I had a friend recently ask about “when they should go full time” on their business. It’s a question I think a lot of people really struggle with, so I thought I would share my personal “rules” on this subject with everyone…so without further ado:
1. Don’t bother trying to raise outside, professional, funding until you are “full time” on your business.
2. Don’t bother going “full time” until you have a clear, and ‘likely’ revenue path. (Ideally, get some actual, sustainable, sales going first; bonus if it’s enough sales to closely replace your current salary)
3. If you can’t start with sales, you *must* start with insane traction. If you aren’t to either yet, it’s probably not ready for your “full time” focus.
4. It’s rarely just “your time” that is the missing piece in finding product-market fit…figure out how to optimize, outsource, and delegate everything that you can throughout the business (bonus: It will help develop great habits and expectations for if/when you become “full time”).
5. It’s OK if you’re not the first “full time” person in the company. It should be about building a solid, successful, company…not about your ‘freedom’ (hard truth: you’ll never have less freedom then the early years of starting your own business).
6. If you can’t fund the early stages all on your own (either through your own pockets or via sales), friends & family are really your only other hope until you “prove” something (i.e. insane traction and/or sales).
7. Don’t worry about outside advice or how other people did it or are doing it…every journey is unique and your success sits squarely in your own hands. Your decisions need to work for you first.
8. There is no “right” way to do it. If there was, everyone would be following the formula (and winning). Throw out the 90% (how not to do it), and look for patterns in the 10% (a few ways it *might* work).
9. If you aren’t ready to drive people nuts with how much you talk about, and promote, your business…if you aren’t ready to work every connection/angle you can to move the business forward…then you aren’t ready for “full time”.
10. Spend 99% of your time worrying about the product/service/experience and your clients…everything else will follow once you nail that.
So there you have…there are probably a million more we could add to this list with a little more thought…so if you’ve got some of your own, please feel free to add them in the comments below!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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