Are you thinking of starting a business or something on your own but you have a busy full time job that demands a ton of your time and attention?
I get it. I started Work Bigger while working full time at the largest news organization in the world. It’s a lot of work, but honestly I’m so grateful for it.
Starting a business while you already have a full time gig and massive life responsibilities (I’m also a mom) forces you to build discipline.
You learn to cut out the bullshit, whether that’s the negative talk in your head, the incessant Facebook checking or any unnecessary drama in your life.
Though we often frown upon constraints, I believe constraints are actually our greatest gifts. They push us toward simplification, growth, and learning. You see what’s really possible and what you’re capable of.
But it doesn’t happen overnight.
Today I’m thrilled to interview Amanda Sigcha, Founder of Fargo’s Dog Co. and a graduate of the Work Bigger Program.
Amanda launched her mission-driven business just a few days ago. She’s also working full time.
In this interview, Amanda shares:
- Some of the biggest challenges she’s facing as an entrepreneur and what she does to push past her roadblocks,
- Hacks on how to get things done, and
- Her go-to resources for success.
If you’re thinking of starting ANY project but feel strapped for time and resources, this interview is for you.
Hi Amanda! Give us some background. Where are you from, and where did you start out?
I was born and raised in the Lower East Side of New York City. As a first generation college graduate, I studied business management because I wanted to start a sneaker line. Although I never started my sneaker line, I have held a very successful career as a research analyst.
What is your mission, the work you want to do?
I want to foster compassion by providing inclusive and enjoyable experiences for dogs and their parents.
What led you there? Can you recall any experiences you had that pushed you to your mission?
Adopting my dog, Fargo, has really changed my life.
As a dog parent to a “pitbull”, I’ve been turned away from several places based solely on his appearance.
There are also very few dog-friendly places that allow you to bring your dog indoors. During the winter months, Fargo and I have very few options of dog-friendly places that we can visit. Fargo’s Dog Co. is meant to fill this need that parents like me experience on a daily basis. After all, no dog parent wants to leave their pup behind if given options.
What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome these challenges?
Fargo’s Dog Co. is my side-hustle so devoting the amount of time that I would like to growing it is a constant struggle. To overcome this, I remind myself that this period is temporary, and I strive to do my best every single day.
I plan out my week in advance based on the goals I want to crush that week. So everyday, I have a specific set of to do items that I would like to complete.
Before setting weekly goals, my to do list was extremely overwhelming so instead of focusing on tackling my goals, I was stuck in overwhelm because I felt like I needed to get everything on my long list done.
Breaking down my to do list into weekly tasks gives me the flexibility to allocate a specific time to each goal.
For example, a weekly goal could be to get a specific section of my business plan done. Based on my full-time job, I would assign specific days that I would work on that goal for 1 to 2 hours a night.
This would give me the flexibility to keep certain nights dedicated to other personal goals like self-care, family-time, etc. and still crush the goal by the end of the week.
What are some hacks or tactics that you employ to help drive your success?
Establishing relationships with other entrepreneurs has been key. It’s motivating and nice to have other people that you can bounce ideas off of.
Belma, you also taught me to use my mission as my anchor. Anytime I’m having a rough day, I remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and that’s all I need to refocus.
I have also learned to seek out and take advantage of free resources like the small business administration.
And my go-to networks include:
- Work Bigger: These amazing women are so talented, determined, and extremely supportive. I’m extremely grateful to be a part of a group that’s so mission driven – it’s inspiring.
- My support system, which is my family. It seems so basic but they motivate me to dream and take action.
At Work Bigger, one of our goals is to build creativity among readers and community members. We know this is a key skill required to thrive in the future of work. Can you share your definition of creativity?
Most of my time is spent thinking analytically so my definition of creativity is thinking outside of that analytical mindset. It’s uncomfortable because I have to dig deep but sometimes this is when I create my best work.
What are your favorite go-to resources or experiences to help you build your creativity?
A pen and a paper. I really enjoy writing and mapping my thoughts. Design thinking is how I begin my creative process. Once I’m in a creative flow, It’s hard to get me out of that zone.
Can you share a time when used creativity to solve a problem?
Absolutely! When I was feeling stuck in my career, I used design thinking to outline other potential opportunities where I might feel more fulfilled. I also outlined action steps that could help me figure out which opportunity best suited me.
What advice do you have for 20 to 30-somethings who want to make an impact through their work but are currently feeling stuck?
You’re not alone. Find the right opportunities for networking and mentorship. Having a solid network and mentors who you can trust and confide in has been instrumental to finding clarity on my mission.
Now we’d love to hear from you! Are you thinking of launching a side project but feel constrained by other responsibilities? What’s one thing you can do right now to put your idea into action?