Set Yourself Up for Success by Becoming a “Hybrid” Entrepreneur

Posted on

In the 1970s, Steve Wozniak worked at Hewlett-Packard, designing engineering calculators. After work and on weekends, he spent hours developing what would later become the Apple 1 computer. It wasn’t until this computer was ready to hit the market that Wozniak resigned from his job at Hewlett-Packard and co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne.

This “hybrid” approach of entrepreneurship is a smart approach. In fact, according to a study by Professors Joseph Raffiee and Jie Feng at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, hybrid entrepreneurs who give up their jobs in stages are 33 percent less likely to fail than those who leave their jobs to run their start-ups full time.

Published in the Academy of Management Journal, the study suggests that entrepreneurs should take small steps, perfecting their skills, gaining knowledge about the new business, testing demand for the product/service and launching a new venture in stages.

Below are some tips on developing a business using the staged approach:

Don’t let go of your primary source of income: While you may have a large pile of savings set aside for developing a new business, this nest egg can be depleted quickly. As a result, keeping a steady paycheck can be extremely important when it comes to paying the bills and reducing your stress level.

Compromise: Make a list of every activity and obligation you have. See where you can make cuts in order to free up some time, as well as prioritize your commitments. The more time you free up, the more time you will have to dedicate to your new business.

Consider your strengths and weaknesses: Running a business requires you to wear many different hats, including CEO, customer service representative, accountant, lawyer, Internet guru, marketer, brand ambassador and administrative assistant. Because you can’t be an expert at every one of these jobs, think about outsourcing some roles. This can be a great solution for the weak links in your business. 

Understand that failure is part of an entrepreneur’s journey:

According to Michele Romanow, named as Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and one of the Dragons on the Dragon’s Den, the Canadian equivalent to Shark Tank, “Entrepreneurs have to fail. You shouldn’t feel like you’re not there—or you don’t have the perfect idea—you only really get there by trying a bunch of ideas.”

The bottom line is that creating a business doesn’t happen overnight, so use a hybrid approach to make your big dream a reality.  Follow in the steps of Steve Wozniak, and you’re certain to build an amazing empire!