How Day Jobs Help Your Business

By Seneca | Strategy

Nov 01

Day jobs... Amiright?

They cut into the time you could be using to build your own dream, to do the things you know you're called to, to make a bigger difference. Instead of the promised land you're back there baking bricks for Pharoah. Or so it seems....

On one hand it's easy to go "Yeah! I'll quit so I can pour 100% of myself into making this work. No guts no glory!" 

Or you might say "I can't afford to quit, so I'm stuck."

You might even know that it doesn't have to be an either/or situation, but I don't know if you've realized the benefits of working while you're building up your own thing, beyond just the reliable paycheck.

It Keeps You From Compromise

Having your bills covered means you base your decisions on your long term goals rather than making money in the short term. You only take on the right clients, you work with the right partners, you don't jump on anything that comes along out of your financial need. You build your business the way that is aligned with your vision, standards and values.

It Imposes Structure On Your Life.

You set an alarm, you get up and you go. Whether you feel like it or not. When you get home, you have limited time divided into biz/family/self-care, so you make it count. People that have all the time in the world put up with things that steal their time, and lack of structure and self-discipline is a great way to never accomplish anything.

You'll Build Something Lean and Mean.

It has to be. You don't have 50 hours a week to put into it. You'll be forced into a tight little corner where you learn what is effective and how to tighten it down for maximum efficiency.  It forces you to think outside the box of the way things have to be done.  Necessity is the mother of invention and you'll get creative about saving time. 

When you do let go of that day job, you'll be able to have a very comfortable schedule. If you build a business sinking 80 hours a week into it, you'll have to do that or better to sustain it. By figuring out systems and processes to have it work in your spare time, you'll know exactly how much room for growth or new ventures you'll have at quitting time.

You'll Be Able to Reinvest Your Profits.

If you do not need your business income, you can go ahead and buy the right software instead of putting up with a freebie that kinda works but not really, or take that class, or get new equipment. You can set yourself up better to succeed. 

You'll Be Forced To Play To Your Strengths. 

At some point during your growth, you're going have to stop doing everything.. You need to identify what core things need to stay your responsibility, and farm the rest out. Some easy first things to let go of are things a professional should do anyway, like accounting. Things in your personal life are also easy to hire for. You can get someone else to clean, do yard work, change the oil etc. Any repetitive jobs in your business can be next.. The sooner you let go of the things that aren't your forte and concentrate on what is, the stronger your business will be, all the way around.

If you didn't have a day job, you'd be doing it all yourself for a much longer time, and your focus would be increasingly scattered.  

But you need the right day job.

You probably need one in a completely different industry, or you can face burnout.  You also need something that doesn't completely drain you so that you have no ambition to work on your own stuff. The right day job is probably one that you don't mind doing, but isn't all that fulfilling, so that you are burning up to go do your own thing. You'll need that passion to carry you over the many humps of entrepreneurship.  

At the moment, I work 8 hrs a day, 6 days a week. I commute and hour and a half. I run two businesses and I write books. I had assumed I was in the day job just until I got up to the minimum I could live on, then I'd quit and really build my business. That marker came, and God said no to me quitting. So then I thought "Maybe my business paycheck needs to come up even with my day job." And that marker came, and God said no. From there, my business doubled, and I'm starting to see that it was never about the money. I will not be leaving my day job to enslave myself in my own creation, I will be free. 

Image credit © Can Stock Photo / Kurhan