I want to make the move from a medium sized tech firm to be a founder. I don't have technical experience but I have an idea. Although I want to change career, I am struggling to find the time to work on it which I believe means I am struggling for the motivation to work on it. What advice would you have for me?

Your situation is not uncommon among aspiring entrepreneurs who are transitioning from an established career to founding a new venture. Based on the insights shared by Ed Batista, here are several pieces of advice that might help you find the time and motivation to work on your idea:

  1. Self-Care: As you prepare for this transition, it’s essential to establish healthy habits. Long hours and erratic routines can undermine your effectiveness. Mindfulness, meditation, consistent exercise, and sufficient rest are crucial practices that can support your performance as you embark on this new journey. Adapt these practices to fit your individual needs and preferences to maintain your energy and focus. [4][5]

  2. Work Style: Re-evaluate your current work style. As a founder, you will need to transition from solving problems as they arise to prioritizing strategic tasks that align with your long-term vision. This means recognizing the difference between importance and urgency, actively ignoring less important problems, and creating open space in your schedule to think and work on your new idea. [6]

  3. Mindset Shift: Understand the Mindset Theory of Action Phases. Before committing to your goal of founding a company, you are likely in a deliberative mindset, weighing options and considering the feasibility. Once you decide to pursue this goal, you'll need to adopt an implemental mindset, which involves planning and executing actions toward achieving your goal. This mindset shift can help you focus your efforts and manage your time more effectively. [14]

  4. Goal Setting: Set effective and realistic goals for yourself. Aim high, but not so high that your goals become threatening. Ensure that your goals are challenging yet achievable, and that they generate feedback, enhance commitment, and are not overly complex or constrained by situational factors. This will help you maintain a sense of progress and well-being, which are strong predictors of sustained motivation. [1][2][3]

  5. Manage Your Emotions: Be aware of the emotional aspects of entrepreneurship. The pleasure of solving business puzzles can be compelling, but it's essential to regulate your emotions and avoid letting them dictate your behavior. Find other puzzles or activities that can help you disengage from your current work and create mental space for your new venture. [5]

  6. Currencies of Motivation: Reflect on what truly motivates you. Is it the vision of your new company, the challenge of building something from scratch, or the personal fulfillment that comes with entrepreneurship? Understanding your intrinsic motivators can help you align your daily actions with what is most meaningful to you, thus increasing your motivation. [1]

  7. Commitment Over Compliance: Ensure that your move to founding a company is driven by a deep level of commitment rather than mere compliance with what you think you should be doing. Committed individuals are motivated by the fulfillment they find in the pursuit of their aims, which makes them more likely to persist in the face of difficulties. [7]

Finally, remember that motivation can ebb and flow. It’s normal to struggle with finding time and motivation, especially when you are balancing a current job with the aspirations of starting a new venture. Be patient with yourself, and consider setting aside dedicated time each week to focus on your idea, even if it’s just a few hours. This can help you build momentum and gradually transition into your new role as a founder.