How to Start a Business when you already work full-time

Howdy, hey there! Welcome back to The Filing Cabinet blog, where I emphasize success in sweatpants 😎

My topic today is:

How to start a business when you already work full time.
This is an important topic to me, and obviously to the women that I want to help because this is where most of us are starting from. We are tired of the corporate hustle and we want to design a business and live our life on our own terms, and be our own boss.
But how do we make time when the corporate hustle completely takes over our lives? Excellent question!

Here are three tips that can help you get started.

1. Take a low-key position at your current job

As I write this, I am currently in a supply chain planning role for one of the most highly visible Department of Defense programs, during a pandemic and global supply chain shortage. So to say I am currently in a low-key role, would be a lie straight from the pits of hell. I have endured mandatory overtime, questions about whether my team and I should be working in person as opposed to from home, and constant micromanaging of my work. However, also as I write this, I have reached out to my Manager from a previous role to see if she has anything available that is more laid-back. And using the power of nepotism, she has already confirmed the role for me and a pay raise. (also, don’t judge about the nepotism. It’s something we’ve all been on the other side of and when we have the power to use it, we do.)

When I decided that I was finally ready to dive headfirst into starting my business, I knew that I was going to have to make a change in my workplace. The role that I was in just didn’t allow for time during the day for me to be able to get things done. There was no downtime, there is barely time to leave your desk to go grab a microwave pizza. It’s just not sustainable long-term. And even though I feel a sense of obligation to this program (that is another topic for another post), ultimately my future is not in this corporation. So I have to prioritize myself and my goals, while still providing the stability that my family requires until my business can do that on its own.

So if your current job is anything like mine, I would implore you to network internally and try to find yourself something that fits your change in lifestyle. And no, you don’t owe anybody an explanation as to why you are seeking a different role. It’s none of their business. Read that again. Your personal reasons for wanting a new position is not anybody’s business but your own. Now, if there is an insistence to know why you would like to change positions you can say something to the effect of “I’m looking for something that will make me more well-rounded within the company.” Blah blah blah leave it at that. Find an easier job and get out of that never ending position you’re currently in.


2. Create 30 day plans

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, starting a business can seem very overwhelming. You have such big ideas and big goals that you want to realize; however, too much at once can leave you feeling like you won’t be able to achieve those goals during the timeline that you have planned for your business launch/ corporate exit. One way to combat this is to create small, thirty day plans. By giving yourself a small number of tasks to complete within a month. It allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment towards building your business. It also leaves you without the sense of overwhelm and your goals will seem easier to fit into your current day-to-day schedule.
Here’s an example : You want to start a car detailing service. In the first thirty days I would assign these five tasks

  1. Research whether your business would work best as an LLC or a sole proprietorship.
  2. Research and write down all potential startup costs
  3. Ponder on a business name and see if that business name is already taken in the form of a website or popular social media handles
  4. Google local competitors
  5. Write down what success looks like to you as a business owner.
Notice how there is both factual and physical list items. I’m going to do a separate blog post on this, but factual means the list of legal/ professional things needed to get your business started and physical means all of the emotional ways you want to feel connected to your business.

  • LLC or sole proprietorship?  Factual
  • What does success look like to me as a business owner?    Physical
If 30 days still seems like too much, then lower it to one week. At the beginning of every week, tell yourself that you are going to check off one to two items on your list that week. And just like that, you will complete your five tasks for each month. Your feeling of overwhelm will dissipate and your sense of accomplishment will stay steady. Don’t under value how important those two things are when it comes to getting your business off the ground. If it seems like too much and you lose your motivation, your business will be dead in the water before you’ve even had a chance to piece all of your tasks together.

3. Plan to use free time for business building

So let me be frank (Cue punchline), there really isn’t a whole lot of free time any of us have going on. If there was, starting our business wouldn’t be so hard and it wouldn’t take so long. But if we are honest with ourselves, we do have downtime and part of starting our business is learning how to allocate what little downtime we have to getting the business going.
One thing you must master as an entrepreneur is time management. Without anyone telling you what to do or when to do it, your success is truly dependent on how much you accomplish in a day.  To prepare for this, learning to be disciplined in your free time, and working on your business, will allow your transition to full-time entrepreneur to be easier since you will have a more appropriate idea of how well you work in your down time.

This also goes hand-in-hand with creating your schedule for the week for your 30 day/weekly plans. When you are deciding what tasks on your list you will check off for the week, also write down exactly when you plan to accomplish them. After the kids go to bed? When you sign off from work and before dinner? Are you going to wake up 30 minutes earlier on Thursday? Find the time and commit to it.
So to wrap this up and put a nice bow on it: you always have options when it comes to how you structure the ground work for your business. And here is one thing I can promise you: because you are creating something you are passionate about, using your downtime won’t be a sacrifice. I actively look forward to all the new clients I see sign up for sessions. I can’t wait to dig deeper into their goals. I enjoy content creation for social media and working with other professional women to grow our brands! It’s incredibly rewarding and I can’t wait to see you work too!


The Filing Cabinet is here to help you every step of the way.

Not sure where to start? Set up a session with me and we can clarify your first few steps.
Struggling to understand how you can use your free time most effectively?
Let’s work through that together. Looking for your exact steps? I have a personalized plan for that.
I have a drawer (see what I did there) full of possibilities for you, don’t waste another day waiting to curate your dream life.
If you enjoyed this blog post, want to leave feedback or suggestions for a topic you want to hear about, let me know in the comments section below.
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