How to start a business alongside your full-time job

How do you start and grow a business alongside a full-time job?


Maybe the entrepreneurial bug has bit you, but you are not in a position where you can just leave your full-time job to start a business. I’m going to give you four things that you need to do to grow your business alongside of your full-time job.

If we have not met yet, my name is Ryann Dowdy. I am sales coach. I help brand new entrepreneurs build a six-figure foundation for their business by mastering their sales conversations and their mindset.

So, the first thing you need to do to build a business alongside your full-time job is to work out the logistics.

Let’s make sure that you check in on the legal side of things. Make sure that there are no conflict of interests. Make sure that it is okay to have multiple streams of income. These days, most companies are okay with it. Many people have side hustles. It’s very, very common for families to have multiple jobs and multiple streams of income. But I just want you to double check and make sure. Also, is the service you are providing a conflict of interest of what you do in your current role?

So the very first thing you want to do when growing a business alongside your full time job is to make sure that you have those logistics mapped out so that you can go out in the world, promote market, your service, sell and network without worried about getting caught by your full time job.

But let me give you some peace of mind. Most of the time starting a direct sales company selling wine or skincare or leggings alongside a full-time job is allowed. This will be no different. Whether you are offering digital marketing services, social media management, or you’re a health coach or a life coach, or even a business coach, just make sure you are operating within the rules that your company allows.

A great way to do this is to have a conversation with your boss, with your manager, with human resources, with someone else who maybe can give you guidance inside of your company.


The second thing that you need to do when growing a business alongside your full-time job is get your support system on board.

I will be a 100% honest with you as somebody who grew a business alongside a full-time job – while pregnant and with a toddler. You are not going to be able to do this alone. You are going to need some help.

  • Childcare help
  • Help around the house
  • Help cleaning the house
  • Help with groceries
  • Help with grocery shopping
  • Help with picking up and dropping off of the kids

All of those things have to be factored in, and you want to make sure that you have your support system on board. Growing a business is not for the faint of heart. It can actually be some pretty hard work early on, but it’s totally doable. Just make sure as you start to grow your business alongside of your full-time job, that you’re having a really productive conversation with your support system.


The third piece ties directly into the second piece. I want you to prepare yourself to make some sacrifices.

Yes, there are going to be some sacrifices. You might have to get up early. You might have to stay up late. You might have to work over your lunch break. You might have to stop binge watching your favorite television show. You are going to have to put in time outside of your day job to get this done.

That’s a 100% okay, but you have to be prepared for the sacrifice. The way I view it is that it is short term sacrifice for long term gain. Again, grew my business alongside a full-time job while pregnant got up at 5:00 AM, worked on every lunch break, worked after my kiddo went to bed – I made some sacrifices.

I stopped watching television. I stopped reading fiction books. I didn’t do a lot socially in my life, but it was because I was able to create this space where I was able to get clients and make money alongside of that full time job. So the third part of this is making sure that you understand the sacrifices that you’re going to need to make, and making sure that your support system is on board for those sacrifices.


The final thing you want to make sure you do while growing a business alongside your full-time job is be super, super intentional with your time.

I actually think this is somewhat of a blessing – having to figure out how to manage this and make it work when you don’t have a lot of time. So, if you know that your business building time is first thing in the morning, over your lunch break, after your kiddos go to bed at night or whatever that schedule looks like for you, having a plan (and really intentional plan) for every single one of those moments is going to help empower you so much.

It’s going to help you when you get into entrepreneurship full time because I promise the list does not get shorter after you have kicked that full-time job out from underneath you.

So, what could that look like for you?

For me, when I was starting my business, I had every single moment planned. I knew when I was available to work, and I knew what I needed to do in that time. So, I could move things around in my calendar. I could make sure there was time for income generating activity, networking, connecting, meeting, new people, building my audience, making sure that I was connecting and nurturing relationships, having time to get any client work done.  Then, of course, having time to build the marketing materials that I needed for my business.

I knew what my time was. I had it planned. This is super, super important because if you don’t have 30 or 40 hours a week to grow a business, and you were stuck with three hours a day, you have to be super intentional. This is going to make or break your success.



Make sure that it’s on the up and up with your corporate job

Get your support system onboard and make sure that you have as many things handled as possible. Understand the sacrifices

Be intentional with that time.

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