3 Tips For Launching a Business While Keeping Your Day Job

Did you know that as many as 45% of Americans have a side hustle? For many, these side hustles are their passion projects, with hopes of transforming them into full-time careers. Starting a business while working a full-time job elsewhere is a common path for many aspiring entrepreneurs, but it can be incredibly challenging.

Balancing a day job, personal life, and a brand-new business can lead to burnout and potential failure if not managed proactively. Here are some tips that proved most helpful when I was building my business while maintaining my career.

1. Establish Separate Workspaces
When personal and professional lives intersect, it’s easy to lose focus and become overwhelmed. Even though your side project is a business, it’s still personal and should be treated as entirely separate from your day job.

To ensure you don’t let your business development interfere with your corporate work hours (or vice versa), invest some time in creating two distinct work environments. You can achieve this even if you have only one desk or one computer.

One of the simplest approaches is to create a separate user account on your computer dedicated solely to your personal project or corporate work setup. This is a great first step of separation if you can’t afford a separate computer or desk setup for your personal business.

Furthermore, try to use different communication channels for each job. If your full-time team uses Slack, consider using Google Chat or RocketChat for side project communications to limit the temptation to switch between channels. The same principle applies to task planning: if you’re using Asana for one job, use Jira or Backlog for the other, and make sure to utilize them effectively. Avoid keeping tasks in your head, as this will only distract you and lead to quick breaks to work on your other job.

Multitasking in this way leads to more stress and reduced performance in both tasks. Our brains function best when we have a singular focus. Therefore, adopting this approach will make you more effective overall.

Additionally, creating this separation makes it easier to switch gears and enter “creative mode” when working on your business. You’re no longer just someone else’s worker bee; now, you’re in control. This shift can provide an extra dose of motivation, which you’ll need for the long journey ahead.


2. Stay Motivated Through Feedback

The key to overcoming burnout and staying motivated is seeking constant feedback from customers and peers. In the early stages of your startup, your first clients are often exceptionally loyal and eager to maintain contact. They appreciate what you’re doing and want to support you in any way they can. Calls, chats, and messages can be incredibly motivating, regardless of whether the feedback is positive or constructive (we need both!).


Connecting with creator groups and receiving opinions, support, and advice from other founders, especially those who’ve been down a similar path, can also be extremely helpful.


Another strategy that kept me motivated was paying myself a small amount for the work I did to develop my business. Even if it’s just a small sum, it helps instill the mindset of investing in your business and getting rewarded for your effort, creating a positive feedback loop.

3. Establish Clear Communication Channels

Maintaining a regular day job often leaves limited time to communicate with freelancers, contractors, and employees, primarily during the evenings. It’s crucial to establish clear communication channels and outline detailed guidelines to ensure everyone can work autonomously and asynchronously.


I prefer methods like setting and tracking weekly goals with project management tools such as Jira or Trello, both of which offer free versions. Having explicit instructions and a centralized platform helps everyone stay on the same page, aiding prioritization, accountability, and maintaining momentum.