Mark over at Efficacy Clothing was kind enough to spend some time with us, answering our silly questions, and shedding a little light on what it really takes to run a business in your spare time.
Mark started Efficacy Clothing with his two partners Aaron and Nate. They all still continue to manage their amazing line of apparel part-time (I don't know how they do it)! They've built an amazing following for their well crafted, well designed clothing all during their lunch breaks! Find out how:
Me: How do you balance your full-time job with pursuing your dream?
Mark: My day begins at 5:30AM and doesn't end until 11:30PM. It's not all work all the time, but I attempt to squeeze as much out of every hour of the day as I can. Luckily, my full-time position is my passion: web marketing. So doing that full-time as well as for our side business makes my days enjoyable. I love what I do and do what I love, so my days and nights are a joy.
Me: What made you decide to start your own business whilst working full-time?
Mark: I've never been the kind of guy who can work 9-5 and go home and be done for the day. One of biggest things I gleaned from my time in the military is how much someone can accomplish in a given day, with the right purpose and passion. And there's just something about running a clothing brand that has always had my attention. So once I found the right partners, building an actual business was the natural next step.
Me: How did you manage your time in order to get your business off the ground?
Mark: Real simple: Lunches, evenings, and weekends. It didn't take us long, but really maximizing lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends helped us get up and running in just a few weeks. Having the right business partners and clearly defined task delegation made it incredibly smooth. The three of us really love what we're doing on the side (and full-time), so it doesn't feel like work.
Me: Did you have to keep it a secret from your employer, or were they supportive?
Mark: I don't volunteer the information that I have a side business, but if the employer finds out I don't deny it. Being a marketing / e-commerce professional full-time, I simply explain the value of having a side business. I'm able to test new tactics on my side business, and then bring the best efforts to my full-time position. It's a win-win, even from my employer's perspective.
Me: What’s the hardest part & what are the benefits?
Mark: The hardest part is simply the time running a business on the side takes from family. My wife is incredibly supportive, and I make every effort to ensure I'm there for my children (i.e. school events, coaching teams, etc.). But this is part of who I am. My wife encourages it because she sees that it "brings me alive". And being a busy father who is alive is far better than being done every day at 5:00and dead.
Me: What advice would you give to those who work full time but want to start up?
Mark: Do it. Stop talking about it and do it. You'll learn far more doing than researching and debating. Get into the thick of it, expect failure at certain points, and commit to being patient. If you're truly passionate about something, you'll learn how to monetize it. Just start. Now.
Me: Do you now work full-time on your business? If not, will you ever do so?
Mark: Not yet. We're patiently building a brand that we hope can sustain long-term growth, not just short-term income. Luckily all three of us have a passion for the work we do full-time, so we're in no hurry. But at some point, we do intend to work for ourselves.