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The key to balancing your passion projects with a full-time job

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by Startacus Admin

passion project and a full time job
Tom Evans, Founder & CEO of BleepBleeps, shares his thoughts and experience of balancing passion projects with the reality of a full-time job.

Tom Evans BleepBleeps"The idea of taking the jump to pursue a business idea is intimidating. And knowing how to juggle that alongside a full-time job can make matters even more stressful.

It’s one of the greatest dilemmas I faced while starting my business, like many other founders I know. What do you prioritise? The security of your existing job, or the thought of creating something of your own, following your passion.

Separating these two things can lead to your own downfall; nothing kills a business faster than making it your only form of support. 

Most startups end up failing within their first year.  One of the main reasons for this being entrepreneurs too often launch into their ideas without fully thinking through their plan. Before making the leap of faith, you need time to nurture your idea and think about the ways that you can support yourself. You need to first consider what it is you want to achieve with your business and if there is a demand for it. Time to consult other people and seek opinions and advice.

So how do you create time for your day-to-day career as well as developing your business idea? My answer is side hustles.

Keeping your business idea as a side hustle alongside your full-time job allows you to take the practical considerations into account. side hustle with a full time jobThis gives you the invaluable time to thoroughly explore your idea and figure out a solid plan for the steps ahead. A side hustle doesn’t necessarily have to be a concrete idea, it’s more about developing your entrepreneurial creativity without having to make any needlessly risky, major commitments. For people who aren’t ready to leave the security of their job or don’t have a complete idea, a side hustle can help you take that next step forward. 

When I first began my entrepreneurial journey, many of my now business ventures started off as side hustles. Creating a brand was something that I could do in my own time. This later increased from a few hours a week to at least 20 percent of my time, eventually making my side hustle my main job. 

I realised from my own experiences and that of my peers, that the process of turning an idea to reality requires guidance and support. The resources for aspiring entrepreneurs without clear business plans are minimal. And while incubators and accelerators are a good way to get your business off the ground, they often expect you to have a future plan and solid idea which you might not necessarily have at that stage.

That’s why access to information for early stage aspiring founders is essential. This was one of the many reasons why I - alongside running my business - dedicate time to meeting would-be entrepreneurs to help them on those first steps of the journey. Proffering the advice and knowledge I craved while starting out. 

One output of this has been Startup School, a programme I helped to develop with creative educational organisation D&AD, which aims to teach people the skills needed for turning ideas into reality, without it impacting their day job.

As of late, many companies are starting to incorporate the side hustle approach to stimulate creativity and create a culture of entrepreneurialism amongst their employees. I advise anyone wanting to turn their passion project into a business to keep it as a side hustle for as long as possible.

See it as an opportunity to test the waters for your business idea. It is a flexible way for you to gain experience, develop the relevant skills and learn where your interests lie, without expending all  your time, money, and energy."

Tom Evans is the Founder of BleepBleeps - a bunch of cute, connected devices that aim to  help you get pregnant, give birth, look after your baby and raise your child! 

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Published on: 9th October 2018

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