WATCH: Transitioning Into Entrepreneurship

Felicia Joy, host of the Ms. CEO Show, discusses "hybrid" entrepreneurship: working a full-time job while running a business.

Ms. CEO Show Host Felicia Joy, a speaker on the panel “Make It Your Way: Transitioning From Corporate Professional to Entrepreneur” at the 2010 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, provides important tips for pursuing what she calls “hybrid” entrepreneurship.

Felicia Joy of Ms. CEO Inc. shares insights on the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

LaToya Smith is an assistant editor at Black Enterprise.

  • ChaNita

    Ok, even after watching this, I’m still not clear on how to work full time and be an entrepreneuer @ the same time. Also, did the interviewer say, ‘I seen’? That’s just great.

  • ChaNita, thanks for your inquiry. Felicia has a handout that she created that goes in to more detail than this brief interview. Here’s a link to the document: If you still have further questions, be sure to drop Felicia a line at

  • Hello ChaNita,
    Thanks for your candid feedback. In a nutshell, to become an entrepreneur while working full-time you: (1) Carve out 10-20 hours per week that you can put toward business.
    (2) Decide what kind of business you’d like to start. Do this by comparing your skills and interests to profitable trends (look under “Worksheets” on my website for a structured way of approaching this –; service businesses are simplest and least expensive to start.
    (3) Do research to see if there is probable demand, locally, for what you plan to sell (location may or may not matter depending on the nature of your business).
    (4) Decide on a business model – the various ways that your business will make money (a good book that covers many different business and profit models is “The Art of Profitability” by Adrian Slywotzky). This doesn’t have to be complicated though; “business model” is just a fancy phrase for how your business makes money.
    (5) Test the business by launching as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. The main thing you want to know as soon as possible is: Will this make money? Validate your idea by making money with it—or if it doesn’t make money then you know you need to make tweaks or find another idea.
    (6) Once you identify an idea that makes money it’s about perfecting your business model, service, operations and marketing to grow your revenues, profits and business bigger and bigger, or to the point that you want them.
    (7) As a “hybrid entrepreneur,” which is my term for someone who works full-time and builds a business part-time, you may be tempted to work on your business while at work. Avoid this. It’s unethical and grounds for dismissal. Have a separate phone or phone number and e-mail address for your business that you can check on your work breaks throughout the day.
    (8) Give 100 percent to your job. Then when you get home, give 100 percent to your business for the 10-20 hours you have allocated to working on it each week. Set a schedule for your business, the same way that you have a schedule for your job and spend 90 percent of your time in business (after you launch) on revenue-generating activity and only 10 percent on administrative work for the business.
    (9) Your business may grow slower since you are building it part-time but the upside is you maintain steady income from a job while you validate, test and position the business.
    I hope this explains a little better. Find more information on my website at Also, my new book, “Hybrid Entrepreneurship: How the Middle Class Can Beat the Slow Economy, Earn Extra Income and Reclaim the American Dream,” is a roadmap for how to work full-time and build a business part-time. It is available on Amazon:
    Grace & Peace,
    Felicia Joy

  • MsLacole

    This was more of a promo / teaser … I guess you’re suppose to visit Felicia Joy’s website and/or buy her book to learn more about working full time and becoming an entrepreneuer … but she was previously making six figures, so I’m sure it wasn’t hard for her to transition to self-employment.

  • I Love being an entrepreneur. I started while working full time as well. was built from scratch.

  • Hello and good morning, My name is Hope Carter and I started my own fashion designing / original oil painting business 2 years ago. I resigned from my job of 10 years making 30 dollars an hour because I got tired of working for someone else but isn’t that every body’s thought in the beginning. I’m from Indiana and need the exposure. I do get my grind on but I need a way to really get my grind on I’m ready to take it to the next level ASAP. How do I get help from other black entrepreneurs like Mo’nique, Oprah and others. The art organizations do help but offer little assistants with a fee. Please help black artist that are being pushed to the way side.


      Hope, instead of looking for Oprah, Mo’nique and others to help you, maybe you’ll want to consider how can you promote your business so these people in particular may work with your company as one of their resources. You’ve mentioned that the art organizations offer little assistance with a fee; Continue looking into the local businesses that may offer assistance and courses designed for women and entreperneurs who maintains a small business. I work as a freelance stylist an entreperneur. I’m still working on my business plan and am re-evaluating my business as it is now. Feel free to contact me offline if you’d like.