009. Don't Quit Your Day Job... Yet
That day job you hate might be teaching you skills you'll need in your business.
Peek around on Pinterest or any "soloprenuer" blog and you'll probably run into the phrase "Quit your day job" somewhere within 30 seconds. That's the dream, right? Hustle now, so you can live the American dream. Start your own business in your basement and grow it until it becomes your full-time gig?
We all probably want some form of that idea, but too often, we're told to make the leap and not often enough are we told to wait. Today we're going to talk about the advantages of waiting and why you shouldn't quit your day job... yet.
In 2015 my business was growing quick. I finally found my target market, had a great service offering and was growing my list every day. I became obsessed with "make the leap" blog posts and I started reading books about leaving my day job.
Then I read one book that completely changed my outlook on the topic "Quitter by Jon Acuff". It sounded like the perfect book - how and what to do to quit your day job and start your own business. That's exactly what I wanted. As i started reading, though, Acuff introduced an entirely new view on day jobs.
Now, before we go any further into this podcast - I want you to know I 100% recommend "quitter" to any small business owner - even if you've already quit your day job, or if you're 10 years away from quitting. The book will help you appreciate your position so much more than before you read it. That being said, I want to summarize some o f the main ideas and expand on them a little bit to be more specific to us soloprenuers.
01. Your day job is stable.
I'm guessing one of the reasons you might have a day job right now is to supplement your income. Maybe you're not making enough from your biz right now, or maybe you're making plenty one month and zilch the second month. Either way, having a part-time job offers stability that may not be something you can find in your own business right now. That's obvious, right. So you might think - okay well once I have a stable income in my biz, I'll quit. Let's look past income, though.
Right now, you're the boss of your business. You set your hours, you do the work, you get paid and you pay the bills. If you want to hire a VA next week to help with a big project, you can! No problem. You need to update your website branding, you can bust it out in a couple hours next Saturday. Now - let's take away your stable day job and see how those situations change.
You can't afford a VA anymore - or maybe you can, but the budget is much tighter. If you can't afford the bill, you're not dipping into your day-job income, instead, you're dipping into your grocery budget. You want to change your branding, but if you change too much, no one will recognize you - it can result in a loss of sales for a few weeks and suddenly you're skipping date night because you didn't make enough money that month.
Your day job gives you flexibility, not only based on income but also based in growth. You have the ability to make mistakes and try new things in your biz because if it goes belly-up, your family isn't depending on that income.
This is a flexibility that is taken for granted while you have a day job. Use this time to your advantage! Fire clients you can't stand, update your branding on a whim, double your prices. Take this time to experiment and see what works, before you don't have this luxury.
02. The Gap is Smaller than you Think
One of the complaints we hear most often is that your day job isn't your "dream job". I have a bit of bad news for you. You probably will never work your dream job. My dream job is to hop around on the moon - but I am terrified of small spaces, not smart enough to become an astronaut and do not have the proper talents to do such a job, even if it did exist. Your dream job needs to be put aside and you need a goal job instead.
My goal job is to work for myself from my home, where I spend 10 hours a week on work and the other 158 hours spending time with my family, traveling and learning new skills. This is obtainable, something I can work towards and a job I actually have the skills to do. Make a goal job. Now, look at your day job in comparison to THAT.
The gap between your day job and your goal job isn't as wide as you might think. Look at the lessons your learning in your day job that can translate to your side-hustle. Are you learning about customer service at your restaurant gig? That can translate into better relationships with your clients. Are you doing data entry or answering emails - ding ding ding, you'll need to do that in your business too.
Start looking for similar tasks in your day job and side hustle and start to improve on them. Find ways to speed up email management. Find great customer service tools that you can use in both jobs. Find a task-management system that works for your day job and a side hustle. Start looking for a connection in your two worlds and soon, you won't be able to stop finding similarities.
On top of those connections, there are general skills like patience, dedication, hustle and time management that you can learn in ANY job. These are skills you can always improve on no matter where you are.
03. You can achieve a lot in 3 hours a day
When I wanted to quit my job, it wasn't because I was making too much money or that I was feeling overwhelmed. I just wanted more time to work on my business. But, like Tim Ferris explains in 4 hour workweek - if you're given 15 hours to do work, you'll fill those 15 hours with busy work.
If you're given 2 hours to complete a project, you'll probably get it done. One of the best reasons to stay at your day job is because it FORCES you to use your time wisely. It's easy to procrastinate if you have spare time, but if you only have one day to get a blog post written, odds are - you'll get it written.
You can achieve a TON of work in only a few hours each day. There's an entire community built on that idea. But you have to do the work first. If you supplement your income in your day job for awhile, you'll begin to learn how to effectively use time. Then, when that wonderful day does come to quit your day job - you'll be able to replace the time spent at work with vacation, family and fun instead of more hustle.
I hope you'll consider reading "Quitter" if you need some more convincing. Or check out the "3 DAY WORKWEEK" workshop in October for more ideas on making more money with less time.