5 ways to use your work to prepare for your own business

How you can use your time, experiences, and connections in your current job to greatly improve your chances of success when you finally start your own business.


In an ideal world, you would have at least a year of salary saved and be in a safe position to quit your day job and fully focus on your new business. Unfortunately, this is not feasible or practical for many first-time business owners. But on the other hand, keeping your day job will give you access to several key ingredients that are essential for a new business: money, customers, contacts, suppliers, subcontractors, market research, health insurance, and personnel. And because of these ingredients, you should view your work as a blessing, not a time-wasting annoyance.

Seeing your work as a learning opportunity, a way to build your credibility, build meaningful business relationships, and meet all of your clients’ wants, needs, and demands is priceless. It doesn’t matter if your new business is related to your current job or not. All the management, finance, negotiation and marketing skills that you are learning on the job will directly benefit your new business. Learn to love your job and find a way to make it work for you.

Here are some smart strategies to use your work to help you prepare to start your own successful business:

Strategy n. 1. Network

Learn how to network, and then grow your network everywhere, inside and outside the company, in the widest and most diverse way possible. Help your network get to know you and see how good you are at your job. Network with your suppliers, contractors, customers, and other employees. You will most likely need these people after you quit your job and start your own business, possibly as mentors, partners, employees, and clients.

Strategy n. 2. Take on more responsibilities

If you want to move up, try taking on more responsibilities for the job you want. Show management that you are someone who can step in where and when needed. They will start to see you differently. The entire company, management and employees will respect you more and come to depend on you and your skills.

Strategy n. 3. Help others

Helping others be successful at work will also make you indispensable to the company. Employees will also see you as someone with authority and credibility, someone who can be trusted and respected.

Strategy # 4. Be the expert

Find out how to become an expert. Be known for something and become the go-to person for that topic. Make sure you are good at something and make sure it is something that you like. Make it something that’s not so simple that someone else can learn to do it too very quickly. This increases your credibility and will help new opportunities arise inside and outside the company.

Strategy # 5. Manage your career

You must have a well thought out plan. Think of yourself as a business. Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve in this job? Are you learning a particular trade that will allow you to start your own business? Do you work at this job for any particular reason? Is it making good contacts? Is your job at a prestigious company and will your name on your resume help you open doors for you when you start your own business? Be realistic and honest with your answers.


Each of these strategies analyzed individually is unlikely to guarantee success when you leave your job and start your own business. But when done together, while you’re still at work, it can become a very powerful way to improve your chances of success as a business owner.

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