Most people who dream of having their own business start off with the same dilemma. How do I keep paying the bills, get my benefits and maintain my security? The day job is essential to maintaining a lifestyle, while seemingly standing in the way of the dream. Get up at 6am, commute to work, work hard all day, then another long commute home. The reality is that the day job doesn’t need to stop you from doing anything. It’s all about how badly you want it.
The Second Work Day
Before starting my own company, I worked a corporate IT job. As my goal became to do my own thing, and the opportunities arose, I had to make that same decision most of you may face. My solution was that when I got home at 6pm, my second work day began. If I could work the day job from 9-5pm, I could work my dream job until 2am. On the way home, I’d pick up dinner, and by 6pm I was sitting down at my computer getting ready for work.
I know that isn’t practical for everyone. Maybe you have kids. Maybe your spouse doesn’t want to not see you for days at a time. Your friends, your family, your hobbies, all want and deserve your time and attention.
How bad do you want it?
Most people you follow online who are creating businesses, becoming social media entrepreneur celebrities, or just not working the typical nine to five, gave up everything to get there. Sure, you might be able to give up TV. Maybe those hobbies can wait for another time. You might be ok with eating on the run, instead of a nice sit-down meal. But, can you give up your friends, or your family? Can you put relationships on hold?
And it doesn’t end once the second job becomes so successful that you can give up the day job. When that happens, you immediately go into a whole new mode. Now you’re making up for that lost income, now the fear kicks in that the safety net is gone. It’s real. It’s serious, and it’s long-term.
Be Honest About What You Want…
If you’re just looking for a side-hustle, or a fun hobby for a few extra dollars, this isn’t for you. This is for everyone who’s talking about wanting to have their own business, work for themselves, live the dream, be the entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone. It’s probably not for most people, really. This isn’t a criticism. There are lots of people tremendously successful and happy building corporate careers. If you want to do something on your own, though, you have to be real about the sacrifices.
…and What You Give Up
The reality is that the day job or the commute isn’t the reason you don’t have time to build your own thing. It’s the priorities that you have after you get home, when you don’t want to get up early on the weekends. It’s hearing from people “I know you’re so busy but…” all the time. If you’re going to do it for real, you need to be brutally honest with yourself and what you’re giving up, and if it’s worth what you might get in return. Think about that really hard and if the answer is still yes, then wake up tomorrow morning, go to work, and then start your second day when you get home.