How To Launch Your Startup While You Still Have A 9-5 Job

By Nick Bentley

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In this series we will focus on the challenges of launching a startup while working a traditional job and how others have accomplished it.

The 40 hour workweek can certainly be a grind, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from chasing your dreams.  Many entrepreneurs have dreams of launching their own startup but are allow themselves to be held back due to a job.  While some can quit their jobs and rough it out for months (or years), others have families to take care of.  In this post we will focus on launching your startup while you still have a 9-5 job.

If you currently have a job your most scarce resource is likely time.  You’ll have three main options for getting work done: before you go to your job, after your job, and on the weekends.  In part one of How to launch your startup while you still have a 9-5 job we will break done each of these options.

Before Work

Our personal recommendation is getting work done in the morning before going to your job.  The best results we’ve seen from founders who launched a successful startup during a 9-5 accomplished their work in the morning.  The quiet the morning provides is very beneficial and a staple of most productive founders.  Many find themselves with the most energy and creativity in the morning as well.  You get a chance to put your most quality work into your startup.  A great way to start the day is with a 10 minute or longer meditation.  Waking up early and energized will likely be your biggest challenge for this one.

If you are having trouble rising early read the ‘How to Become an Early Riser’ series by Steve Pavlina.Also check out ‘How I Became an Early Riser’ and ‘The Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early‘ by Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.

After Work

For some after work might be their only option to get work done.  If this is the case it is best to find an activity to recharge your energy before attempting to perform more work.  Stopping at the gym after work, going for a run, or meditating are great activities for accomplishing this.   Visiting a coffee shop or remote work location can also be valuable for concentrated focus.  Consider keeping on your work clothes when you get home until you finish the work you had allotted for your startup.


The weekends can be a perfect time to get some work done.  The downside is you don’t get the momentum you would from working on something daily during the week.  The upside is you can put in a bigger work chunk.  Pay close attention to burnout which can be a huge problem for working 7 days a week.

What challenges have you faced in working on your startup while working a 9-5?  Have you noticed one of these three time frames to work especially well for you?  Let us know in the comments below.

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