Should You Get a Job While You Grow Your Business?


The Entrepreneurial Dilemma
Most entrepreneurs hate the thought of having to work at a regular job ever again, especially if they’ve already been in business for awhile. But what do you do when you’ve run out of start-up money and you’re still not profitable yet? Or what happens when some major change is forced upon your business and you can’t keep up with the bills anymore? There may come a point when you have to objectively consider whether continuing to work solely on your business is viable or not.

After clearing away any feelings on this subject that prevent you from being objective, the next most difficult part is getting past the “entrepreneurial dilemma.” I’m sure you’re already familiar with the thoughts that go something like this, “If I get a job, it’s going to take time away from my business and will just set me further back instead of forward.” There can be truth in that statement, but it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. The work-around to this problem is in getting the right job.

Here’s a model of job-opportunity screening that I’ve successfully used with clients that have decided to look for employment. It’s based on the educational- type evaluation system of grades A-F.

The “A” Job Description
This level of employment is the absolute best job you can imagine: being a salaried employee for your own company (or one that you really love.) It should be congruent with who you are, and helps you develop yourself in a positive way. This is the kind of work where you are truly living out your dream.

These are qualities of an A-job:

  • Meets or exceeds your income requirements
  • Is something you feel passionate about
  • Utilizes your natural strengths, talents, & skills
  • Is challenging, but you feel a certain sense of ease
  • High reward
  • Average to high stability
  • May have high risk (but it’s minimized by reward/stability)
  • Bottom line: Gives you everything you want– and more


The “B” Job Description
This is the perfect “while you grow your business” job. It may not be as exciting as your own business, but it’s purpose is to stabilize you while you create your own A-job. This position may be full or part- time, depending on how much income your business generates.

These are qualities of a B-job:

  • If full-time: meets 100% of your income requirements, so that any money you earn from your own business is bonus
  • If part-time: meets 100% of your income requirements when combined with the lowest month of income you’ve ever earned from your business
  • Relates to your business expertise in some way
  • Teaches you skills that you can also apply to your own business
  • Is easy enough that you can grow your business on the side
  • Average to high reward
  • High stability
  • Low risk
  • Bottom line: Gives more than it takes


The “C” Job Description
These are the kind of jobs you want to avoid, and yet many entrepreneurs are oddly attracted to them. Employment in this category is often commission- only, low pay, fill-in work, or booked sporadically. One of the red-flags of a C-job is it’s inherent instability. The sad outcome of a C-job is that you’re taking time away from your business, and are still unable to meet your monthly overhead.

These are qualities of a C-job:

  • Does not meet your income requirements
  • May either be something you’re passionate about- -or not
  • May have a big learning curve for something that isn’t useful
  • Is difficult and interferes with you growing your business
  • Low reward (often disguised as high-commission)
  • Low stability
  • High risk
  • Bottom line: Takes more than it gives


The “D” and “F” Job Descriptions
Really, these don’t need much description. Let’s just say that a “D” would be when a business is dying. An “F” would be when a business has failed. Obviously, these aren’t even worthy of your consideration.

So when is it time to find a nice B-job?
The answer is: when your own business has deteriorated into something you would rate as a mid- to-low “C.” Instead of letting your business drop all the way down to the dreaded “D” or worse, consider how the stabilizing benefits of a great B-job could re- energize you and your bank account. If you had a little more money, it would buy you more time to build your business on the side. Take a little pressure off your back. Rebuild your confidence while your rebuild your profitability. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to land a B+ or A- job, you might find yourself connected to the people that can help your business succeed in the long-run, as well as solve your short-term cash crunch.

Bottom line: You deserve to have your basic needs met, and if you must temporarily take a J-O-B to take care of yourself, then that’s the right thing to do.


About the Author

Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.