Part-time Paradise?

This Fall will mark my one year anniversary working part-time. I was tinkering with the idea of leaving work entirely to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams, so I consider myself very fortunate to have an understanding manager who was willing to make a win-win situation out of it all and suggest working part-time to accommodate my needs.

One day, a co-worker jokingly asked if I would recommend going part-time, and without thinking I answered with a resounding “No way!”

My response mostly had to do with the dissatisfaction I was feeling at the time; as strange as it may sound, I was starting to feel burned out. So how does a 24 hour work week burn someone out you ask? Well lucky for you my faithful reader, I thought I would share some insight into the world of part-time!

“Part-time” = ½*pay + 2*work
My reasoning behind going part-time was to make more time to start a business for myself. Yet whatever reason you may have, you need to weigh the pros and cons of going part-time to see if it is for you.

You should only think about going part-time if you have the means to support yourself with a smaller paycheck AND you’re truly passionate and fully dedicated to starting a business. Do not go part-time if you’re dissatisfied with your job and you think the answer to all your issues is starting a business and working for yourself. Believe me, save yourself some time and energy and just look for a different job you might enjoy more; starting a business isn’t all fun and games so don’t create another unfulfilling job for yourself unless you are truly committed and ready. Something else to keep in mind is that you will be working two jobs for only half the pay because when you’re not at work, you’ll be working on your own business.

Also be sure to see what your expectations are at your current job. In the white-collar world, there is a possibility that your responsibilities might not change especially if you’re still a salary employee. So be sure to work with your manager to set clear expectations of what tasks you will be responsible for, and what tasks you will be transferring to someone else. The last thing you want to do is double up the amount of work at your job, then add to it with starting a business.

Start saving up!
So you’ve decided to go part-time to pursue your entrepreneurial endeavors, congratulations! Assuming that you will be able to go part-time, I’m hoping that you’ve saved up some cash because God knows that you still have bills to pay and mouths to feed (if you don’t have kids or a significant other, then think of your own mouth). If you haven’t done so already, this is the perfect time to bust out an Excel spreadsheet and complete a cash-flow analysis. Note all your expenses, all your income, any savings, any debts, any credit, and add them all up. If you’re going to be losing money every month, be sure to make an accurate estimate of when you’ll have to start begging for money. Also be sure to take into account any business expenses; I would suggest bootstrapping as much as possible. After you have everything down, stretch your dollars by getting rid of all those unnecessary expenses. Maybe you can convince your significant other that 200+ channels of premium and High-Definition programming is a necessary expense. Be sure to not do anything dramatic like sell your house or dip into someone’s college fund.

Hit the ground running…
You should have a solid idea of what you want to do with your business by now. If not, don’t waste valuable income by spending your time writing up a business plan with your newfound time. Instead, get the business plan and planning done before going part-time. Do the same for any other manageable tasks, only go part-time when you’re ready to make it all happen.

Discipline, discipline, discipline…
When I first started part-time, it felt like I was back in college. What an amazing feeling it was to be able to get up at Noon and veg on the couch watching 200+ channels chocked full of fodder and nonsense. And don’t get me started on all those endless hours of blogging and web surfing! Seriously though, don’t let a ton of wasted days start piling up because pile up they will if you don’t set some rules and expectations for yourself. Actually, you should create a schedule for yourself that you will follow to the tee because complacency is waiting just around the corner for you. Make sure to allocate a work schedule for yourself, and set some goals – anything to ensure that you’re making steady progress. You should also not forget to reward yourself from time to time for accomplishing all the things you’ve set out to do.

Parting thoughts…
Going part-time isn’t always necessary, take Mister Shape for example who has a full-time job and a family and still got his business up and running on the side. Yet if you do decide that going part-time could be beneficial to your success, then by all means take advantage of it if you can. If you have some thoughts or tips to share, by all means leave a comment!

The Closet Entrepreneur

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  1. Good article Tomas.

  2. TOMAS

    Thanks Chris!

  3. Yeah, that was a good read – I too aspire to someday be self- employed…someday…

  4. Tushar

    That was a good article. I have been looking into a side business for some time As going part-time is not doable at this time. I admire you having given up your “comfy” job to do the high risk entrepreneurial road. Good luck!

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