Most people see their day jobs as prisons to escape from; a ball and chain around your ankle you dream to one day break free from.
If you hate your day job, it’s probably far from anything you would consider an asset or a gift. But what if it could be a tool to help you create your freedom business? What if seeing your job as something to escape from was actually keeping you trapped?
It’s easy to see your job as a means to an end. It’s just something to keep you afloat while you work on your real dream. Just a grind you deal with so you can use the rest of your time doing what you really want to do.
I think this is a short-sighted approach. Your job doesn’t have to be just a cage you want to break free from. When you view it in that way, I think it actually keeps you stuck.
When I was working at my day job, I would often commiserate and complain about how much I loathed it and dreamed of the day when I could finally say goodbye to it for good. Even though I was doing work that I kind of enjoyed, there were many things that frustrated me immensely.
Just to name a few…
- I didn’t like being told what to do (I think all entrepreneurs have some amount of control issues).
- I didn’t like being constrained to a schedule not determined by me.
- I didn’t particularly enjoy working with some of the people at my job. (Okay, some of them I couldn’t stand.)
But guess what? Complaining about those things only made me more attached to what I didn’t want. The more I brooded about my predicament, the harder it was for me create what I really wanted: working for myself and being in control of how I spent my time.
The more I resisted my current situation, the harder it was for me to move away from it. Rather than pushing against it, I needed to be like water crashing against a rock, completely submitting and therefore penetrating it. By not resisting the rock, the water can transform it over time into sand.
I eventually realized that I needed to stop resisting and work with what was supposedly holding me back. I had to turn my adversary into an ally.
How I turned my greatest nemesis into my greatest ally
The first step — like most things — for me started with changing my mindset. Rather than seeing my job as evil and despising it every waking minute, I started to try viewing it in a more positive light.
After all, when I thought about it, it provided we with a lot of nice things. It helped give me a stable income while I worked toward building my own business. It allowed me to hone valuable skills that I would eventually use when publishing my first ebook — like learning how to use InDesign. It also helped me to be humble. I had to accept that while this wasn’t my dream job, it wasn’t that bad; there are a lot of other people that have it worse.
I had to remember, too, that while there was a huge gap between where I wanted to go and where I was now, the people I admired worked extremely hard to get there. It’s easy to be jealous when you see people skyrocket to success and fame over night. But rarely is it that simple or that glamorous. What you don’t see is the years of work that led up to the delicious fruits of their hard labor.
My day job also taught me how to be patient. When you’re working towards creating your own freedom, rarely do you see the yields of your efforts instantaneously. Building a business is more like farming than hunting. You till your beds, you plant your crops, and cultivate them for weeks or months before you ever reap the rewards.
Building a business while working for someone else taught me a lot about having patience and faith that this was all going to pay off eventually.
Starting to make the transition
Once I started seeing my job as a gift, I began to look for ways that it could help me achieve my ultimate goal of leaving it. I began to see it as a nest preparing me for flight and I looked for all the ways it could help me start training for the day I would finally spread my wings.
One of the greatest benefits of my job was how relaxed they were about “face time” and how much time you spent at your desk. Their main concern was that you got your work done and that it was done well. Because of that, I found ways to optimize and streamline my work to be able to finish it in about 60% of the time it was supposed to take.
A lot of the work I did was recurring and predictable which presented a lot of opportunities for optimization. Prior to my being there, there were little or no processes in place for most tasks, and the ones that were there were inefficient. By creating really clear steps for each task and set of tasks within various projects, I was able to cut out a lot of the fat from my work day.
I also found ways to automate certain parts of my work. One example was a part of my job that required printing of certificates after they were awarded to an employee. Normally these were all input by hand, but I found a way to create a database of all the employees, and through a quick search and select, had the program insert all the data into the certificate and print it automatically.
Little things like that might not seem like much, but over the course of weeks or months they start to add up.
Of course I was fueled by an urgent motivation. Any time I could save or optimize could be applied to the business I was working to build. And I wanted this, badly.
With any “free time” I had I would work on a blog post, network, or do something to improve my website. Sometimes that was at lunch, other days I would finish my day job work early and cram in as much work as I could on my legacy work before leaving for the day. Because my employer was concerned with performance and not churning, they were absolutely okay with me working on personal projects as long as my core work didn’t falter.
Each day working on my freedom business added up slowly and contributed to my ultimate goal of working for myself. Step by step, I got closer and closer to the summit.
Final preparations for the leap
While reframing my mindset and optimizing my work helped, I knew it could only bring me so far. If I really wanted to make this transformation happen, I had to get out of the nest and start stretching my wings.
In order to do that, I had to do two things:
- I needed to build a safety net of savings my wife and I could fall back on in case things went south after I quit my job.
- I needed to create more time for the business in order to really gain some serious momentum.
Because my wife and I had always lived within our means and were pretty frugal, our expenses were fairly low. We didn’t have a car payment or any debt at the time, and were able to live on about $2,000-$2,500 a month. We felt pretty good about having three months of expenses in savings before I took the leap, so we set a goal of $7,500 for our quitting fund.
Strangely, the more our savings grew, the more I found myself thankful for my job. It was literally funding my freedom. Without it, I couldn’t achieve my dreams.
As our savings grew, I began formulating a plan to modify my work schedule. Most people don’t think that their work is very flexible and that there’s no way they could work from home two days a week, or move from a 40 hour a week to a 20 or 30 hour a week schedule. I’ve asked a lot of these people if they’ve ever considered asking their employer to work from home or change their schedule and the answer is usually “No.”
I’m always surprised to hear this. I think we make way too many assumptions about how flexible our day jobs really are.
So, here’s an idea: Create a proposal talking about what exactly you want out of your work and how you want to customize it. That might mean working four instead of five days a week, or working from home more often. Whatever it is, craft a pitch to your boss and talk about all the reasons why this is going to benefit them.
That’s what I did. I talked to my boss about how they were going to save money with me only working four days a week and how I was going to be even more focused and effective when I was there.
And guess what? They were totally fine with it. I was nervous and thought it wouldn’t work, but it did.
Working only four days a week at my day job allowed me the time and focus I needed to really build momentum with my dream job the remaining three days of the week. It gave me the time I needed to launch my first product and create a job replacement income from my business.
You can use your day job as a springboard, too
If you’ve been hating your job and feel trapped by it, I get it. I really do. It’s not easy.
It’s not fun feeling like someone else is renting out your mind for 40-60 hours a week. It’s not easy when you can’t stand the people you didn’t choose to work with.
But, in the meantime, why not accept and even appreciate what you have now? It may not be where you ultimately want to be, but why not use it as a vehicle for helping you get there, rather than a ball and chain that’s keeping you stuck?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever felt trapped by your day job? What did you do to change how you felt about it?
very timely post for me. I’m in a day job to try to stabilize while i work on aligning myself to my greater vision (I don’t like to say that I hustle; I align). I had this crazy idea of quitting now and stalking WDS even though I have no savings. My life can be extremely frugal since I live in the Philippines and can live under $1000 a month. I could sell more crap… It’d be gutsy, bold. But then Reason and Logic come in and tell me I should stick it out longer.. I’m just trying to figure out when the “right” time to quit is.. and having a hard time doing so. I think it does involve saving some money first though.. I’d say at least $2,000 and consistently bringing in more money in freelance each month than my dayjob pays! I’m almost there. This is my *best* month so far and I KNOW this is an upward trend. Thanks for the insightful post.. I’ve heard this before but its so hard to enjoy the dayjob sometimes. I know its a mindset shift and I just need to ‘love’ it more instead of hating it. The solution to Love what we do, no matter what, will help us dissolve it and transcend.
@JanetBrent Glad that things are trending upward for you Janet. You definitely deserve to be successful.
I like that this article talks about ‘Attitude’ first and action second because that’s where I am right now. I enjoy several parts of what I do in my day job else I would have quit long ago. But I also want to do my own thing simply to have a vibrant legacy to leave for my son. I hate to admit it but I am not fired enough yet.
There is much more on this subject in the book “Quitter.” It’s a really good book about how to enjoy your job until you find the right time to quit it.
@tiffanylynnyoung That’s a great book Tiffany. Jon has a lot of wisdom to share on this topic.
This is a very timely post for me! After quitting my job as a city lawyer 3 years ago and then falling apart as I realised I didn’t know what to do, I have been temping in the same company for the last 9 months. I’ve gone from lawyer to PA and it has really challenged my ego. After doing lots of work on myself, I’m now mentally ready to go at it alone but perhaps not financially. It can seem like a real cop out to stick with your job and actually save money so you have that safety net, but your post has reminded me that this can be a worthwhile thing.For me, setting proper deadlines is the way forward. IE once you’ve decided on your nest-egg then quit when you have it. Don’t get sucked in. Also, using the working experience to learn more skills. What courses would they pay for you to go on? What know-how can you learn? Which of your employers can mentor you about business skills you might currently be lacking?Mindset is everything. I just need to pluck up the courage to discuss the 4 day week…
@MakeMeJoyful Thanks for sharing your courage and being vulnerable.
Very timely. I’ve been working on my own business back at it after I took a four year break, keeping it running part-time time while I worked a day job. A day job I actually managed as you to complete in 60% with 150% results. I negotiated a good severance and have been trying my way through this business and fllirting with others. Recently I actually considered taking on something part-time in my slow season, something to challenge me more than my schedule that is fairly open and something to help with all the little things that add up when you have your own business, those extra expenses. The grass isn’t greener, it’s hard work and passion. Not to mention the unshakeable belief in something called ‘freedom’. I really appreciated this article as I was feeling like maybe I was ‘selling out’ or losing sight. I was even questioning whether I had an entrepreneurial mind-set! The mind can really take us out. Thank you for giving me the peace of mind that having a job that can actually support my passion does not make me a sell out at all!
@Suprema Sounds like we have something in common!
Great post! may I suggest to you: put an email button on your posts so readers can send them to others. I think you might increase readers 20 – 30% nearly over night.
@faisalxt Great idea. :)
While your post has very valid points, in my situation, my day job is creating excruciating anxiety. It’s not just me, others have said that place is “crazy”. and it’s a big corporate office, so there is no flexibility. No work from home, no part time. I actually am on a medical leave of absence right now because it has made such a negative impact on me. and of course, I don’t want to look for another “day job”. I feel so damn stuck!!!
@sbelle89 When I worked for my last employer, I felt the same and started doing a lot of personal development as I thought I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to leave and find something better or worse, what if the new job wasn’t any better! After I negotiated a severance and took the leap, two of my co-workers (of the 7 employees) filed for mental distress! Before I left one of the partners was diagnosed with a mental illness. Maybe it was contagious! His iratic behaviour was producing a lot of negative energy I’d say. My thoughts are checking out the possibilities of offering your skills through Elance (while your taking a break from the JOB) and networking with others to see what jobs may be available through people you know or join a Meetup group, Meetup.com to meet some new people. When you put the word out, the universe answers. It may take time but there are ways to be in a workplace that supports you rather than makes you feel ‘crazy’! Good Luck!
@sbelle89 I can definitely relate to that feeling! Sometimes it isn’t a matter of working with your job or seeing it in a better light. Sometimes it really is just plain horrible and you need to find something else.
It definitely is a good springboard to doing bigger better things. Cant start at the top.
@Mfleising Gotta work your way up. :)
This is exactly what I needed to hear!
I refer to my ball & chain job as the ‘zombie job’ & while that might not change, I want to make sure my feelings toward it do so that I can catch up to my dreams. I’ve been trying to get to a starting point, but after reading your journey I’m beginning to think that could be what has held me back. I’ll try & find learning experiences each day. Streamline my work so that I can sneak in some extra dreaming.
@apockylypse I think once you start to make this shift in your mindset things will start to open up for you.
Totally awesome and completely agree, the first step is the mindset shift! Once you are in that place of knowing your job is your key to your freedom then other things will start to fall into place. Love that you shared this story!
@LoriLynnSmith Thanks Lori, I’m glad that you were impacted by it.
Loved this one, It’s more or less the same thoughts I used last year to quit my job. that last year was particularly hard, because I didn’t want to be there, but I endured, saved enough cash for me and started to get some freelance designer gigs around the net.
Over 6 months have passed and I feel that year was worth the difficulties, I have a stable business and I’m making all my projects grow in a good sustainable fashion. :)
@EnsoJourney Good for you man, sounds like you’re on the right track.
I love my day job which has let me do far more investing things than I ever dreamed of. My day job enabled me to raise a family, buy a house, and create a nest egg that makes the future not only possible, but likely. Last fall I cut my hours by one day a week. Still get to do the same neat things among the same good people at work, but have a day to spend at home, living the dream. Right now, I have the best of both worlds and I’m loving it!
@fbsnyder Seems like a lot of people here are cutting back their hours at their day jobs, that’s really great to hear.
I love this post. I often find myself getting into a rut and getting tired of my day job, whether it’s my classes at college, my part-time job on campus, or summer internships. It’s easy to get into the grind and forget the larger picture — what I’m going to take from the job, what kind of great experience I can get from working with different people in different positions, etc., etc. I was incredibly nervous about quitting my part-time job in high school, which I’d held for about three years (that’s the longest I’ve ever held a job for…internships certainly don’t last that long!). When I took a step back and looked at the experience, though, I knew that it was time for me to move on (both literally and figuratively; I was ready to pursue internships in my field, and my parents were moving away from the area). Once you realize that it’s perfectly normal to move on in most circumstances, it becomes much easier to see the good and not the bad. Thanks!
@annedreshfield That’s a really great reminder. I think we often get so focused on the micro and being in the trenches that we forget about what we’re doing this for and why it matters.
I love this post because it seems grounded in reality! Thank you. Sometimes the “quit your job, be brave and do your own thing!” seems a bit unrealistic and foolish, especially to those of us with family responsibilities (and possibly lots of debt). This post provides a healthy and positive way of looking at your day job, balanced with how to create a foundation to be able to work toward your dream goal. Personally, I am looking at moving the opposite direction temporarily… My “own thing” hasn’t developed into a large or consistent enough business yet, I believe it will in time, but this just may not be the right time. I am going to continue working on it part time, but in the fall I plan to look for a “day job” to bring in some consistent income, and given a decent work situation, I will be very grateful for that! I think it will take some pressure off, and I will enjoy my “own thing” more, which may just help me develop it better for the long run.
@jennifer2 Yeah, a lot of people are like “Jump and the net will appear!” Well, I’m not that crazy. I like to take very calculated risks.
@jennifer2 Agreed, it seems like a lot of the other bloggers out there telling everyone how to accomplish their dreams must have lived at home with mom and dad when they finally started to see a return on their time investment. I know personally, it would be really hard for me to give up the comfort and stability of my long time job, unless whatever else I was doing started to pay the bills, and the job became a hinderance.
Christine Book says
I have dropped down to 4 days/wk at my job and am considering working only 3 days. I am blessed in that I have a husband who makes a good income and is very supportive of me..whether I want to work part time at my job or quit and pursue my dream full time. I too was feeling miserable at my job even tho I really like what I do. I am a dog/cat groomer and when I thought about it, I realized I am in a creative line of work. And I get frustrated with my artwork sometimes because I can be impatient and want to get it right the first time. Well I began to be aware at work of how long it took me to learn breed specific grooms and how by doing them over and over and making mistakes is how I learned to get really good. And when I have a difficult dog to groom, I have made myself aware of how I just persevere and keep at it until the dog is finished and looking good. I have applied all this to my pursuing my art career and it has helped me hang in there.
@Christine Book Good for you Christine, that’s a great way to look at it. It’s hard when you’re really awkward in the beginning, but when you stick with it that’s when you start to really get good.
AWESOME POST! I know that I can really relate to several aspects
I have worked for a large grocery chain for most of my life minus several games between now and when I first turned 16 (Im 26 now). Having been at the same company for so long already, I have often felt it was beneath me, or that I couldn’t stand it, etc. Im a college graduate, and a good college at that, but Im still working at the same job as I was since before I graduated High School. I know that I can and should do more, and I know that being the dairy department’s manager isn’t anywhere close to what I want to do with my life. There have been several points in my life where this has led me towards being depressed that Im not where I envisioned in my life, or distraught about the condition of the world, but I was never doing anything about it either. It just felt like I had lost my passion for anything, whereas issues of social justice had once been important to me, I was so disinterested and aloof. Nothing seemed to matter; I felt robotic, programmed to mindlessly carry out menial tasks.
This is why your message of gratitude for what you have and making the most of it in use of getting where you want to go really struck a nerve with me. I am currently off work on temporary disability due to a work related injury. What I originally thought was going to be a speedy recovery has turned out to be incompotent care, unnecessary beaurocratic delays and stress. I recently went over the 4 month mark since my last day worked, still with no prospects of a return date on the horizon. The unfamiliarity of inactivity, the pain, and the feelings of worthlessness it causes from time to time sometimes dominate my being. Instead of being a positive force, giving off nothing but negativity directed both inward and outward, pushing anything and everything away.
The whole experience has definitely given me a heightened sense of humility, and gratitude, but also focus. I know that as much as I hate it sometimes, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do right now just to go back to work and see my friends there (both co-worker and customers). It makes me feel foolish to think about how childish and selfish my view of work was, especially considering the economic struggles many have to go through without a job at all. While it would be easy to throw a pity party, and Im sad to say I sometimes do, I know that this has been an amazing opportunity for me to re-connect with my “youthful” passion for life that had been sorely missed. I am now writing more, reading more, learning more and it has finally put me in the right mindset to start putting myself out there again; applying to schools, and starting a blog, neither of which are any small accomplishment (for me).
Thanks Jonathan for that post! Keep livin the dream!
It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a day job, and sometimes I really miss it. The camaraderie, paid for seminars, introductions to topics I would have number thought to discuss (often in the lunchroom or while stopping for a chat with the EA of the president of the company) kept my mind fresh & full of possibility. I try to pull as much of that into my daily life (so thankful for social media), but it’s not quite the same as seeing people in real life every single day. Yeah! Finding a way to blend entrepreneurship with a secure day job seems to really have it’s appeal right now. Thanks for this post!
Teresa Capaldo says
I had to stop reading at this line to comment and soak it in. It is a brilliant metaphor.
Rather than pushing against it, I needed to be like water crashing against a rock, completely submitting and therefore penetrating it. ((((By not resisting the rock, the water can transform it over time into sand.))))
That is such a beautiful piece to carry forward. If we accept our lives as such in the here and now and not spend time wishing we were elsewhere, you are right, we better serve our desired dream work life and ultimate goals.
Your posts are on my hot list this week and it’s only Tuesday!
Keep them burnin’ and thank you!
@Teresa Capaldo Thanks for showing up here Teresa. I’m glad this resonated with you.
Beautifully written post Jonathon. I loved hearing your story. Thankyou for sharing. x
Sorry. Didn’t mean to spell your name wrong. oops! Jacs x
Feeling trapped for sure. The best way I can describe it is it feels like a prison. No escape! Actually, this post is really relevant to me right now. Thanks for sharing Jonathan.
I can totally relate to this one. Thankfully, I really love my job – I’m a receptionist with very little actual work to do, my boss giggles with me all day long and is cool with me working on my blog. Still not diggin’ the lack of control over my time, though, so I’ve been obsessed lately with becoming self-employed asap. Your post put it into perspective for me – it usually takes time to do that, and lucky for me, I’ve got nothin’ BUT time at this job. I really should be taking more advantage of it. So I have to be here from 1-7:30 (big deal) – most of those hours I can use to work towards my dream.
Side note: I feel totally rude for shortening your name. Sorry Jonathan!
Steve - Public Speaking Secrets says
This issue brings up a lot of the same common principles as others.
-Make a solid plan – When you can see your time at your day job in context of a larger strategy it makes it easier to take
-Communicate in a healthy way with the others involved – You did this when you talked to your bosses about changing your schedule.
-Remember that doing your best is all you can do – Make your plan, ask for what you’d like in the healthiest way you can and then just know you will have the optimal situation even if it’s not ideal.
I completely agree with not resisting your current situation. I detested my last job for many reasons. The more I dwelled on all those reasons, the more my life sucked and the more stuck I felt. I tried negotiating different kinds of flexibility with my boss but he was completely incapable of thinking outside of his incredibly small box.
As soon as I simply accepted my situation and felt gratitude for its benefits, I was much happier and things started to change in the right direction. A couple months after accepting my situation I was offered a much better job for the same pay working completely from home and with significantly fewer hours. Now I have tons of time to work on my business while I still have a salary coming in. And I love the people I’m working with.
Complete acceptance is the key to making any change. Acceptance does not mean being a door mat. It means acknowledging where you are now in order to feel good about making plans and taking action to move forward. Without acceptance, we remain mired in the muck we hate.
this is probably you’re most real-world applicable/realistic post ever. using and seeing your job as a springboard to the long term goal. a necessary evil, but more so, a tool that is working toward the end goal.
I wish I had read this a year ago… I was in that exact situation, breezing through tasks without challenge and hating my position within the company (“How is it possible that I haven’t been promoted yet?!). Sadly, I chose to leave for another company where the position wasn’t at all what was offered to me and I quit and was unemployed for quite some time. Now, I’m starting my own marketing consulting business and am finally happy. Scared, but happy!
Great post as I’m currently struggling to keep my sanity at my day job. I left the hustle (100 hr weeks, 3hr/day commutes) of the private sector 1.5 years ago, and took a job with the govt as I knew it would be a much better work-life balance and ultimately allow me to pursue my passion of creating web apps. While the time to do so hasn’t been an issue, my daily dealing with colleagues is dreadful…everyone is so negative and hates their jobs, so all they do is complain. I do my best to ignore it, but its hard when its in your face 8 hours a day…it saps a lot of the energy I want to direct towards my own pursuits, so when I come home I feel miserable (and then don’t want to go in in the mornings.) The thing is, you can’t beat the benefits, so its a rock and a hard place for now as no other job would provide me the time I need, so I’m doing my best to stay afloat. If anyone has any tips on how to essentially avoid all people in the workplace I’m all ears.
@ShawnArnwine I wear headphones for as long as my ears can tolerate them being on my head. :-D It cuts down on how much of the negativity I have to listen to in any given day. I smile and be as pleasant as I can be when engaging becomes necessary, but seldomly do I receive it in return. I’ve found I had to learn not to take anything personally. That has helped my mindset. My biggest challenge lately is focusing on getting any work done at all, because its so engaged on what I’d rather be doing. And I have to confess I’ve been spending a lot of time at work listening to webinars and mentorship phone calls or writing a blog post in a very small Word window I can quickly and easily click away from and hide behind my other open programs if somebody approaches my cubicle. I’m definitely forgetting the bigger picture that I NEED this job to pay the bills until the dream business is off the ground earning an income that can replace the day job.
@SittingTurtle I’m also a fan of the headphones while at work – not that I don’t like my coworkers, but it does allow you to get in the zone and actually get stuff done.
*delurks* Im CONVINCED you wrote this for me. Thank you.
@TamaraP79 Thanks for delurking, hope you’ll do it more often. :)
I’ve never thought of it this way before. I suppose I’ve never considered the possibility that the more I’m negative about my job the more it will keep me stuck in it. Didn’t even realise I was doing it – and here’s me convincing myself I’m quitting my day job positively! Thanks for the different angle Jonathan – always enjoy your posts.
This post has single-handedly made me rethink how I’m currently showing up to my day job. So grateful for the inspiration to reframe my experience. I love seeing the personal aspects of how you struck out on your own – super helpful!
This is a very honest and real post. Money is an important issue to address and all too often people try to act like it isn’t. I really like the approach of slowly transitioning from a traditional 9 to 5 esque job to part time to completely on your own all the while, building your business on the side.
I think this is powerful because when you are running your own business you need all your creative juices. If you spend all your time worried about financial constraints it really limits creativity. But in making an intelligent transition it allows the brain to sift through potential problems and then identify solutions.
I have saved up a lot of money from my 2 previous jobs. I live in Japan right now and will be leaving my current job at the end of this month. I want to move to Kyoto, train in martial arts, work part time, and spend the remaining time on building my own business via my blog.
I like reading posts like this because it shows it can happen.
Sorry I’m a little late to the party. I first read this at work – FANTASTIC post! I knew I wanted to take a little time to craft my response. Thanks for the best summary I have seen on how resistance keeps us stuck!
I have always liked my job, which is a good thing, because I have had a side business (music teaching studio) for almost 8 years now. I made some financial mistakes in the early years and ironically became more dependent on my full-time job as a result. It is a good thing I kept the accepting attitude, even though my job wasn’t always ideal, because it took me a while to pay off all the debt I incurred. But that time also allowed me to discover what I was really good at and how I can best serve my clients. Now I have clarity and confidence I never would have had if not for that experience.
For a while I got comfortable working 2 careers as I paid off the debt. But in the end, we all have to make the decision to leap and I’m doing that now. Can’t wait!
People often assume that the reason we start side businesses is because we hate our day jobs. This wasn’t the case for me. I liked what I did, I just love music and entrepreneurship much more! And my job absolutely funded my passions. I’ll always be grateful for that.
We’re not light switches that can turn on and off so quickly. If we spend our day times hating every minute, it will be hard if not impossible to be at our best on the evenings and weekends. Some situations are just bad, they can’t be covered over with happy paint. But you are right, look for the flexibility, because most of us have some breathing room we can create. Push the boundaries a little, and stay focused on what’s most important. It will happen!
Marvin Fontanilla says
Great post Jonathan. I too have turned my job into my biggest ally. I’ll be writing about it on my blog soon as well.
I decided one day that I was going to deliver so much value to the company I worked for, that they would be forced to work around my terms as opposed to theirs. I told a few people about my plan and they scoffed at the absurdity of it.
Three months later, I no longer have to go to the office and I can work anytime & anywhere I want to.
The next step is to figure out how to be Paid to Exist. Cheers buddy. (BTW, love the trailer)
As always, this is a great and insightful, post, Jonathan. I recently just took a full-time position and have been on choppy waters emotionally about it – how to reconcile it with my artistic work, my ever-growing desire to freelance full-time and work for myself, and my needs. I am glad that you articulated how looking at one’s job as a path to freedom can be liberating and motivating. I took the job with a clear idea of how it will lead to freedom financially to grow my personal brand and live as a full-time creative artist. I also chose a receptionist-style position that I knew would allow time within the work day to journal, work on my blog, do songwriting exercises and research outlets for more creative work. Day to day, I struggle to hold back tears when I battle feelings of failure as an artist or freelancer, feelings of inadequacy financially, and feelings of resistance to not creating my own schedule. But you reminded me that using this job as a tool will help me fight those things victoriously and even phase some of them out.
I’m finally ready to make it work for me and keep fine-tuning my plan and timeline to make a smooth exit when the time is right. It seems insurmountable often, but I can see that so many others have done it before me, so I will do it, too.
I don’t hate my job, but I’m finding less and less value in what I do. I don’t want to quit, but I want to find what I need to move forward. To write without limitation, to design, and to pursue a life that’s more than a few hours before sleep at the end of the day. What am I going to do? I’m going to keep writing, but for myself, so I don’t feel pressured and I won’t forget how or at least learn to grow creatively. I’m going to keep working, but I’m going to look for the more meaningful projects or move to a company with more of a mission.
I have this overbearing feeling that nothing I do is right, and so where I am and what I’m doing feels more and more like a safety net, so I don’t feel like I can leave yet.
Nice post, it really resonates with some thoughts I’ve had lately about “trying too hard”. We push and fight and try to influence the change we want to see — meanwhile the lack of real results and the griping about it becomes habitual – focusing all our attention on the roadblocks that we can’t change, and missing the real opportunities. The situation really is a gift, just as you described, and by changing my perspective just a little, I can be happy with that. Especially when I see the value of the experience and what I can build on it. Thanks.
Peter Bryenton says
I cut my day job’s working week to three days in a row. My earnings, although 40% lower, keep me debt-free. I reduced my expenditure by downsizing and de-cluttering. The “off duty” four days give me a positive work-life balance. The time and energy saved becomes “disposable”, allowing me freedom to choose projects which uplift me.
I guess you’re right here! Some days it’s easier said than done, but I guess I’m on the right track working my day job only 3 days a week… And I really notice my productivity is much higher on days I don’t complain about that job, or cold and rainy weather, or anything for that matter.
Orling Dominguez says
Thanks for this post Jonathan. I am new to your site, have just been reading it for about a week and find it very useful. I also have a day job that helps me to not “prostitute” my art. What I mean is that I don’t feel the preasure of having to create commercial art to sell and bring food to my table and I can pAint what I really want to. Good part my day job is link directly to the art field, so as you mention, is bout finding the positive parts to make it work towards the main goal of funding your liberty. Thanks for the post!!!!
I used to feel that way with my previous job, however right now I have no problem with my current job. I understand that it is a stepping stone for my dreams and as such I don’t laothe it. I can give it 100% energy and stay positive all day. Also, like you mentioned I can even optimize certain tasks and fit in some of my own training for the future without comprimisng the job itself.
I also find that just having the job and being able to say that I’m doing something from 8 to 5 allows me to quiet all the chatter in my head that would make me feel guilty and reliant on others if I were not working.
I used to feel that way with my previous job, however right now I have no problem with my current job. I understand that it is a stepping stone for my dreams and as such I don’t laothe it. I can give it 100% energy and stay positive all day. Also, like you mentioned I can even optimize certain tasks and fit in some of my own training for the future without comprimisng the job itself.
I also find that just having the job and being able to say that I’m doing something from 8 to 5 allows me to quiet all the chatter in my head that would make me feel guilty and reliant on others if I were not working.
Great post. I currently write for a marketing and advertising research firm. Love writing. Hate doing it for the benefit of multinationals. But I’m focussed on learning as much as I can so I can move forward with my passion which is helping individuals and home-businesses market and communicate successfully.
Thanks Jonathan. I see work now more of a way to hone skills in different areas and pay my way to starting my own business. For example, although I fully intend to start my own business as soon as possible, I am searching for a new job in a sector which will give me more skills in the area I want to start my business in.
I remember commenting to a woman in a business coaching group I was part of that while my job wasn’t horrible or anything, I couldn’t stand it because I felt like I was losing my life doing something that made no real difference to anyone and that didn’t connect with my heart; in fact, it required me to shut down as much as possible because of all the extremely negative people I was surrounded by. I literally felt the passage of hours on the clock as if I was bleeding out.
This wonderful woman asked the same question you posed here – how can you change that mindset so rather than focusing energy on what you don’t want, it can help you move towards your goal of your own business? The question surprised me because it hadn’t occurred to me that that was possible and that I was keeping myself stuck by being so hateful towards my job.
I sat with that awhile and an image came to mind – a butterfly’s life cycle. I realized while I had this job, I had some time and money to apply to learning and growth, to get myself to where I could take off into a new way of doing things, approaching things, in my life and in business. I now call time spent at my job my Chrysalis period. The shift in my energy has been huge as a result. No longer do I come home feeling too drained to do the basics, much less face the challenge of building a business.
Thanks so much for his encouraging post. I’ve been traveling along the EXACT same path and I’m currently at the stage where i’m looking for more flexibility and freedom at work. I had brought up the idea of working from home in a casual conversation but it was shut down. I know I can make a convincing argument on my productivity and work quality improving but I need your help. What were your reasons on why/how this was going to benefit them? And how was your absence saving them money?
Thanks so much for being an inspiration and for sharing your journey with the world x
Joe & Yvette says
This is precisely our plan for our third leap from “stability”…while the first two were quick emotionally driven decisions, they paved the path which led us to where we are today. Out of debt with savings & location-independent skills accumulating.
Use what you have been given to build your boat, sew your sails, buy your maps/charts, then go. ;)
Deauna Gibbs says
This is so timely! Just yesterday I went to the SBA in our area and the advisor first didn’t listen to my idea and literally told me I needed to ‘find a job I would enjoy at a Fortune 500 company’. I realized that not all counselors at for entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs themselves or have a limited scope of what will and won’t be successful.
Earlier this week, I had the epiphany of making my job my friend too. I became so frustrated because I literally can complete all of my scheduled work in one hour Monday through Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays are basically free days for me to do whatever I need. Instead of complaining, I started using some of the tips from another PTE article and made that time work for me. I also decided to start asking for more work in line with the skills I want to improve versus what my job function ACTUALLY is. My coworker was more than happy to turn over some projects. Our company offers online training for Adobe Creative Suite software that I am learning as well. These skills will be invaluable when I launch my own business.
I like the practicality of this post and have certainly felt trapped in a job. I work in what my community considers a “good” and “stable” job and being the dreamer that I am, who often isn’t sure how to follow through on much of anything without having a serious reason, it is often disheartening to share my dream of singing for the world with all of these sensible people. So in the past, my dream meanderings have been met with words like “yeah, but you ‘d have to be crazy to quit”. The thing I hadn’t yet realized then was that there’s a journey between here and there, so you’re right, you can’t just up and quit, but taking the natural steps to quit provides a safer way to reach my dreams. Some of the steps I’ve taken have been to show up at lots of open mic events, go on auditions, start looking for ways to get out there. The Universe keeps showing up with one way after another – like putting Paid to Exist in my path one day when i was looking for more ideas.
Great Post. I have found that I am much more happy at my day job (a job that I don’t want to be at) when I accept I am there now but have the power to make a change. This leads me to being more productive out of work and work on projects more easily. With a negative attitude, I shut down these resources, most importantly the energy to get what I need done outside of work.
I’m really grateful for this post. I’ve been pondering how to cut back on my hours and what you told your boss is a helpful template.
I plan on optimizing more processes at work (the busier you are, the less bored you are) and then making the case for cutting down 5-10 hours. I get the feeling that my boss will try to load me down with more stuff to do so we’ll have to see how that goes. No matter what, though, I’m tired of working so hard and not being able to enjoy being outside or having enough money so I don’t have to worry how my partner will major in astrophysics at money-sucking universities. So that’s the beginning of my plan to freedom :)
Elizabeth Kirk says
I am going to view my circumstancesdifferently. I am also going to overview the backpack that I think yyour wife emailed each page to me….thank you both…Iits finally my turn :)’m going to do this…
Very timely post Jonathan – I’m trying to build up a wedding photography business but I’m currently a web developer. I’m struggling to move on due to a combination of fear of failure and resentment of my current situation, but after reading this I’ll be working hard on my gratitude :) Many thanks.
I have felt trapped in many jobs before, but my current job seems to follow the springboard pattern you speak about. They are a small family run, and very relaxed company. No restrictions on internet, flexible during quiet periods. I even think they would be open to working remotely as the industry goes through quiet periods during the summer and after the new year.
As I said before, I’m most productive in the mornings. I get to work a little early and manage to think up and sketch up a lot of ideas before the day begins. As most people trundle in, turn on their computers, make a coffee, I’m busy researching and designing new and exciting products for my side business. I often stay in at lunch (while most people go out for an hour or so) to send emails to manufacturers and suppliers.
I’m getting paid a good salary, I never have to stay after 5pm. I work with like minded people who also do freelance work and want to work for themselves eventually. Seems like to perfect place to build my side business and I’m confident I will hit my “I quit”date next year!
Nice read! Would’ve been even more effective if I’d read it a few years back when I had a day job, surprisingly it was the only job I ever had before starting my own business. I had a good ride for 9 years and enjoyed every day of it. But eventually I burned out, lost interest and was low on enthusiasm (mostly due to the jacka**es I had to deal with everyday). Spent the last year doing some soul-searching, trying to find a new direction to apply my knowledge and experience, find a place where I can create value and be appreciated for it. For me, the new era began when I came across Paid To Exist. It felt sincere, powerful and it resonated with how I felt at that moment. Here I am now at the beginning of my path, looking forward to blazing my own trail, the one that will take me to where I’ve been wanting to be. And I’m getting there on my own terms. Cheers Jonathan!
I was tentatively creating a goal of leaving my job in 6months but I don’t know if I can save enough to live on for three months in that time. I work in restaurant making tips, so I can’t relate the office job scenario anymore and reducing my hours. I could reduce my hours/days at work, choosing to spend more time on my freedom (business), but if I do that I slow down any income I make that could set up that future freedom.
I have days where I loathe serving people, but the hours and atmosphere are far better that some necktie wearing, paper-pushing, brain-drain kind of job. I just realized last night at work while listening to the awesome chill house music being piped in through our sound system and having great conversations with some cool people during some down time that I have a pretty good thing for me right now. The money pays the bills and allows me to save, but my income fluctuates and is unpredictable. I have a system in place to save 10% of all I make…but I just realized I would have to increase that to at least 20% if I wanted to have the kind of padding to quit and live for 3 months. It’s a good head’s up your giving here. I took the plunge and moved to Spain last year without nearly enough to survive before my “dream” came true….and, well, I was living on bread and water and then had go to friends and parents to help me get back home. So, no, I don’t recommend the jump and the net will appear strategy either.
The teacher comes when the student is ready. Thank you.
This is EXACTLY how I’m feeling at the moment with my current job…I hate it. Mainly because i feel like it’s such a waste of time, and life. but yea i totally c hw this mindset is not helping one bit (except for giving me more urgency in effecting change!). i’m currently considering selling (almost) everything & then using the $ from that to live off while i pursue my dream of doing work tht matters to me. The only thing is i don’t own tht many expensive items to begin with..so even if i did sell alot, i’m nt sure it would provide enough for me to get things up & running (?) as things always seem to tk longr than predicted! But..where there’s a will there’s a way :) & i have hope & faith tht if u want smthng bad enough you’ll do whatever it takes to mk it happen. Thx for this post Jonathan, and for re-instilling any momentary faltering belief that living a life doing work you love is possible.
Batya Yaniger says
Your ideas sound awesome and they make a lot of sense to me. There are a couple of things you’re not addressing though, that I’d like to you to address. What do I do, if I can’t save money and can’t take your course because I’m $10,000 in debt, and I can’t use my day job as a platform to build my business because I already quit my day job a year ago (where in any event I was only making about $200 a month)?
My day job is a constant humbling reminder of what I’m meant to do, it makes me more passionate. More committed. Instead of seeing it as a prison I am beginning to see it as the most important catalyst to becoming the person I was born to be. I have committed to getting up two hours earlier every morning before I go to work in order to work on my dream. I have limited myself to 1hr of television and no Facebook in the evenings in order to remain focused.
Sion Cablo says
Why – the emails stopped! The essay rings true for me. I am English and have found a great job in Peru in Tourism. I am learning lots of new things from designing maps with Illustrator, website control using Drupal as well as others. I also write texts for our website (My written English is by far superior to the average Peruvian) and I am designing a reservation system using Filemaker pro. The problem is that I am poor family man with 2 little girls and although I am paid commission for Sales, I struggle financially. I see the amount of profit the company makes – while the tourists pay in US$, the wages are in the weaker Peruvian currency. There is so much greed and corruption here in Peru. So I spend all my time in the office, lining the pockets of the few with gold, when what I really want, is to to be with my girls, doing something to earn money that doesn’t make me feel robbed, of my time and money. My first and biggest goal is to decide what to do. And this is the hardest question of all. But like you I am using my time here in the office to improve my skills. – I have set the date to quit as 1 January 2014. Lets hope I am ready!
Brilliant post! I’m in this situation right now, and its helped me to re-focus my efforts in my job and my side business. I think I’ll be able to streamline my job in order to get more hours for my own work.. Thanks again.
Sue Ann says
I quit one of my day jobs a few months ago in a sincere desire to support myself with my other part time job and make money writing and speaking. I had the rent paid up then.. but no plan. Bottom line.. it’s three months later and I am applying for work again. I realized the hard way that I need a solid, black and white, meat and potatoes plan. While I hate to head back into the conventional workforce, and be forced to squeeze my dream into spare moments, I see that it has to be done. This is a great post.. thank you for sharing.. I wish I would have done it right the first time!
Even though I’m not too sure yet how to earn my living with what I really like (there’s still some you’ren not good enough-fear), I’m working towards quitting my dayjob. In order to give more importance to my own work, I started to get up 2 hours earlier in the morning and do muy own work before I leave for my job. It’s a completely different feeling to get up in the mornings, and there is more energy than after 8 or 9 hours of office work…
Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas of making the time you sell to your dayjob-company more efective for yourself – there can be something done, I’m sure!
Anyway, I think once you fixed a date by when you want to be out of there, everything about the job (the job itself, the ambience, and the people) are easier to cope with, only because you know for yourself that this will be of limited time….
Lee Barton says
I’ve quit my day job three times. I haven’t had savings or a plan–just had IT. Needless to say, it didn’t work out, but it wasn’t all bad. I learned how little I can actually live on and what’s really important to me. However, I’m back to work in a MUCH lower paying job which I actually like. I can stick it out while I save, plan, and get my own projects going. I’ve really profited from your ideas.
RJ Hallsted says
Thanks for this. I really needed the reminder that my day job is the launching pad for my dreams. So now I am going to work on optimizing as much of my work as possible so that I have more time to work on my dream while at my day job.
Great post Jonathan. I love your idea of writing a proposal to work 4 days a week.
I spent years dreaming about working for myself but was too scared to do it. After taking a year’s sabbatical which turned into an 18 month one I went back to London determined not to work for anyone else but me. Even though I’d spent all my savings gallivanting round the world and was returning back to the UK in the middle of a recession I decided to trust the possibility of getting enough work. I did – in fact I earned more and worked less than I ever have in my life. And I am currently writing this from Thailand where I’m working for the next few months. The point is – sometimes we just need to jump. I believe that when we have no choice but to make it work that’s when we focus all our energies and attention in doing so. And that’s when we achieve things we’d previously thought were impossible.
Just what I needed to hear. Very rare to find such a good post that discusses this issue. Thank you!
Vesone Dean says
Like most people have mentioned this is a very timely post for me too, my job is VERY flexible and I actually started in the support department but moved to multi-media specialist because of my love of creating videos (they were actually kind of mad that I was sitting on that skill set).
So now I get to use my job as a ‘lab’ and test out equipment, setting, and techniques to help me grow MotionPixel Lab which is my site where I teach video to entrepreneurs. It’s been a blessing to get the opportunity to work on video at my job because like you said Johnathan it’ll prepare you to do bigger things with your own venture.
Tweeted and +’d
Great article! Thank you very much!
Optimization really makes miracles! It allows you not only to be more efficient, but also more satisfied, and as a result – happier with what you do at the moment. I was in similar situation – I badly wanted to quit my previous job, was very unhappy there, but in the end managed to quit only when I learnt how to be happy also there. Life gives us the lessons and unless we finish them, the lesson won’t end or might repeat again.
Good luck to everyone and also to myself! ;)
Thanks for the post and insights. I’m currently between contracts, balanced between not knowing yet what I want to do, needing and wanting to do something different, and the practical reality that I have to do something in the short term to pay the bills. This has given me a lot to think about.
Nice post, I love the way you blog (write). From the concept of the blog, the way you present it (having the backpack and the “camper” kind of theme) to the way you encourage your subscribers to converse/interact with you. I look forward for more informative and interesting posts!
NoahDavid Lein says
What about teachers? The pressures and demands on teachers can be very inflexible. How do we make our jobs a springboard or motivation when they only demand more and more?
I think this post is such an important concept for people who want to be free because as you said, it is a springboard to future freedom. Putting negative energy into the job isn’t propelling you forward.
I have set up a blog, I am beginning to create materials I want to sell.
T. L. West says
My husband and I are struggling financially, so quitting my job until I have alternative income is not a possibility. We do not live extravagantly, but in the past year we have suffered a run of bad luck. I have asked if I could work from home at least one day a week several times, but my boss will not consider it, no matter how much it might benefit the company. He thinks of me as a security blanket, and “needs” me to be in the office.
Eight years ago I started making a plan so that I would be ready to leave the company when my boss retired. I went back to school to get my degree in Computer Systems Management, thinking that it would be a good field to pursue. At that time my boss had just turned 75. He is now 83 and only beginning to make a plan for the future of the business. When he finally leaves the company, I do not plan to stay on.
I do not hate my job, but with my commute it does take 50+ hours of my week. My current plan is to work on the book I am writing, and contribute to my blog. My present goal is to write a popular blog, and to get my first book published. From there I will reassess my situation and make new goals accordingly. I will continue to read, write, and research as much as possible. I believe I have a long road ahead of me, but I have already noticed a change in how I feel since making this decision. I am enjoying life more, knowing that for once that I am headed in the right direction.
SharonAnn Hamilton says
I am already so free I wobble! Dayjob long behind me – I sold my business. Now to carve out steadier income stream while doing what I love. That is the challenge!
You wrote this post for me didn’t you – well it feels like it anyway. I shared the link in my post today because you brought about such a total change in my way of viewing things – thank you
I have an issue with this article. While I can see that it is relevant to many, even most people, it assumes that everyone has a traditional “day” job. I am a server. Cutting back hours equates to cutting back money. While I’m at work, there is no time to work on anything but serving tables. I’m sure that there are many other people that have non-traditional jobs where many things that were suggested do not apply. I’m sure that many of them, like me, also want to quit our jobs and pursue a life of passionate work. Are there any pieces of advice for people like us? I would like to say that I have changed my mindset about the work I do from hating it to appreciating the good aspects like having an income, flexibility, little responsibility, and getting to know people. Changing my mindset has helped tremendously. I don’t loath going into work like I used to, which feels better. I do want to be able to used the gifts of my mind and heart more to help people and start living on my own terms so I’ve joined Trailblazer.
Jason - KAC says
Congrats on Trailblazer Rosa!
Yes, I agree that one of the ‘perks’ of an office job is your ability to optimise, find loopholes in the system, and use ‘slack time’ for your own endeavours. Unfortunately, you won’t get that at a serving job.
Serving offers some advantages too though (I too have held jobs like this): it’s portable and possible to get work anywhere in the world; has hours of work that would put otherwise ‘idle’ time to good use (for me, it was my evenings – a time which is not always so productive); and can pay cash in a lot of cases, which is essentially an extra couple $$ an hour for your efforts.
If time is a problem, you could try going for an office job? It may not be a good short-term solution, however it could assist in your overall goal?
That’s the important bit though, having a goal – a cause which you want to make uniquely yours, and drive your stake into the ground.
Hope your journey bears true north…
Thank you for the great and motivating article!!
“I knew it was possible. Others had done it. I was just as smart as them. So, why couldn’t I?” That is exactly what I have been thinking! While you have to know your limits, no matter how much I try I will never be a professional rugby player, but this lifestyle is realistic and attainable. My job involves sitting at a computer all day anyway. Since your last post I have been able to finish the bulk of my work before noon. The remainder of the day I am devoting to my future life.
I wish my jobs could be a way to fund my ‘real’ job, but when your bills and debt are far greater than what you can bring in [and every time it snows, both jobs close and I don’t get paid], resulting in no extra money for yourself, let alone to save, it’s hard.
Just gotta keep trying. And can’t give up. This is more than a want, it’s a need. [Thanks for the motivational posts, by the way.]
Aaron Morton says
Great post, I like how you were not only directed by emotion that may have led you to just quiting and hoping for the best. You put it in concrete terms and figured out how much you needed to save before you actually quit.
You can't hide the spark! says
Perfect timing! After being self-employed for 12 years I am having to apply for full time office work (I need the regular income so that I can move home after a relationship breakup). I am feeling good about the full time work bit, NOT so good about being in an office 9-5 five days a week. Your post has made me look at this opportunity with fresh eyes – maybe I can work from home 1 or 2 days a week, or work 4 days a week at some point in the future? This makes me feel much better about this new phase in my life. It’s a time to regroup and have some stability whilst I recharge my batteries. Thank you!
I gave my 1 year notice at work today, and requested a 4-day week starting in September. Nobody had ever requested this before, so they have some research to do before they can say yes or no. Either way, they are supportive and will do what they can for me. Much less scary than I anticipated :)
Amazing post and it hit home for me. The line about renting my mind out for 40 to 60 hours is especially painful, but the truth. This post helped me to realize I need to appreciate what the job brings me now. I have also started to bring some structure around getting a business plan together for my coaching business. I love the fresh perspective. Thanks bro.
I’m new on this topic freedom business and I love it.
Only problem is I’m 19 years old already started a restaurant in Amsterdam together with my dad. Studied 7 years for the gastronomics and becoming a entrepreneur in the restaurant business. I finally have a restaurant now for 7 months already and it’s not what I want…
How do I find my passion my business where I’m willin to commit a 100% for.
I want to travel alot! So I need a passive income. Please help me on idea’s how to come on the idea what business fits best for me, cause I don’t know anymore for now.
Thanks in advance everybody.
Jason - KAC says
Unfortunately, finding your passion is a journey only you can embark on. Don’t let age be a barrier either. Its awesome you’re thinking of this now, and congrats on your experience with your Dad. That’s pretty special.
Take the time and ask yourself some good questions. It’s an investment well worth the effort. Take a look at the resource below for inspiration.
Hope it helps ;)
Good advice! A very sensible way of looking at the work you do as the springboard for making a business out of your passion.
Thanks for the great post!
I definitely have some issues with people controlling me, which shocks and surprises people (like bosses!) because I am usually quiet and seen as “sweet” on first meeting, and not a rebel.
Unfortunately as a barista/coffee maker (a trendy, fun job with decent pay for a young person in Australia) there is no leveraging time, but there are ways around that. I can’t wait until the day I tell my boss that I can only work part time, or not at all, when I have a business up and running!
Thanks again for all the insightful posts you share, I really love your blog.
Anthony switzer says
I liked your post , I can agree with almost everything you wrote however I never saved anything when I did this. I looked at my job like a ball and chain , it brought me to the point I couldn’t take it any longer . I quit with nothing. Funny though I was so worried about expenses after I grew my company in a few short months only loosing my car. I started with a bucket of tools out of my friends truck and within 5 months I was at a 6 figure mark it’s funny what you can do when your backs against the wall . Guess not everyone has the same potential so it isn’t a bad idea to save. But I think if you want it go get it
Dilpreet Bhatia says
Love your articles !! You have a pretty realistic + Positivity associated with everything you write. I am also in the same boat.. Looking forward to attending your webinar on 17th Sep!! Cheers
I love this post because it is so practical and useful. Yes there are tons of websites that tells you to quit your day job but bills need to be paid. And you don’t want to live like pauper and wonder when your next meal will be while trying to work on your own business. I agree with the cramming as much work and be as efficient as possible at your day job. Although I do not have the choice of working from home for my current job, I am making full use of the culture that we can leave on the dot without jeopardising our work. I used whatever time I could to focus on my studies, and if I have time to go for exhibitions, I would finish it under one hour and quickly scot home to continue my own work. Hence I still get to learn what I need to learn and time to do my own things. Love your post.
Hello my good people.i have heard stories of spell casting but was Neva a fan of it,when sudden 1 months ago i lost my job and i search and search for a job all to no avail.until i discuss with a friend who told me that there was a spell caster who could help me get my job back.i did not believe my friend.i tried looking for other means but when i saw that the suffering was becoming unbearable i decided to call my friend and asked him to take me to the man.when we got there he told me that the person who replaced me was behind it,and i asked if he could help me.he said that the situation was not an airy task that i requires some certain things .i asked him and he told me due to my predicament my friend provided it for me. and when he used the items it worked.suprisely after 2 days i received a letter from the company asking me to come back.and they even increased my salary. contact him if you are also having this same problem (email@example.com) all thanks to Dr Ojuku
thanks regards….. – See more at: https://liveyourlegend.net/how-to-hate-your-job-or-16-things-not-to-do/#comment-37808
Sam Wilding says
I enjoy my day job, I really do. I’m a mechanical engineer/MBA and my job is to start new businesses for my company. The fun thing about being with a company is I get to experiment with really big, expensive equipment as I try to grow new businesses. I don’t have any intention of quitting anytime soon, but I feel like I should be contributing to this planet in another way. A lot of the comments on this post seemed to come from people who had talents that were readily applicable in other fields. I feel like my talents are best suited for machinery… How do I find other ways to use my talents to improve this planet of ours?
Thanks for the post
Hi I hate my day job. Ok let me rephrase. I have been working for 18 years now in one industry. It pays me very well. The company takes care of me and values me. I shd be having no complaints. However i feel stuck. I am unable to quit. I have no debts and my husband has a good job. Only issue i am in a senior role and i cannot think of sitting at home. I wil go mad. I want to start my own business but i have no clue what. I am in sales in a niche industry. As i have been here for 18 years i have no other skill sets. Feel very frustrated. I hate the 9-5 job. Any suggestions. Pl dont say start ur business. Trust me from 3 years thats all i have been thinking but not sure what to do.
For about 6 months between last year and this year, my job really made me want to kill myself and I’m not just being dramatic. It was a trap I couldn’t seem to get out of so I felt even more suffocated. However, in March, I started focusing my passion more on my dreams instead of a job determined to suck my life energy and soul out of me, and my perspective and outlook changed. This job no longer has the power because I took it back. As you said, I view it now as a springboard for funding my future dreams and I have a deadline to exit once everything is in place.
I’m new to this.
But this has given me ideas, and made me think about how to utilize my time at work much better.
Thanks, for today’s blog.
After reading about working against, it’s nice to read about how I could approach my current situation and work with it.
I’ve had issues with trying to focus my mind, because of my many interests. This has given me a spark to find out what really matters to me, and working with my multiple strengths that I really want to do each day. Flowing through the work working with the job.
AMAZING ARTICLE! Really what I needed to read at this point. I have been working as a freelancer for quite some time, but I guess freelancing was never for me and I started to have some financial issues that led me to look for a full-time job, since I have a family to take care off.
I’m starting the full-time job next week and I’m really nervous about it, because I have been working from home for the past 2 years! I’m also starting my online business which is my dream, and I hope that in time it will provide me with an income, but it’s early days yet and I need a steady income to keep going, and fund my business!
This article gave me a lot more motivation to start my full-time job. I was focusing a lot on the things I’m going to lose such as flexibility, freedom, no bosses, etc, and this was really getting me depressed. This article made me focus instead on the good things: the steady income, the possibility to save money, not worry about the bills getting paid,and, funding my own business. I’ll be able for example to invest in online paid advertising which is something I couldn’t do before. And also, I’ll be working with a lot of talented people where I can learn new things that I can apply to my own business.
So, thank you so much for writing and sharing this article! I feel much better now and I’m sure I’ll come back to read it again if I feel discouraged on the way!
I’m really resonating with this post, Jonathan. Once again, I’m so happy I found this website, as I didn’t know others could relate.
I am a full-time pizza guy.
My friends have more time than me to spend at home playing PS3.
At 7 p.m tonight ill surely get a lecture about Pokemon.
You’ve inspired me to reflect on being grateful for where I work. In a mall where other entrepreneurs, banking and business experts work, I can learn from their mistakes.
It’s the fastest way to learn! While being a pizza guy pays for ONLY survival I’m literally (some self-improvement included) in a business school.
They’re paying me a decent wage to do very easy tasks like clean under a sink. Cleaning must be scientifically proven to help with reelection, after all. Everybody knows it.
Thanks for this post, it was very assuring. I started a small business right out of college for four years before going to grad school and i’m now working with a very large traditional corporation. I was beginning to question whether I am ungrateful to even want to quit my job, so far its only been a year. The thing is i am paid well with no kids, I do have access to tools that can advance my skills…. but I want more. I don’t like the bureaucracy and office politics, I don’t like to be told what i do and i loathe not having control over my working hours. But again, I never asked, I only assumed given that its not apart of the work culture. So perhaps that’s a key takeaway, but it a little tricky for me because I work in different units every 6 months. I am working on a new project and that makes me very happy because I feel like i’m moving towards something. I have beefed up savings a lot and by the end of year I will be debt free as long as i stay on budget. I like the idea of thinking of my job as a freedom fund…and seeing the benefits that will allow me to get to the next step. Thank you!
I feel the exact same way! My day job is not ideal, but I am able to work 4 days a week and spend 3 on my business. My mindset used to be self defeating and just mad about having to work for someone else just to exist in the world. Once my mindset switched to my job being a blessing and a resource for funding my business something amazing happened- I became a better employee. I get to work super early to read entrepreneurial blogs. I listen to entrepreneur podcasts during break and on my commute to and from work, etc, etc.
The thing is, this whole thing- life, entrepreneurship, career – it’s all a journey. There is no destination. I don’t want to spend my last days as an employee disgruntled and wishing for something better. I want to enjoy my life now and then. So, here’s to choosing happiness in every stage!
Lovely post and much love to you.
William Cosentino says
Wow, exactly what I’m doing!! Pure awesomeness written here!
Really enjoyed this. I really started despising every element of my job but didn’t have a business I could escape to so I was quite sour for a long time… but I’ve learnt to live in the NOW, appreciate my job for what it gives me and that keeps me motivated to keep at my side venture.
Great post, cheers!
Omar Barakat says
This was great. It is all about the mindset and that is exactly what I needed to hear. Everything you wrote could apply to me and I will start on it now.
It would be very interesting to know what happened next for you, care to write about it ?
This post couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks Jonathan, this post was very helpful add it resonates my current mindset.i will definitely take your advice and make my day job be a springboard for my freedom Business.
Great post! I appreciate you essentially keeping it real in a forest of quit-your-job-and-get-paid-to-follow -your-passion/purpose-type articles out there. While I of course want to quit my job and follow my passion/purpose, it is great to get a dose of reality regarding that plan that isn’t negative toward the idea, but instead,sets out the framework for actionable ways to use your current reality to make your future one come true. Thanks!
Brilliant article Jonathan! Thanks so much for sharing!
Jamie Godfrey says
I cannot thank you enough for your post. I stumbled across your website during an internet search and so much of what you said has really struck a chord with me. It’s all about framing and reframing our situations. I took a sick day today (I was legit sick with a cold), but as I was lying in bed, I thought, something’s gotta give. I got up and started working on my business and I was instantly feeling better. And then I found your article and decided that my M-F gig was going to work for me, rather than me for it. And that there are things that I can do at work, after my work is done or in between tasks, that I can do for my business: write blog posts, write my podcast, add to my to do list, order supplies and have them delivered to work, network with likeminded people. And I am going to work up the courage to ask if I can work 4 days and have Friday off and place a greater concentration on my business. I feel like it’s now or never and honestly, the only thing standing in my way is me.
Jason - KAC says
This is a critical subject for those desperate to take the leap from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur. It’s most certainly a challenge I have faced over my years as well.
Can’t say I handled it with as much grace as yourself @jonathanmead, and I think it came down to a couple of reasons:
1) I had ‘put up with it’ for too long. I was beating a dead horse
2) I didn’t have a clear vision of what else I wanted. It’s easy to focus on the negative of the present, when there is little inspiration for a positive future.
I feel the key is to get clear on what it is you really want, or at least what it is you think you want. You’ve gotta start somewhere, and the sooner you do, the sooner you can move on to greatness!
Nice article. thanks for sharing this post.
I can totally relate to your experience! I am currently using my current job as a stepping stone towards reaching my greater goals. I’m 21 and I am a musician. I want to be bigger than every artist on this planet. I want more Grammy’s than everyone, I want better art than everyone. I have shows that I’m doing at the House of Blues and other awesome spots by being patient and using skills I’ve learned in the work I am doing. I know that no one is forcing me to work whereI work an there are days where the job is awesome but I know that it is only a tool for me to reach that freedom I really want. Thanks for all of your reminders about being grateful and seeing the good in my situation. I’m headed to work right now and I needed this.
Sean C.T. says
How do you do kind sir? I’m thrilled your post spoken to me in ways I cannot express to my friends. My best bud encourages me to look for jobs elsewhere like in the fast food industry. I already slaved over a hot grill at McDonalds making Egg McMuffins at 6 am. My days as a fry cook are finished because I used that job to pay for a college certificate – in Commercial Cooking. Down the road 6 years later I’m reading this article about how to get out of this survival job. I am the only one present at work who operates the cash register and the oven. Boy, does it ever get hot in there, especially on a hot summer day like this one. My face melted off after the shift giving me no energy to work on a freedom biz.
I passed out on my patio after a friend dropped me off at home tonight. I decided it would be a good idea to make coconut banana ice cream (vegan style – animal cruelty is not representative of freedom). This carpool of hotties drive past me giggling at my direction. I wanted the vitality to become a stronger man. Afterall I’ve been trying to make a YouTube channel happen that helps me measure my progress. I’m making a personal timeline of my struggles, a cards about my self-limiting beliefs and making a dream budget. A dream budget is what makes me motivated to work for something that makes me HAPPY! I want to save up for Burning Man, a freedom business and the right to show Vegucated for the community. Speaking of freedom business how much does a consultation cost this $11.50 per hour wage slave?
I’m happy my job teaches me how to be a better salesperson. Its not a vegan friendly job. Trust me on this, if you knew how pepperoni and cheese were made, it would make you sick. I’ve learned this lesson on being a salesperson in persona. I greet every customer like they’re my family coming from the big city for a visit. People respond to that attitude. Its like what How To Win Friends and Influence People said in the intro. The authors dog didn’t care who people were, it always remained loyal and always anxious to greet his master at the door.
“I began to see it as a nest preparing me for flight” – What a huge and counter-intuitive shift that is, in a job or even in any situation where there’s a feeling of being trapped. Even though the instinctive response to feeling trapped is to freak out and do whatever it takes to kick, claw, and gnaw your way free, that’s not necessarily the best way to go. A simple reframing like you’ve so elegantly described here, not only restores a cooler head and allows for more strategic movement – but also relieves the “what you resist persists” phenomenon.
This is exactly what I need right now! :)
Right now, I am trapped in my day job. I work as an auditor and we work almost 24/7 during busy season and do almost nothing during the slack season. During busy season, we are deprived of even just mere sleep just to comply with deadlines. During slack season, we just hang out in the office, waste time, chit chat, and do whatsoever. Either way, I felt that I cannot push through with my plan because I cannot control my own time. I am so sick of this and I really wanted to leave my job and pursue “something else”.
However, you are right :) I wanted to pursue law and at the same time be a freelance artist and I really do need to have ample savings to ensure that I could pay off my tuition fees :) Although my parents have promised to support me once I enter law school, I still want some financial independence. I made a financial goal which I must hit before leaving… And yes, even if our job cycle is erratic, there would always be a bright side of everything. It helped me learn many things like perseverance, patience, independence, hard work, and submission to your higher ups.
I just quit my job this November. I planned my resignation two years ago. Saved money during that period and researched on every opportunity available for me to start a home based business. Some time last year, I started an MLM business promoting wellness products and the people I met from my job were the first people I approached. I am building my business from home now and doing one other home base business. So yes, if you look at it negatively, you’ll feel like you’re trapped in prison from 9-5, 5 days a week. But if you see the positive side, your day job can also give you many opportunities.
I hate what i do with a passion. I love my Job a litter more then being homeless
I’m working seasonally right now and sometimes I feel like I get more of my own work done while juggling my projects around a variable work schedule than I ever did with a 9-5 or even when I wasn’t working at all. The reason for that is focus. I know my time for my personal projects is limited, so when I’m working on those projects, that’s all I’m doing. My phone is off and I am not checking email or social media. As a bonus, I’ve learned a lot about my most productive times of the day and how I’ll structure my work times when I no longer have an employer.
Simon Wells says
Thanks for your article.
I have often found that when we complain about our lot we are reinforcing the unpleasantness of it to our subconscious minds and when we do that, Guess What;
Yes we get even more to complain and whinge about.
That is why for me the first step is gratitude for where i currently am, and instead of reinforcing how uncomfortable i am i can easily flow with the river, so to speak and that gets results for me eventually.
So for myself, Acceptance is the key.
Stephen Roe says
I’m a new subscriber, and I’ve found every bit of your content amazing so far. This article included of course!
I agree soooo much with your point that your job can be your springboard to your future. I quit my job just a few short weeks ago, and ironically couldn’t have done it without my job. It gave me the savings I needed, plus a lot of the experience and people skills that are helping me with my self-employed venture now.
You’re amazing. Off to share this!
Annie Shamim says
Such a good post! It’s so heartening to see that I am not alone or wierd in feeling these things! Just a month ago, so many voices in my head said such similar things! I am so glad to have found this place! Cause now I will not have to tortously ponder and reponder every step! Thankyou so very much!
I can’t believe nobody is bringing up the one thing that keeps me at my job which is draining the life out of me, soul sucking and making into a person I don’t like. Medical insurance! I work in a low paying job ($15.50 an hour) but I have great and cheap health insurance and why I am afraid to leave my job. And I am in my 50’s, newly divorced, living with a relative and have no real money. So why is everybody just talking about money? Savings or having an income? What do you do without health insurance? I work in a hospital and just about everything is paid for so I got spoiled and am afraid to leave for this reason. I don’t want to go in even more debt or go broker by having to pay out of pocket for doctors, any unexpected ER or hospital stays etc. Can somebody please address this issue?! P.S. I don’t want to go to work tomorrow it’s that bad.
P.S. And everyone seems to be talking about writing. Is writing about what you like the only way to have freedom, a great income, etc? What if you don’t think you would be good at constantly coming up with new content? I have many interests but no real “Passion” and can’t decide what to do. I love taking care of the elderly, dogs, researching things on the internet, learning about real estate investing, saving, getting out of debt, taking care of yourself by stretching, exercise, therapeutic yoga, would love to travel when I want. So much but no one “passion”. Need to start some kind of side gig to get more money coming into the house to pay off credit cards, which is goal #1. So much confusion, some help would be great.
Dominika@ Paid to Exist says
‘’I have many interests but no real “Passion” and can’t decide what to do’’– that’s something we hear a lot at PTE. It becomes trap for many people – they are stuck on this idea that they can make money only when they come up (overnight) with an idea they are absolutely, crazily passionate about. The thing is, only very few, lucky ones know immediately what their passion is – they don’t have to look for it, it’s just there, clear as a day. For the rest of us, it’s all about searching, learning, trying new things and deciding how you feel about them. You can grow your passion, and being interested in something is a great place to start. Writing is not the only way to freedom. You have a wide spectrum of interests and each of them could be potential source of income. Why not trying to dig a bit deeper into each of those ideas? Notice the word you use before listing your interests – ‘I love…’ – that’s as close to passion as possible! Don’t wait for this big eureka moment – ‘Yes, I know what my passion is!’. Instead focus on the things you love doing and try to become better at them. Study, sign up for courses, do some voluntary work in your free time and see how it feels. If among your interest you find one you like doing more than others, investigate further. It might become your real passion, but it might be also ‘only’ something you simply enjoy doing and that brings you money.
If you need some more inspiration, I recommend you check out this page – https://paidtoexist.com/start-here/ – you’ll find there some really good articles that can help you deciding on your next steps.
We have also excellent training called Offer to the World, that I think would suit your perfectly, you can read more about it here – https://www.heroictrading.co/offer-to-the-world/.
I wish you all the best Dawn. And don’t let the pressure of ‘finding real passion’ stop you from going forward!