The “entrepreneurial spirit” is roughly defined as “a gift” of passion, ambition, determination, creativity and leadership that is so intense that it inspires others. Notice, though, that nowhere in this description does it list “full-time” as a defining trait. Though commonly viewed as an all-or-nothing commitment, modern entrepreneurs do not need to quit their day jobs, take excessive risks or sacrifice time with family and friends. Women entrepreneurs, in particular, are discove
ring new ways to diversify their income and further develop their careers.
10 Percent Entrepreneur
A concept developed by Patrick McGinnis in his 2016 book, “The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job,” a 10 percent entrepreneur is an individual who dedicates a minimum of 10 percent of his or her time, and ideally, 10 percent of his or her income into beginning new ventures, investments and advising. Since being a 100 percent entrepreneur comes with significant risk and time demands, the 10 percent entrepreneur approach is ideal for people who maintain mortgages, have children or are in a single income household. Additionally, becoming a 10 percent entrepreneur allows you to set your own terms and risk profile. For these reasons and more, the 10 percent concept appeals to many modern women.
Apparently, the 10 percent entrepreneur system is working, as the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a survey that revealed a 33 percent less likelihood of failure present for those who take on part-time ventures than for those who quit their jobs and go all in.
When simultaneously starting up a new venture and working a day job, your time is extremely valuable. Every hour counts. A few tips for stretching your time include:
- Set a weekly schedule – If you are locked into a Monday through Friday day job, obviously these hours are inflexible; however, there are still several hours before and after these shifts that you can monopolize, but you need to decide upon the best schedule for your part-time business and stick to it. Make 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday your entrepreneurial schedule. Or 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or dedicate eight hours every Saturday. You may only be giving 10 percent of your time to your business, but during that time, you will be 100 percent focused on it.
- Make lunch breaks your action hour – Most full-time day jobs offer employees a half hour to an hour lunch period. Use this time to shift gears and initiate or return calls, focus on a few tasks that can be completed quickly for your business or use it as prep time to make certain moves that will trim down the work you need to do later. Don’t forget to actually eat, too.
- Delegate – Don’t try to do it all. If you can find a co-founder to partner with, great. He or she can keep you balanced and lift some of the weight from you. If not, no problem. Utilize resources like a cloud contact center to streamline the customer experience and supply you with important data that you can use to customize your customers’ individual needs.
Make Your Business Scalable
In order for a business to be considered “scalable,” it must be likely to maximize revenue with minimal cost incurring incrementally. Strategies for staging your scalable business include:
- Create an investor-magnet business plan – A business plan is not a product plan for your customers. Do not focus on the features and services you will offer. This kind of plan implies that high-support is needed. What investors want to see is that your scalable business has low support, margins that are over 50 percent and requires minimal staffing.
- Automate to non-essentials – Scalable means low labor. A labor- or staff-intensive business is not considered scalable, so look into low-cost automation for production and keep the staffing positions to a minimum. Creating training videos and tutorials for new employees will show that you can hire new people quickly and consistently.
The modern entrepreneurial spirit no longer requires the entrepreneur to sacrifice their time, money, employment and sanity in the search for owning one’s own business. By following this actionable advice on how to make the most of your startup while balancing a family and existing career, the modern entrepreneur really can have it all.