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Seven Ways to Start a Business Without Quitting Your Job

The wisdom in starting your business small but smart

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  • On your journey to starting your business, work to learn, not to earn

  • The key to starting a business is moving to the right side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant

  • Starting a business is an adventure that requires an entrepreneurial spirit

In his book, Before You Quit Your Job, Robert Kiyosaki shares how he felt on the day he quit his job to become a full-time entrepreneur:

One of the most frightening days of my life was the day I quit my job and officially became an entrepreneur. On that day, I knew there were no more steady paychecks, no more health insurance or retirement plans. No more days off for being sick or paid vacations.

On that day, my income went to zero. The terror of not having a steady paycheck was one of the most frightening experiences I had ever experienced. Worst of all, I did not know how long it would be before I would have another steady paycheck.

Very often, it is this very fear of not having a steady income that holds most people back from starting a business. Perhaps you've faced this fear yourself.

When Robert was young, in the pre-Internet days, there weren't nearly as many ways to have a business on the side. It was generally an all-or-nothing proposition. Today, however, technology gives want-to-be business owners a distinct advantage. It's easier than ever to start small and smart, building a business on the side while still having the security of a paycheck.

It starts with the CASHFLOW Quadrant

By now, you’ve probably already become familiar with the CASHFLOW Quadrant.

This quadrant is a simple way to understand the four different ways of making a living in the world, and what motivates the people who operate in each quadrant.


E is for employee

Employees crave security. Employees don’t prioritize learning about money or how it works. When employees need more money, they look for a higher-paying job.

S is for self-employed

Most people move to the S quadrant when they become very skilled at their job and are tired of working for bosses they know they are better than. S quadrant people are doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, and other service-based businesses and consultants; and while they still crave security, they have a higher risk threshold than a traditional employee, and they are comfortable with a little more risk in order to be in control.

B stands for Business Owner

Business owners don’t want to own a job. They want to own a system or a product that makes money even when they aren’t working. They are master delegators, and they are the ones who produce jobs and grow the economy. The best part of owning a business is that even when you are not working, it is making you money. More than anything, business owners crave freedom and growth.

I stands for Investor

Investors are the most financially educated people in the quadrants. They understand that if you find assets that provide consistent cash flow, you never have to work a day in your life. They are motivated by having money work for them, not the other way around. When they need more money, they look for an opportunity to acquire an asset that produces more passive income.

Remember it’s an adventure

So now that you’re ready to move to the right side of the Cashflow Quadrant, it’s important to remember that the journey is an adventure of its own.

For example, once Robert decided to quit his job, he lacked confidence and was instead overwhelmed with a feeling of weakness. He called rich dad thinking he would give him the pep talk he needed. His response was, “Go get a job.”

Robert was shocked. “I thought you told me to start my own business,” he said in disbelief.

“Yes, I did,” said rich dad. “But you still have to eat and put a roof over your head in the process.”

Rich dad went on to explain a very valuable rule: Work to learn, not to earn.

“You build a business because of the challenge,” rich dad said. “You build a business because it is exciting, it’s challenging, and it will require everything you’ve got to make it successful.”

By taking a job, Robert would learn the skills that were necessary to start the business that he wanted to, not to build a career and find job security. He recommended that Robert take a job that would teach him sales skills because he knew Robert was very shy and terrified of rejection. He wanted him to learn to overcome his personal fears.

With that advice in mind, Robert started as a salesman at Xerox. He was terrified. Each day he had to go from office to office, meeting strangers and trying to sell them a machine they didn’t think they needed. It was a painful learning process, but one that has made him millions of dollars over the years. It was truly an investment.

As he worked at Xerox, he became one of the top salesmen, but he still felt strapped for cash every month.

Given this reality, rich dad gave him a second lesson: Keep your day job, and start a part-time business.

“The biggest mistake people make is that they work too hard for money,” he said. “Most people do not get ahead financially because when they need more money, they take on a part-time job. If they really wanted to get ahead, they would keep their day job and start a part-time business.” This is true for companies like Microsoft, Facebook,, and Dell Computers.

So if you’re ready to start a business, the following are seven ways to start a business without quitting your job.

  1. Turn your hobby into a business

    First off, starting a business is going to take a lot of your time. So, you might as well do something you enjoy. Take a look at how you spend your free time. What are you really passionate about? Maybe it's cooking. Now, find a way to make money doing it.
    Can you start a blog? Document your creation process and write about the food you cook. You do it anyway, so it should be fun to share your skills with the world. And you'll probably meet others who share your passions. Better yet, can you sell a recipe ebook? Compile your 100 best recipes and sell the ebook for $5.
    If cooking isn't your thing, find out what is and find a way to make money doing it. It won't even feel like work.

  2. Focus on product, not services

    A lot of employees' first thought is to take the skills they use in the business world and to offer them as a consultant-in short, to build a service business. The problem with a service business, especially if it's on the side, is that you don't own a business-you simply own a job. Services are a tough business because you have to sell your time. If you're not working, you're not making money. And when you work full-time, pulling long freelance hours is a surefire way to burnout.

    Rather than sell services, figure out a way to create a product. If it's consulting, put together a course that you can sell. Or if you're a writer, create books that you can sell. Many writers sell their books on Amazon as e-books for $1 a copy and generate income even while they're sleeping.

    The trick is to look at what services you can provide and find the product angle. If you can do that, you'll be making money even when you're not working. That's a true side hustle.

  3. Learn how to invest

    Another way to build a great side business is to build an investing business.

    This requires some time investing in your financial education, as well as making it a priority to save money for investing, but once you get in the game, the sky's the limit. And it can all be done easily in your free time.

  4. Work on your business, not in it

    The temptation for those running a side business is to do all the work themselves. But a much better way is to find quality contractors or even an employee or two who can work in the business so you can spend your time managing them and building the business.

    By focusing on working on your business from the get go, you'll be able to grow and build your company to be more than just a side gig.

  5. Assemble a great team

    A lot of part-time business owners are cheap. They try to save money on things like accounting and legal. But because they're not trained in those things, they end up costing them more in the long run in terms of time, and sometimes in lawsuits and tax liens.

    Find great team members and use them. Get a good CPA. Find a great attorney. If you're investing in real estate, use a reputable and successful broker. Focus on what you can do best, and let others do the rest for you.

  6. Own your schedule

    A common excuse for not starting a business is that you don't have time. This is bull. Most people, if they did an audit of how they spent their time, would see that they have ample time to work on a side business. The problem is that most people are owned by their schedule rather than owning their schedule.

    If you want to run a successful business while working full-time, you need to become an expert at productivity and time management. Cut the TV time, stop going out for drinks, and buckle down. You'd be surprised what the work you do in an hour or two in the evenings and a half-day on Saturday can do for you.

  7. Leverage technology

    Finally, there is a ton of technology out there to help cut many tasks that used to take hours to a mere matter of seconds in some cases. Research and utilize a solid CRM and marketing automation software to automate many of your mundane emails, administ software like Quickbooks, which integrates with your smartphone, to keep track of expenses and income on the go. Use a service like Shoeboxed to scan your important documents and make them searchable. Employ project management software to help manage your team of experts and contractors. The possibilities are endless.

Building your entrepreneurial spirit

Starting a business ignites the entrepreneurial spirit.

Rich dad explained that most big businesses started as part-time ones, and that the problem with the world is not a lack of great ideas, but instead a lack of great businesspeople.

He encouraged Robert to start a business, any business, no matter whether he liked the product or not. Failure was not a concern. He simply wanted him to start. One of his favorite quotes from Albert Einstein was, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” He wanted Robert to start a business simply so he could challenge his mediocre mind and develop his entrepreneurial spirit.

Give it your all

The primary reason to start a part-time business should be to make you a great businessperson.

A lot of people have a goal of becoming an accredited investor, which takes $200,000 a year in earnings. To some people, that is a lot of money, but it is not a reason to start a business.

In all honesty, the risks in starting a business are too large for such a small amount of money. If you decide to start a business, don’t do it for pennies on the dollar. The risks are too high for a payoff so small. Do it for a much bigger payday. Why? Because building a business will demand everything you have to make it successful. You can make $200,000 as an employee with a lot less stress and risk. Building a business requires you to have a higher goal in mind.

For that reason, it’s best to start by building a great part-time business so that you can learn to become a great business owner with a big payoff.

Building a business is a life of love

That being said, while money is important, it’s not the primary motivating factor for building a business. The question, “Why would you start a business?” can be best answered by asking the same question in another way. “Why would you keep playing the game of golf?” The answer is found in the spirit of the game.

It is the excitement, the challenge, the spirit, and the potential for big payoff at the end that keeps entrepreneurs going.

Building a business is a life of love, powered by the entrepreneurial spirit.

The best part?

Anyone can do it.

Original publish date: March 29, 2016

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