How to Start Making Moves While Working a 9-5 Job
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If you’re looking to be self-employed, a creative, an entrepreneur, or simply wanting to pursue a passion but don’t know how or where to start—you’ve come to the right place. A few of my friends have recently asked about how I do it, i.e. how I blog and work other side gigs will still working a 40-hour/week full-time job.
My answer is usually how motivated I am to be my own boss, set my own schedule, and have the freedom to travel. But what if you don’t have a clue where to start? Or maybe you do, but you just feel exhausted all the time and the thought of working during your “free time” is overwhelming.
I get you!
I truly do. The last thing I want to do after working an 8-hour day for someone else is come home and work some more.
But, you have to ask yourself what means more to you—enjoying the little free time you have now and always being confined to that, or working your ass off now to enjoy much more free time later under your own terms?
If you’re reading this, I’d say the latter.
So, let me tell you a little bit about myself, so you can get a glimpse into what’s possible.
Full-time job: I graduated with a general degree in humanities in May 2017, with a secondary in international studies. Because I honestly had no idea where I was going with that, I took my first job offer post-graduation working as an alumni relations consultant—where I’m still employed today. Although I’ve learned many things and gotten “my foot in the door” so to speak, it crushes my spirit—creatively, mentally, and physically.
Part-time job: A few months prior to this, I began working for a day-of wedding coordinator because it was something I had always had in the back of my mind as something I would enjoy doing. This fulfilled my creative and natural love of weddings side, and I have continued working for this company part-time, going from assistant to now planning my own events.
2nd part time job: Around this same time, I also started my own faux floral company, selling floral arrangements, primarily for wedding-related events on Etsy. This also has allowed me to be creative, and while I still have it, I’ve put it on the backburner because…
3rd part-time: I started my blog! I wanted to start my blog more than 2 years ago now, and I finally did it in August 2018. I can honestly say I believe it’s my calling because a) I love to inspire and help people live their best possible lives and b) because I’ve been in love with travel and culture and language since I can remember, and having a blog would allow me to work and travel from anywhere.
4th part-time job: And if that wasn’t enough, I saw opportunity in a multi-level marketing company and joined a group of people who are also working to be their own bosses! This part-time gig is great, because I can work on it when I have time. It’s a hair care company, so my own hair is a walking ad!
So there you have it! While you didn’t really need my resume, I wanted to show you what’s possible to accomplish with your time. This doesn’t mean you have to go do 10 different things! You likely just want to pursue and achieve one goal or dream—and that’s 100% okay! In fact, I would highly recommend you focus one the one thing you want the most.
We all have 24 hours in a day. Think about the people you admire—maybe your favorite recording artists or a blogger or a business owner—and think about what their days must be like.
How do you think they come out with great music, great content, or innovative new products all the time?
The hard truth is that it takes work, dedication, the willingness to learn and keep learning, and the drive/passion for what you’re doing.
1. Determine what your “thing” is
Maybe you know what it is, and maybe you don’t. If you don’t, write down your ultimate working goal. For me, this looked like this:
- Quit my 9-5 job
- Be my own boss
- Be able to work from anywhere
Ultimately, not having to clock in for work and getting more than 2 weeks off per year were most important to me. After going the traditional path and getting a decent job after college, I realized how much I didn’t want to stay on the traditional path and “climb the ladder.” I just knew it wasn’t for me, and I’d had the desire to have a blog for quite some time. Thus, a blog seemed the perfect fit for me.
Maybe you have similar desires, or maybe you want to be your own boss but have your own restaurant or maybe you just want to be able to spend more time with your children. Whatever it is, write it down. Put it up as a motivator for yourself when the going gets tough in your journey.
If being a blogger is also your dream, or a way to achieve your dream, I highly, highly recommend taking Taylor Stanford’s 30 Days to Blog Success. As someone who has taken many blogging courses, this one was the best and most affordable. Why? Because she tells you everything you NEED to know, such as how to actually blog legally and she gives you the channels to monetize your blog—not all the fluff that’s not going to get you anywhere. Plus, she’s real! It’s straightforward, factual, and the best thing is IT WORKS. I myself wish I had found her course sooner, because I definitely had to filter through a lot of other courses out there to find something that was affordable, simple and clear to understand, and set me up for success. Right now, there are only a few spots left open for May enrollment, so if you’re interested there’s no better time!
2. Start doing research
The internet is a treasure trove of information, and although it’s not all useful, you’re bound to find relevant information on what you want to do and achieve. The best way to do something when you don’t know where to start is just to start, period. So just jump in!
Little by little, begin following people who are living the kind of life you want (if you’re not already), start asking questions, start researching how to achieve yours goals. Start small so you don’t overwhelm yourself—it takes doing a little of something each day to get where you want to go. I promise! Even if it doesn’t seem like a lot, do it anyway. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my own journey is, as simple as it sounds, not to procrastinate and set small goals; especially not waiting just for the weekend. It’s okay if you need the weekend to get bigger goals done. But don’t put it off until those two days you have off, because chances are, you won’t get them done. So just begin by doing small things each day, and you’ll discover that you are, in fact, making progress!
A good place to start, besides the internet, is reading books on your chosen field/subject from those who have been your industry and have a wealth of information to share. Amazon is my go-to place to find books and information on anything I want to know and get inspiration from. One of my favorite books is Choose Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae. It’s one that really motivated me to put myself over there, especially because I was worrying about all the things that could go wrong. If you’re at all scared about taking risks and chasing your dreams, this is the book you need to read! Add it your reading—you won’t regret it!
3. Plan it out
One of the most important skills you need to learn how to have as an entrepreneur/business owner/blogger is to be able to plan, set your own schedule, and stick to it. If you don’t have a plan, how can you get from point A, to B, to C, and so on? You need to be able to sit down and plan out your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.
For me, I like to use Google Docs to plan out my month-by-month blogging plans. Under this, I put in each day what I have planned to accomplish/publish. For example, April looked a little something like this:
Also, another great way to plan out each day is to get a tear-off daily planner. This type is what I use because it allows me to make a list of things I need to get done each day and prioritize them. Plus, I love checking things off my list! They also have planners for meal planning, which is always a great addition to the busy life of someone who’s trying to make dreams happen!
4. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or distracted
It’s so, so easy to get discouraged and/or distracted when it comes to chasing and achieving your dreams. There’s a doubter behind every corner, and everyday distractions that will prevent you from working—don’t let them win you over. Facebook can wait, Instagram is not going to keep you motivated, so when you need to sit down and get to work, put those things away. I honestly cannot tell you how many times I found myself on my phone instead of focusing on what I needed to do. Allow yourself small breaks, but rein yourself in after a certain amount of time (a timer works great for this).
Always remember you goal—what you’re sacrificing and working so hard towards. I promise you it will be worth it in the end. So start putting the building blocks in place: do the research, get planning, focus on your goals and what you want to achieve. But most importantly, just START. You won’t accomplish anything if it all stays in your head. Make a fool out of yourself. Fail. Fall flat on your face. But get back up again and prove to yourself and the world what you’re made of.