How to Build Your Business Without Pissing Off Your Boss

If you’re being smart about it, you’re planning for a Crossfade between the job you have and the business you’re going to build. This gives you more stability and time to gradually grow into your business, but it can present its own challenges. For example, how can you build your business without pissing off your boss?

How to Build Your Business Without Pissing Off Your Boss

This is especially a concern if you work in a small company or a small town where everybody seems to talk about everybody’s business. How will your boss feel when she finds out you’re starting your own business? It can be hard to predict. But here are 5 things you can do to ease your boss’ mind and keep you in the clear.

 

HOW TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS WITHOUT PISSING OFF YOUR BOSS

 

1 | MAKE SURE YOU’RE LEGAL

Check your contract and/or company policies to make sure there aren’t any clauses that prohibit you from doing outside work. Remember, until you’re making money, it’s not really a business. So you could do a lot of prep work in terms of branding, building a website, blogging, and networking before you technically have anything other than a hobby. That means you don’t have to spill the beans on your little side project at first. But eventually you’ll want to...

 

2 | COME CLEAN

It’s tempting to try to fly under the radar, but there’s a good chance your boss will catch wind of your plans sooner or later. Would you rather her hear it from you, or through the grapevine?

When you’re ready to do this thing for real and are accepting money for your products or services, be proactive and let her know (the short version of) what’s up.

You don’t need to pour out your soul or tell her that as soon as your little biz is going strong you’re going to quit. Nuh-uh. You tell her you’ve got a little passion project going on, and if you’ve learned any new skills from it that you have been or can apply to your job, mention those. That’s it.

 

3 | DON’T DOUBLE-DIP

And by that I mean, don’t run off with the company rolodex and call clients from your apartment and night trying to work up a side hustle. Not only do a lot of companies have non-compete agreements, that’s just bad form. If you want to do the job you have on your own terms as a business, make a clean break first.

 

4 | BE EXTRA AWESOME AT YOUR DAY JOB

Keep being AWESOME at your day job. In fact, deepen your commitment to your job. Be noticeably on top of things. Never give your employer any reason to question your commitment to your job there, and don’t you dare mentally check out before you go.

Do not act like you have one foot out the door. Your Crossfade might take longer than you think, and the job you have is supporting you trying out this new endeavor. Stay in it.

 

5 | DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AT WORK

When you’re excited about your new business, you want to world to know about it! But don’t talk about your business at work. That would be like telling your husband about your hot new boyfriend. It's just tacky and it leads to office gossip. If you have a trusted co-worker you want to talk with about your business, do it on your time, not company time.

In general, keep your side of the street clean. Your boss may still have feelings about your business, but as long as you act with integrity and don’t shortchange your current job in any way, you will have done all you can do.