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Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Ellen Rohr.

Are you hanging on to a job that doesn’t fit?

Maybe it’s good enough for now, and the benefits are hard to resist. Still, if you suspect there is more in store for you, why not start a business? Starting a business could provide the financial freedom you need to quit, or it could be the resume enhancer that helps you get hired elsewhere.

Before you start in with the, “I don’t have the time,” whine, consider…

You Won the Lottery!

You did! You won the lottery of time. You have all there is. And that’s because it doesn’t really exist.

Have you noticed that time flies when you are engaged in something you love to do? Inspired, right-purpose activities deliver a lot of production in very little time. On the contrary, note how interminable time is when you are doing something mind numbing, like working on spreadsheet calculating material costs.

Time is relative. How much you have depends a lot on how much you like the work you do.

We Might As Well Do What We Want

It isn’t a matter of doing more. More requires more time.

It is a matter of doing less of things that don’t matter. That’s how you’ll create the time to build a business and work a job.

Look into your heart and discover that which you love to do. Don’t fret the details just yet. Freedom from time comes from staying focused on worthy goals, and constantly weeding the time-expanders out of your day.

For example, in The Procrastinator’s Handbook, author Rita Emmett lists Thirteen “Hypocritical” Time-Wasting Games.

  1. Shuffling through the same papers of clutter over and over.
  2. Playing computer games.
  3. Having long, chatty telephone calls that aren’t important to you.
  4. Lingering with unexpected visitors who aren’t important to you.
  5. Surfing the Web.
  6. Attending unnecessary meetings.
  7. Working aimlessly without objectives, priorities, or deadlines.
  8. Trying to do too many things at once and underestimating the time available to do them all.
  9. Being indecisive.
  10. Saying yes when you should be saying no.
  11. Pushing yourself when you are too tired to function well.
  12. Doing things that don’t need to be done (or that somebody else could do.)
  13. Doing an excessive amount of preparation.

Do you ever work alone or from home? Good! Get your required work done quickly and use the time you shave to make calls, and do research on your burgeoning business.

Chances are, you’re already committing one or more of the 13 time-wasters above. And that’s time you could use to craft a business.

Bottom line: You can make time to do your job and start a business. It’s not as hard as you think.

Cool Ideas for Anytime Businesses

Stuck on what you could do to earn money on the side?  Here are a few easy-entry concepts…

  • Services and products for pets.  Walking, sitting, grooming services. Toys and gear, or gourmet food items.
  • Dirty jobs.  People who have less perceived time than money will pay you to do things they don’t have time for. Cleaning, cooking, handyman services, moving, yardwork.
  • Information.  Create a web-based company where you are the expert – on whatever!  – and organize and sell information and products. Or help kids as a tutor or providing enriching after-school activities.
  • A business you can work out of a truck.  Selling burritos in the parking lot at the big game. Selling sunscreen and other “forgotten” products at the beach.

Put a Simple Biz Plan together

Get a three ring binder and call it your Biz Plan Binder. Or, you can create a folder on your iPad or tablet. I like the old school reliability of a binder, however, it is up to you.

Organize the sections of your Biz Plan like this:

Setting Sight – Why are you starting a business? What are you going to offer? What need or want will you serve? What will you do different and better from the competition? This section of your Biz Plan Binder houses the answers to these questions and describes your ideal business, your target market, and your goals and how this business serves you, your family and your customers.

Building the Team – Who does what? Why, how and when? Use this section of your Biz Plan Binder to store your Organizational Chart and Position Descriptions. Planning on going solo? If you’re going to run a business while working a full-time job, think seriously about who can help you without costing you a lot of money: your kids, college students, or through online sites like Fiverr.

Making Money – Put your financial reports in this section. Build a budget and set goal for sales and expenses.   Crunch the numbers, include a salary for you, and consider charging a premium price for your goods or services.

Getting it Sold –  If you are going to charge more than your competition (and you probably will if you want to be profitable) you are going to have to BE more: be faster, nicer, cleaner, more organized, professional, timely and loving. And, you will need to discover better ways to communicate the value of your service to customers and prospective customers. Craft an action plan for improving your sales skills. Store your marketing and sales plan in this section in your Biz Plan Binder.

Getting it Done – As you develop your procedures, sure-fire systems for delivering on your promises, store copies of your procedures under this section. Create a Top Projects list of projects that will move you in the direction of this rockin’ biz.  Focus on 2-3 projects at a time, anytime you can. Use your calendar to discipline yourself to get more done in less time.

Making Sure – Are you on the right track? Are you delivering what people want? Is this working? Review your results, your financials, as you go and make sure this business is creating wealth and joy for you. Ask your customers to give you feedback…what’s working, what needs to be made over?

Bonus!  Your own business can help you get out of debt.

A profitable business manufactures money. The key is to make sure whatever sales you have exceed costs and generate cash. If you are struggling with debt, you can work out a disciplined debt-reduction plan and stick to it.

Defy time.

Make time to do what you really want to do. Consider a business of your own as a path to prosperity and freedom. And do it part-time … anytime.

Plumber’s wife turned business mogul, Ellen Rohr nearly sank the family business.  Then she learned how to create financial and lifestyle freedom…building a $40 million franchise organization in under two years.  As a small business expert, she shares her simple, powerful business plan basics at Bare Bones Biz. Ellen will be hosting a Free and Clear Debt Reduction Online Workshop on January 31st. Register now for a life free of the burden of debt http://www.barebonesbiz.com/online-business-workshop/

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8 Responses to Making Time to Start a Business Without Leaving Your Job

    • On
    • January 29, 2013 at 11:32 pm
    • Emily
    • Said...

    Fantastic post today, and perfect timing–I must have helped manifest your desire to share such valuable advice! :) thank you, thank you!

      • On
      • February 4, 2013 at 10:38 am
      • Ellen Rohr
      • Said...

      Yes, you did!! Thanks, Emily!! And thanks for the lovely comment. xo$

  1. Hi Ellen,

    Great stuff here. I’ve done my share of side businesses with a day job and you are so right about the time wasters. I was never much of a TV watcher, and over the years I’ve trimmed more and more waste and lined up more people and systems to help me. The cool thing is that I still have good, quality time left for things and people that really matter to me.

    Starting a side business can be scary, but it’s also the most fun and best education that we can get. [In my opinion. ;)] It gets easier. Once you get rolling, you become more efficient.

    I’ve done so many things thinking “I don’t have time”. First I started teaching music on the side, then bought the teaching studio, started songwriting and performing, and finally moved into blogging. It can be done… and you can really love it!

    Thanks for this post. I hope it inspires someone to take the leap.

      • On
      • February 4, 2013 at 10:41 am
      • Ellen Rohr
      • Said...

      Hi Leanne,

      Thanks for the encouraging words from your entrepreneurial experiences. Rock on!! And the time thing…you are right on. It gets easier to weed out that which doesn’t serve you and focus on that which does. Well said! Thanks! xo$

    • On
    • January 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    • C.R.
    • Said...

    I noticed:

    “5. Surfing the Web.”


    One idea which is active in my life right now, is management of time. I have become almost painfully aware of its fleeting nature. Time is even more important than money. So, your statement about getting rid of time wasters was really for me.

    One thing I do related to this is practicing saying no. Another thing which I plan to do, but haven’t started fully yet, is to start to track my time through simple time log, to write down what did I do each day and how much time did it take.

    I am already tracking my money. I started about two weeks ago to write down EVERY PENNY I spend. It is much easier than I originally thought. Now I need to carry this same habit to the arena of time.

      • On
      • February 4, 2013 at 10:43 am
      • Ellen Rohr
      • Said...

      Hi C.R.,

      It’s like unconscious vs. conscious eating. You don’t eat a whole bag of chips consciously! :) Same with time…once you become aware, you engage time more powerfully. Thanks for your GREAT tips!! xo$

  2. What a great post. I’m a firm believer in doing what you love. In fact from the moment i followed the path of working with my passion my whole life changed. In hindsight i wish i hadn’t put it off so long. As you say, there’s no need to go for broke and quit your job, instead you can start things alongside your normal career commitments.

    • On
    • February 4, 2013 at 10:45 am
    • Ellen Rohr
    • Said...

    Hi Larry! Yes, you can do what feels good for you! A part time biz is a great way to make more money and test the entrepreneurial waters. Add the LOVE…and you are rockin’! Thanks for sharing how your whole life changed. That is the GOOD stuff!! xo$