Entrepreneurs are the heart and soul of any free economy. If not for the individuals and small businesses taking on the corporate conglomerates with little more than their creativity and agility, we would all be overpaying for a poor selection of products – while the profits line the pockets of corporate executives and investors. The salary gap between the executives and everyday workers is constantly growing, and the average forty hour work week is gradually expanding closer to fifty or more for many workers.

With the increased cost of living, many people are forced to work jobs that they are miserable in just to pay their basic living expenses. The entrepreneur has a new emerging problem: how do you work 40+ hours per week and still find the time to develop your own business? Following are some tips for anyone that wants to escape the rat race and start their own business:

1) Don’t choose a job based on pay. That’s right – pay is not the most important thing. You should take a job to gain the skills you will need to operate your business. Look closely at what your future business will demand from you. Which parts are you not quite comfortable with? Have trouble approaching people or speaking in public? A sales job may be just the ticket for breaking those fears.

2) Choose a job that is not overly demanding of your time. You will need time to develop your own business and that isn’t possible if the only time you have available is after midnight. Determine what time you’ll need available to develop your business while working and negotiate for that time before taking any job. When a job is first offered to you is when you have the leverage. The employer has laid their hand out and said, “We want you for this position”. At that point you should make sure you have the time you need to meet your ultimate goal of self employment. If the job is not as flexible as you need it to be you should be willing and able to walk away.

3) Fund your business first. Many people have big plans to break away from their jobs but never do it for one reason – money. Not many people can afford to live a life of luxury and afford to start a business, so invest in your business first and make do with what’s left over.

4) Stay focused and don’t get discouraged. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re working a full time job, your own personal business on the side AND living modestly to fund all this work. You’ll need to stay focused on your ultimate goal in order to maintain this lifestyle for long. If your business is something you truly enjoy, it will be much easier to do, and the feeling will be that much sweeter when you do finally say goodbye to your full time job.

Unless you have alternate sources of income, being an entrepreneur in today’s world takes a very strong work ethic. As full-time jobs suck up more of our time, there is less and less time for your own personal endeavors. That’s why you need to be clear about what you are striving to be and stay focused on using your job as training for when you eventually break off on your own. If done correctly, you can gradually transition to self employment with little risk and great experience and the work ethic you’ve developed will help you tremendously as you venture out on your own.

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