How to Make Your Employer Your First Client

The Challenge: My first big business challenge was to manage a full-time job, while starting my company. I was working about fifty hours per week at a Fortune 200 company, while sacrificing nights and weekends to jump-start my company.

This was a challenge because I was bootstrapping the company so I relied on my full-time job for income, and had to give it priority.

This situation was complicated because there was a strong connection between the nature of my full-time work and my company.

The Solution: My solution to this problem was to be patient, while constantly measuring the demand of the product I was offering to my audience. I decided not to take venture capital money because I wanted complete control over my company.

I connected with new customers outside of work, until I felt ready to make a move. It was also very important to me that I had finished my last project at my full-time job before I quit because they would eventually become a case study for my company.

The Aftermath: I started receiving lot of good press from national and local media outlets, with a lot of inquiries. I started taking on new clients outside of work, and then projected the 2010 annual revenue for Millennial Branding, which was high enough that I could leave my full-time job.

When I quit my job, I was also able to sign my employer as a client, which was great cash-flow for my new company.

The Lesson: Be practical when it comes to starting a business.

Do your research and analyze market trends so that you know when the right time to launch your business is.

When there's enough demand, then it's time to make a shift in your business or work full-time on your business.

About Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel, recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times, is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and the leading authority on personal branding. He is the founder of the Personal Branding Blog, and publisher of Personal Branding Magazine.

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