Here’s the concept.
You don’t quit your day job and then build a startup. You build a startup and then quit your day job.
There’s no reason anymore to go full-time into any one thing. If you have the itch to try your hand at starting a business, then you should do it while your employer limits your risk with a regular paycheck.
The thing a lot of people seem to forget is that you can start and run and grow a real business that makes a meaningful amount of money just during nights and weekends.
It does mean some amount of sacrifice. You won’t be able to do this and keep up with the latest Warriors trades and Game of Thrones episodes.
But these are much better sacrifices to make than losing a paycheck.
And here’s why it’s important. It’s getting harder and harder to raise equity financing. The bar is so high by the time you actually check all the investors’ boxes you wouldn’t actually need their money anymore. When you’re a new entrepreneur the finance guys need to de-risk as much as possible and they do that by asking you to be flawless.
Similarly, it’s getting harder and harder to earn revenue. Customers are getting harder to grab because starting internet businesses is getting easier. Simply put, there’s more competition.
I’ve recently launched my sixth website app in the last 12 months. Of those six, only two are making money. My main source of income now, Toofr, was a side business I started nearly four years ago. Now I live off of it and with every new venture I start, I’m even more grateful to have even one business that works.
It took that long — four years of nights and weekends—to get this business to a state where I can live comfortably off of it. It seems these days it might take four years of full-time effort to yield the same result.
Having multiple income streams is the ultimate insurance. It’s the same idea that financial fund managers use. Better to diversify your investments. Don’t be all in on tech stocks or bonds or index funds. You should mix high risk and low risk investments whenever possible.
Investors don’t move their money serially. They don’t go 100% into stocks, then 100% into bonds, and then move everything into some other instrument?
No way! They hold a mixture of all them simultaneously. In parallel. Spread across multiple markets.
You should do the same with your career. You don’t need to rely on a spouse or partner to have the stable or high risk job. You can have them both, yourself.
So go and be a parallel entrepreneur. Build a startup while keeping your day job.
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[…] I dissect the tactics and rationale behind running multiple businesses at once. I’ve already been writing about it on Medium and this book is where I’m compiling my favorite thoughts. Here’s an early book cover […]