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Balance your day job with your dreams

Entrepreneur Ryan Blair explains how he turned concepts into reality.

Time management is key to balancing multiple tasks.

Digital Vision

It’s a story familiar to millions of workers around the world: You have an idea that you think would be a great business or product, but you’re not sure where to go from there.

“When I got started, I would think and dream about ideas and the only time I really had to daydream was at work,” says Ryan Blair, the CEO of ViSalus, a global healthy lifestyle company and the author of the book “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain.” “There’s no such thing as balance — there are 24 hours in a day and most people waste most of them.”

We asked Blair for his tips on how to juggle having a day job with a budding entrepreneurial career.

Don’t quit your job. “I always recommend including their day job into their plans at first,” says Blair. “When you start to see results, then you can think about quitting. I started my first company while I had a job and I got my first customers that way.”

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Keep a journal. “Whenever I’m early in the process [of developing an idea], I’d just start writing about it,” says Blair. “I have a venture capital fund and the first thing I do when considering investing in an idea is sketch it out in my journal. Then I’ll start talking to people to see if it will work.”

Put in the effort. Don’t think that juggling both work and your entrepreneurial project won’t take sacrifice. “In the beginning, I’d wake up early at 4 a.m. and go work on my company before heading to work,” says Blair. “Most people don’t put in that time.”

Teach yourself new skills. For people without a strong business background, Blair says it is important to fill in the gaps. “Read books,” he says. “That’s how I learned it. If you really want to learn, you can read blogs, the trades, social media. You have to self-educate.”

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter at @LakshmiGandhi.

 
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