“I want to quit blogging!”
I remember the day vividly. I was on my way to work but stopped in at my friend’s place to whine. I was in an online decorating contest and wanted to quit. It was so hard… I had to come up with a new project once a week and the push was gruelling. I had a dayjob AND blog after all and this extra stuff on the side took things over the top.
One day in mid contest, I lost it. “I can’t do this contest anymore. The pace is KILLING ME. Why am I doing this blog thing anyway? It doesn’t earn me anything. A clean house and cooking? Long gone. I want out. I want my life back. I want to quit blogging!”
My friend looked me sternly in the eye and said, “To do what exactly? To do something you hate?
You are on the build. EVERYTHING you do now will pay you back later. Never forget that. And never stop. You are on the right track, so keep going! DON’T. YOU. DARE. STOP!”
After my pep talk, I gulped hard and decided to stay in the race. I saw through the competition and even nearly won. But turns out, the final win did not matter.
Staying in the game did.
Because in a nutshell, all those projects I pushed myself so hard on have been some of the most popular to date. Some have landed in magazines and many have been featured elsewhere. And they continue to get fairly high ranking visits each year.
But it wasn’t just about staying in. The push to do my BEST was the key. Even when I didn’t have time.
Today, my thoughts work the opposite way. I dream of quitting the day job so I have more time to blog.
So why haven’t I yet? I ask myself that every single day. But I always know the answer. I don’t earn enough. Yet. Because there is one thing I’ve learned over the years… you have to earn more than you spend if you wish to leave debt behind and get ahead.
When I tell others I work two jobs, they shake their head. “How do you do it? I can barely work one!”
And that’s when I assess how happy they are with their one job. Interestingly enough, most aren’t. Yet they are more than willing to run home at the end of their day and put up their feet because they are tired.
I can’t imagine.
So, here’s my take on how to build a dream job while you work a day job.
YOU HAVE TO LOVE WHAT YOU CHOOSE
You truly have to love your passion with all your heart. Because you are going to spend countless hours building this whatever it is. May as well do it right this round. Own it and ADORE it.
MAKE THE TIME
Everyone has 30 minutes in their day they waste. At least. So spend that 30 minutes on something that you love to do that counts. I nearly guarantee, you’ll put more time into it once you start. But starting is key. If you keep saying to yourself you don’t have time, you won’t make the time. Leave the laundry unfolded and put in your time Then fold your laundry.
DON’T DO IT FOR THE MONEY
If you are doing this new thing for just the money, you’ll be disappointed. Do it for the love of it to start and the rest will take care of itself. If you choose the other way around, you’ll end up doing something you don’t like and turn it into just another job. No boring day jobs allowed this round!
CHANGE YOUR FOCUS
It’s my belief everyone has a special purpose. Rather than thinking this thing is all about you, try changing that perspective. Maybe it’s because it’s about someone else.
ie: Is your purpose to encourage others? Then do THAT.
Your delivery and focus will totally change… and so will the result of your efforts. You just wait and see.
GIVE YOURSELF 5 YEARS
That hurt, didn’t it? 5 years to earn? My artist buddy told me that 5 years ago and I groaned… but I’m now on my 6th year of blogging and he was right. My project archives and built up traffic are finally making a difference and helping pay my way in life. Your time may come sooner or it might take longer. But don’t expect instant riches. This is why it’s so important to build WHILE you have a day job.
DON’T FLIP YOUR DAYJOB UNTIL YOUR DREAM JOB EARNS MORE
While taking a leap of faith is good, it won’t pay the bills. Not at first. This is why it’s so important to make time for your passion NOW. You’ve got to fire things up while you earn. ONLY when your passion is earning more than your day should you consider quitting the day… unless you have the cushion of another household income. Let me put it this way… if I were married to a working spouse, I’d have left the day job LONG ago.
You CAN do both. It won’t be easy, but how many do you know that can honestly say they adore their work? Be different. Because it’s vital you do this if you ever wish to be happy and do what you love.
SLOWLY CUT BACK ON YOUR DAYJOB HOURS
There’s only one of you. And two fulltime jobs will likely kill you slowly. So if you wish to up the ante on the dream job and can’t possibly put in all those extra hours, something has to give. You can choose to downplay the day job to make room for the dream job, or take longer making your dream happen. There’s just no other way.
I am fortunate that I have been self employed for 22 years, so I cut back clients as I grew the blog. It was my only sanity saver and it’s working!
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I know one day I’m going to have to cliff jump and take a risk. It’s scary losing the security of regular work, but I’m already in my 50′s. When will it be time? I’m working on soon!
Just start now. I know you’re tired. I worked all day too and I’m slurring my thoughts right this moment. But when I sit here and write, the tired momentarily lifts. I’m writing with intention because not only am I putting my 30 (60-90ish) minutes in before I hit the hay, I’m LOVING it and don’t feel the pain of tired. Yet.
I challenge you. Put in your 30 min daily no matter what, and watch what eventually happens… I got a new blog post out of mine. How about you?