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International Women’s Day 2020: Codilia Gapare, Safety shoe by day, high heels by night building your dream while holding down a day job
This International Women’s Day Codilia Gapare, CEO at C-Lash shared a blog with the Growth Hub: Safety shoe by day, high heels by night:
building your dream while holding down a day job
Nobody ever said that building your dream was easy, they just promised that it would be worth it. Unless you are inheriting a family-business or have parents with deep pockets, the entrepreneurship road is demanding, lonely and impoverished. It is one thing talking about self-belief, hard work and motivation, but what about the reality of keeping a roof over your head and putting food on the table? Because the reality is, you don’t suddenly take a break from your responsibilities simply because you want to build a dream. Realistically, those responsibilities will increase tremendously.
Most new business owners understand all too well about bootstrapping to fund their dreams while keeping the family alive. Often times, this means that they have to work on their dream while holding down a day job, part or full time, at least until your dream starts bringing in sufficient income.
Hi, I am Cody and I am an entrepreneur by night and an ATEX Systems Installer by day. From the conversations I have had at networking events, I am far from being the only one. This is just one of the realities of starting on your own. So how do we do it?
1. Be brutally honest with yourself – when building your own business, you need to have self-belief. Unless you believe in what you are doing, no one else will. Having said that, there is a difference between self-belief and self-delusion. You want to make sure that your business idea stacks up before even considering the pros and cons of quitting your job. A business plan at this stage is an absolute must as it forces you to look at your blind spots and re-examine all aspects of your business.
Friends and family can help only if:
a) they understand business start-ups and
b)they are going to be very honest with you.
2. Know how much time you can set aside – when you embark on your journey, a lot of things will change along the way and you will be forced to re-evaluate you initial estimations, but you have to be clear about how much time you can actually dedicate to you dream. I found it easier to set
aside weekly rather than daily hours. This allowed me a bit of flexibility if things go in the way on some days. Try as much as you can to stick to your allocated time. Remember you have a day job, family and social life that you still need to be part of.
3. Make use of the help available to you – make no mistake, the challenge that you are taking on is huge, so this is not the time to be proud. If people offer to help, let them and if they do not, ask them. There is no way you are going to be able to do this on your own.
4. Have honest conversations with those that will be affected – The change in your routine is going to affect people in your life, it is only fair that you have honest conversations with them and explain to them what it is you are trying to achieve. Family and friend should know from the
get-go, but your employer can wait until you are sure of where you are going with your business. Reason being, firstly sometimes it takes more than one shot to establish your business and you do not really want to sound like a joke and secondly, until you business starts to impact your day job (and it will) what you do in your spare time is your business. But as soon as you start taking calls or answering emails during working hours, it is time to sit down and have a chat with your employer. Most employers will be understanding and supportive.
5. Consider going part-time – The conversation with your employer might look at the idea of you working part-time. This can be scary as it will mean taking a pay cut but being at work when you are able to give your full attention to your day job will improve your relationship with your employer. It will also improve your work-life balance and ensures you avoid burn-out.
6. Accept that this is a long hard road – Lastly remember, this is a race not a sprint. What you are trying to achieve will take months or even years. Be patient and trust the process. The hardest part is getting started so pat yourself on the head, roll your sleeves and got out there and get
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