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How a Cash Flow Job Can Help Business Growth

By Audrey Seymour

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Have you ever faced a cash flow crunch, either as a new entrepreneur or as an established business owner in slower times?

There are many avenues to explore in this situation, such as withdrawing savings, getting a loan or funding, upgrading your marketing plan, streamlining operations and exploring any limiting beliefs.

One strategy that is often overlooked is the conscious use of a part-time cash flow job or a "steppingstone" position.

Get a job? Isn't it heresy to work for someone else if I have committed to fulfilling my own passion and life work?

But it's not a paradox when you step back and look at the bigger picture. In fact at times it can be a component of a sound business strategy.

Expanding your thinking in challenging times means considering all your options -- all perspectives and actions that could support you in reaching your goal of a thriving business. Bigger thinking means overcoming any prejudices that may cause a blind spot that prevents you from succeeding.

A comfortable cash flow gives you the luxury of creating your business from a place of clarity and vision rather than from a need to make the next mortgage payment. A comfortable cash flow means that you will be compelling when you talk about your business to others, because your passion and purpose will come across rather than an underlying sense of urgency and fear.

Remember the commonly quoted statistic that it takes between 2-5 years to build a thriving business. Even established businesses have downturns from time to time.

One of the key Entrepreneur Success Factors is financial resilience. If you don't have the cushion of adequate savings, have you created an alternate income stream to handle slower times?

A part-time cash flow position can be the quickest solution. As its name indicates, the sole purpose of this line of work is to generate money to fund the growth of your dream business.

There are a few important requirements for a cash flow job to be an effective way to raise funds without losing momentum in your business:

1. While the bottom line is that it generate enough income to insure that your monthly expenses are covered, ideally it also provides additional income to either invest in your business or build your savings.

2. It needs to be in a field in which you already have experience or transferrable skills so that you can walk into the job without investing in training.

3. The cash flow job should be part-time and not require overtime so that you can still devote significant blocks of time each week to building your business.

4. It also needs to be low stress and self-contained so that you can give full energy to your own business as soon as you leave that job.

A cash flow job may feel like drudgery at times, especially if it is in the very field that has meant burnout or boredom for you. It is important to remember the connection between this work and your dream work. Find a way to remind yourself that every hour you spend there brings your bank balance one step closer to your envisioned future.

A cash flow job that is also a "steppingstone job" is ideal because it serves two purposes -- bringing in cash plus bringing you closer to your vision in a more direct way. Usually, the steps closer are in terms of professional skills, professional contacts, or more exposure to the industry that includes your business.

For example, one client discovered that she wanted to become a real estate agent. Since we knew it would take a while to get her license and build her business, she used her administrative background to get a position as the office manager at a local real estate firm.

Another client felt burned out as a corporate marketing consultant and wanted to work in the natural foods industry. He decided to form a short-term business partnership with an acquaintance who needed help promoting her natural health care product line.

By applying your creativity and letting go of preconceived ideas about income streams, you can keep your momentum strong toward your goals even when business is slow.

© 2006-2010 Audrey Seymour. All rights reserved.