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Being Even A Part-Time Entrepreneur Requires Tight Management

Being Even A Part-Time Entrepreneur Requires Tight Management

Being Even A Part-Time Entrepreneur Requires Tight Management


Integrate as many tasks as you can into your day. (Sgvn/

you don’t have to be a full-time entrepreneur to be entrepreneurial. Instead, you can invest, advise and dive into ventures without leaving your day job.

That’s from Patrick McGinnis, author of “The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job.”

McGinnis says the advantage is that you protect yourself from a career blowup. He found himself in exactly that spot after the 2008 financial crisis, as he worked at a private equity firm within AIG (AIG).

Also, you can learn to think like an entrepreneur while having the benefit of regular income.

McGinnis went on to found Dirigo Advisors, which provides strategic business advice.

Tips on utilizing all your resources in business:

Stick to the numbers. McGinnis says a 10% entrepreneur invests 10% of his time and 10% of his money into new ventures. He found those numbers were a “meaningful yet achievable long-term commitment.”

McGinnis points to the Angel Capital Association as backing that up: “The average angel investor allocates approximately 10% of his or her portfolio toward those types of opportunities.”

Think like a boss. You can work for years collecting paycheck after paycheck, but if you’re not an owner, the opportunity to build real wealth is usually limited.

“When you engage with new ventures on a part-time basis, you will be the owner of everything you create,” McGinnis said. “You may change your career at multiple points in a lifetime, changing functions, changing roles and changing companies, but you’ll always be creating value for the most important employer of all: you.”

Play to your strengths. “Your most successful projects will be the ones that leverage all of the knowledge and relationships you’ve built,” and make you “far more efficient,” McGinnis said.

Respect you day job. Being a 10% entrepreneur is neither anti-job nor anti-corporate, McGinnis said. Since your day job is the part of your life that will permit you to work on your own ventures in the first place, “you need to make it a priority.” Never use corporate resources for your own projects. And remember, “the people you work with every day may end up being loyal customers, future partners or early investors.”

Reign in wastefulness. Debby Carreau, author of “The Mentor Myth: How to Take Control of Your Own Success” and CEO of Inspired HR, which advises about workplace optimization, points out that the average adult spends five hours a day watching TV and at least an hour surfing the Internet.

By avoiding the mindless allocation of time, you can “recover at least 25 wasted hours a week,” she said.

Tighten your clock’s belt. Reduce all scheduled meetings from a default 60 minutes to 30 minutes, Carreau advised. “You will be amazed how much more productive your meetings become,” and those extra 30 minutes will add up to better use.

Combine everything. Integrate your life into one calendar, rather than separate professional and personal things. It all has to get done, and in the same day. “DVR your favorite show and watch them on the elliptical at the gym, or plan family time around a favorite sporting event you can watch together,” Carreau suggested.

Plan with purpose. Integrate as many tasks as you can into your day instead of going back and forth unnecessarily, Carreau says. Find a gym on the route to the office or to a grocery store on your way home. Along the same lines, set up errands to maximize time and efficiency.

Account for yourself. Put everything on the clock. “I learned this one from Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric (GE),” Carreau said. “By understanding where you spend your time, you will continually improve your time management, prioritization and, most importantly, align your time with what you value.”


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