Building Your Business When It’s Not Your Job: 3 Steps to Help You Take It to the Next Level

When you’re doing your own business in addition to working full time at someone else’s, things can get tough.

You come home at the end of the day, and you’re wiped. You’ve given your best hours of energy and productivity to your day job. And hey, that’s not all bad; maybe that job is supporting you right now: giving you benefits and keeping the roof over your head.

But it’s not making it easy for you to launch that other business, that passion project, that big dream.

That said, it’s certainly not impossible to build a successful business on the side. Loads of people do it. So what do they have that you don’t? Likely, the only thing you’re missing is a plan.

1. Start with a strategic vision.
If you're working 40 hours a week, it’s hard to carve out time to work on your own business. To find that time, first ask yourself: What is the next phase? What would you love to have happen in the next 12-month period?

To create a clear strategic vision, you must define a goal and the metric that tells you when you’ve achieved it. With an income goal, it’s easy to assess whether you’ve hit the mark. Other goals are more nebulous — how do you know if you’ve become “known” for something? Is it when your email list hits a certain number of members?

Whatever your goal, attach a number to it. Then, work backwards. If you want X sales, how many emails or phone calls do you have to make? How many guest posts do you need to write? How many networking events should you attend?

Once you have a strategic vision, you can use your resources to accomplish that vision.

2. Nurture your audience.
Budding entrepreneurs should nurture their existing audiences by accepting interviews, actively blogging, building traffic to their websites, and getting email opt-ins.

In this way, you're participating in the online conversation for which you want to be known. By writing consistently and guest posting regularly, you draw people back to your community.

One client said to me, "I want to start coaching on the side again, but I've just been so busy that I haven't even looked at my website for three years." And that's the thing that's going to be hard to overcome. It's not hard that she wants to start coaching again. But that radio silence for three years, that’s the obstacle.

3. Borrow someone else’s audience.
When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, try borrowing someone else’s audience. Consider pitching yourself to someone who has an established online community and all the business that she can handle. For example, you might offer, for a monthly fee, to be active in her group and generate discussions, hold an extra monthly call to reinforce what she offers, and to offer an extra layer of accountability.

To her, maybe that's easily worth $500 a month for an active person helping her manage a community.

To you, that's going to give you discussions and ideas for posts, as well as additional training and credibility. It's almost like apprenticing, which is also valuable.

It's important to have a clear, strategic vision for your business. Then, it becomes much simpler to translate that vision into goals and action steps. Taking your business to the next level means asking yourself at each step, "Does this next step get me closer or further from my vision?" That’s your roadmap — good luck!

Mindy Crary is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.