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We see the stories about people who quit their job, dropped out of school, or invested their entire life savings on a “sink or swim” venture all the time. Which is why it has become a common myth that starting a business is risky.
That’s not how business really works. Successful entrepreneurs limit their risk. Most of them start businesses without spending a lot of money and without quitting their job.
You can do the same thing.
The best part is when your business grows, you have the option of quitting your job if you want to.
In fact, relying on just your full-time salary is actually riskier than starting a business on the side.
Here’s what I mean:
Let’s take a minute to measure out the risks of doing nothing in monetary terms. We’ll assume you keep your job, but you also learn how to earn money on the side and learn how to replicate it each month.
If you were to make $500 on the side each month, that’s the equivalent of a $6,000 raise.
And if you made an extra $1,000 each month, you’re basically getting a $12,000 salary bump.
That kind of money could go a long way to helping you pay down student loans, stuff your savings account, or even take a bucket list trip.
But doing nothing guarantees you won’t make an extra cent.
So your biggest fear should not be starting a new business, but continuing to do what you’ve always been doing.
Most people take comfort in thinking that their jobs are safe and secure, even if they’re not the most stimulating or fulfilling.
In exchange for showing up from 9 to 5 every day, you’re basically guaranteed a steady paycheck every month. This kind of reliability lets you plan your finances and your life around a stable foundation.
But let’s look deeper. It doesn’t seem risky to stick to your 9-to-5 job. You know what’s expected of you, you show up every day, you do what your boss says, and you get paid.
But what happens if you get laid off?
Well-paying jobs make us feel like we’re set for life. But that’s not true.
We know layoffs are common, we see people being passed over for promotions all the time, but a lot of us still sit by and do nothing. Why?
Because we’ve been told our whole lives — by our parents, our teachers, our spouses, and even our friends — that a job with benefits is the less risky path. Think about it, most of those people grew up in a time where it was common to stay at the same job for 30 years, retire, and collect a pension. That’s just not the way the world works anymore.
Having a side business is like having layoff insurance.
Look at what happened to a reader, Phil H., who emailed me after he was laid off:
You have had so many great articles on little ways to increase income; everyone else talks about little ways to cut back. I don’t LIKE cutting back. It makes me unhappy. I want to live in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed. I like cashing checks. I like bringing in more money. So, with that in mind, I took my freelance work and really hustled on it. I’m in a situation where I’ve had to hustle, because I was finally laid off in Sept., but I still could get a day job if I wanted to. I’m NOT out of work with no hope of a job.
Phil landed on his feet thanks to the fact that he’d already been freelancing for months before he was laid off.
A lot of us have confused the perceived risks and the real risks of our regular 9-to-5 jobs. The perceived risks seem low, but the real risks can be painfully high — and more dramatic than we ever expected.
Thousands of my students have started businesses while working full time. And then, many of them went on to quit their jobs.
No matter what your employment, family status, or location, you can find the right business idea to pursue on the side. Here are 42 examples to get you started.
One big barrier to finding a business idea is the myth that you have no skills someone would pay for. That’s not true. People pay for all kinds of services that don’t take any special skills or training.
Even if you’re going to school full time, you can start a side business doing something you love. You can start many businesses right from your dorm room. In fact, that’s what I did over 12 years ago.
Many skills that millennials take for granted are really valuable to other generations. My first side business was showing venture capital firms how young people were using social media.
Even if you have a busy schedule, irregular hours, and other responsibilities, there’s a side business idea that you can profit from. One where you’re in control of the hours you work and your location.
Working parents often have naturally developed skills like productivity, planning, and budgeting. These are all skills that can be easily turned into side businesses.
Teaching is the core of a lot of successful side businesses. Full-time teachers have the advantage of predictable schedules and natural people skills.
I've put together a special Idea Generator Tool to give you faster results. You'll get an exclusive audio excerpt from my flagship course on earning more, as well as two PDF guides to help you find your idea TODAY.