They say there is another recession coming.  Let’s hope not.  I have plenty of bad memories from the last one.

Now may be the time to become a “chicken entrepreneur”.

What am I talking about?

I first heard of this concept when I read Michael Masterson’s book The Pledge.

A “chicken entrepreneur” keeps the day job, and uses mornings, evenings, and weekends to start a side business.

I know people who have quit their jobs to start a brand new venture.  That takes guts.  Those guys impress me.

By the time I realized that I was going to have to do something, I was the father of five children.  As a teacher in the private school world, I had no savings to fall back on.  I couldn’t quit to start a new business.  In fact, I couldn’t quit at all.

So, I became a “chicken entrepreneur”.  I used early mornings, late nights, and weekends to improve my skills.  I focused on writing, public speaking, marketing, research, and language study.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my new knowledge, but I kept plugging away.  In 2010, when Compass Classroom asked me to help develop Visual Latin, I was ready.

(Actually, I was pretty low at the time, but my wife, who had been watching me work all those “before and after school hours” was ready.  She encouraged me to go for it.)

If you spend an extra 2 hours a day improving your skills, that’s 10 hours of improvement a week.  Add 4 hours on Saturday and you are up to 14 hours a week.  Do this for 50 weeks and you gain 700 hours per year.  It adds up.

You could use those 700 hours to start a new business.  You could do it without quitting your present job.  You could become a “chicken entrepreneur”.

If you are interested in more practical tips like this one, check out Michael Masterson’s book: The Pledge: You Master Plan for an Abundant Life.