How do i still work my 9-5 to pay the rent, but still keep developing a solid product idea?

Ambition: to develop a product that brings its devotees an experience of deeply personalized reflection and understanding of the information, opinions, lies, and realties that barrage, elude, and confront us during our multi-faceted modern life.

Reality: i’m 24, working long hours at a nonprofit,and I have ADHD and a social life.


  • I’m 27 and I have ADD, and I work and I’m working on a startup. It can be done. If you’re serious about this you’ll put your social life on hold while you build your startup. You can’t do it all; there’s only so much time in the day to work with.

    If it comes between working on your startup or having some beers with friends, you have to choose your startup or else you’re not a serious entrepreneur. Work 9-5, come home right away and work on your startup until you go to sleep and do that every weekday. On weekends you can spend almost the whole day on your startup.

  • I have adhd. Medication helps a lot, but it doesn’t cure all. you only get a limited window of focus, 8-10 hours. Another idea is to get an adhd coach to help you develop good habits before you quit your job and cant’ afford the coach anymore. 🙂

    As others have alluded to, you have to literally eliminate all distractions from your life. Suggest reading “the war of art”–not a typo for a good discussion of how the creation of anything is a near monastic existence. Prepare yourself for it. Get in shape. eat right. Decide that this is it. then do it.

    • Thanks i really feel you on this one! i’ll swing by Half price books tonight to see if the art of war is in stock.

      Best wishes!

  • I work a full time day job and moonlight on the side (ecommerce selling proprietary products to be more specific) – and plan to continue to do so.
    I disagree with “taking the plunge or going all in approach”. You stated an apartment so maybe you don’t have to much to loose. But for me by the time I started my company I was 31 married with a newborn, amazing acreage, couple cars (I am a car guy!)… An outsider would say living the American dream.

    Now I have been in business for 1.5yrs have a second child
    I wake up about 6am. get myself and one of the kids ready quick breakfast, and typically leaves me with 30min to take care of emails or get a last minute order out. Work 7:30/8-5. Spend time with family till atleast 8pm. Then depending on the workload I spend between 30minutes to a couple hrs working on the business. Most nights fullilling orders answering emails I didn’t get to on my breaks etc- but some nights programing, marketing, new product development…

    One big item I do – If I think of something during the day that I want to do or look into I write it down(aka save it on a list in my phone). I slowly pick away at that list each and every week.

    I do take lunches early/late to make business calls sometimes but don’t let my moonlighting affect my overall job performance.

    Now if I had worked full time on this – my income may have surpassed what I make at the 8-5 but I wasn’t willing to take the risk and loose all the equity and quality of life I had already created.

  • Thanks everyone for the relatable feedback! I guess another question to add is how do you find and build a team around making your idea a reality, when you look at your contact list and draw a blank? What have been some really effective and concentrated ways of networking for you that have been authentic and made a difference?

    Thanks again!

    • I have had your problem, too — I’m in my 30s, have a FT job, mortgage, four kids… I’m barely technical and have needed a tech team for my ideas. At one point, just by advertising for unpaid volunteers on craigslist (and taking the time to go through dozens of horrible applications), I had 5 quality, normal people helping me out. Some lived more than an hour away and we would meet via google hangouts. While that project fizzled, one is still helping me out.

      Recently, I have turned to freelancer and after weeding through a few incompetent people, paid a developer a bit to get a project off the ground. He fell in love with it, and we’re now in a profit-sharing arrangement.

      It’s a numbers game. Use the shotgun approach to find people. Good luck!

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