitious women owe it to ourselves—and the world—to make the contribution we were born to make. Let’s keep the dialogue flowing.


To make it easier to find what you're looking for, this site is divided into 4 sections.

Click tabs above to restrict search to a section, or search all four below.

Follow me on Twitter

Twitter Logo
    follow Debra Condren on twitter

    Popular Pages + Entries


    FREE Tips Booklet from a Collection of Experts
     (Value $97)

    "How to Use Social Media to Increase Your Business"


    CLICK HERE to learn all about how to receive this free booklet


    Safe Shopping provided and verified by:
    Online Payments
    Official PayPal Seal