Today’s entrepreneurs cannot be put into one category of young, driven individuals. With the growing opportunities to start your own business, more people of all ages and backgrounds are dipping their toes in the entrepreneurial waters.
Here’s some inside advice from five part-time entrepreneurs who represent the new breed…
You have already heard that many big companies have actually been started in dorm rooms or garages while the founders were still students. These are people like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates who weren’t satisfied with merely getting their degree and opting for a corporate job.
A participant in Epicenter, an entrepreneurial hub for students founded by the National Science Foundation, had this advice for other student part-time entrepreneurs: “The first step is to really experiment. You don’t even have to be an entrepreneur at first. Just go and get involved and be fearless and experiment.” The Campus Entrepreneur website also offers all types of advice geared toward the high school and college student who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur. The site includes information about internships, startups, and jobs.
Having a corporate day job and trying to be a part-time entrepreneur with a start-up on the side can be quite challenging.
However, one part-time entrepreneur who holds a corporate job offered this advice:
“Allocate a specific time to work on your side business but make sure this time doesn’t conflict with personal time. Also create a to-do list with specific tasks that helps you remember where you left off and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals to help you keep your business, corporate job, and life continually moving forward.”
In recent years, the rise of the momapreneur has taken the entrepreneur community by storm. These are moms turning specific problems they see as mothers and parents into multi-million dollar businesses – from actress Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, to Paula Deen and others just like them, making products for kids, parents, and adults. One article that offered advice from multiple momapreneurs quoted Sonal Garten of Tumblewalla, who noted the value of personal relationships:
“Seek out the support and camaraderie of other women entrepreneurs who are experiencing similar challenges and fears – you are not alone! It’s easy to get so focused on the day to day that sometimes we forget the power of personal connections and relationships.”
Additionally, an Entrepreneur article on single momapreneurs quoted Lauren Thom of Fleurty Girl who emphasized the value of including kids in the business:
“You have to make family a part of your business… I’ve always considered my kids to be my board of directors, whether we’re moving or having them share a bedroom so we can open a store in our house. Make them a part of that journey. And that’s for any mom, not just single moms… Our kids are our reason to seek out a better life.”
Hobbypreneurs prove that you can turn those pastimes into a part-time business both in the U.S. and abroad. This means many have turned their love of photography, baking, and arts and crafts into additional income rather than just something they do in their free time for their own enjoyment. The growth of e-commerce, including sites like Ebay, Amazon storefronts, and Etsy, among others, is proving that hobbies can turn into big business beyond that extra pocket-money.
One hobbypreneur noted that, after her friends and family started requesting her cupcakes for their parties and events, it made her realize she could turn this hobby into something while still working diligently as a nurse. Noting how she has managed both:
“While I hope to eventually transition full-time into an entrepreneurial baker, for now I’ve found a way to balance both with the help of a digital schedule and time management app so I never forget anything. Plus, I have a supportive family that has taken many things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done as well and gotten involved in helping promote my baking business through social media and handling all online orders. Without technology and extra family support, I could not do both.”
A social entrepreneur is on a mission to make a significant change in society. Everyone from John Muir and Florence Nightingale to Susan B. Anthony are historic examples of people who worked for the good of community and society.
They may not have been able to devote their whole lives to it, but when they could, everything they worked on was directed selflessly for the benefit of others. In offering some good advice to others who want to become a social entrepreneur, Scott Harrison of charity:water, explained in an Inc. article”
“The biggest mistake I see most people make is that they’re half-in, half-out. It’s great that you want to help others, but you need to know what you’re doing. And it’s not easy. So if you’re not sure what to do, look into joining another existing non-profit until you find your passion.”
While he is not saying doing it part-time is bad, he suggests participating in another organizations (for experience) until you find that social issue that you feel is your true calling.
Part-time entrepreneurs come in a true rainbow variety and illustrate the various ways you can test the waters of entrepreneurship within your own life. These entrepreneurs advice illustrates the value of knowing what you want to do, striking a balance between all responsibilities, welcoming assistance and support from others and staying organized. Whether you eventually become a full-time entrepreneur or keep it on the side, this advice can help you get the most out of your desire to be your own boss or be a part of the next big thing.