An Office Hours listener recently asked this question,
“How do I build my dreams when I’m working full time at a job that isn’t related to my dream? I want to be a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant, but it takes a lot of time, travel and networking to build my practice. I feel like I’m always scraping for time to do the thing I really want to do because I’m so busy working my day job. What can I do?”
Change your mindset
First, congratulations. You have landed your first investor. That is a really tough thing to do. When you want to raise money and get an investor to give you the capital and resources needed so you can go out and build your enterprise, you have to do something for them. You have to prove value. That’s a lot of work and that keeps you from doing the business. But you raise the money in exchange.
Your day job is your first investor. You work for them in return for the resources necessary to take care of your expenses so you can focus all your other time building your dream. It’s a great investor to have because they don’t own any equity and they don’t tell you how to build your dream.
Any time you look at your day job as something that’s getting in the way of your dream, it’s self defeating. Change your mindset. You must own your choices. There is nothing that is a greater expression of your personal power and your ability to get what you want out of your life than your day job. That’s something that you chose. It allows you to free up the mental, the emotional and the physical space to get your hustle on and work on the things that you want to do.
The first thing to get out of is not your day job, but the mentality that your day job is some kind of contradiction to your dream. Your day job is a stepping stone to that dream.
You can look out at the world and wait for someone to discover you and make your dream come true. But it takes a real dreamer and a real doer to be the kind of person that says nobody has to make this happen for me, I’ll find my own way. I’ll do whatever I have to do. I won’t look at anything as beneath me in the process. I’ll take pride in what I do.
People will respect that and you’ll find yourself drawing from a greater source of power as you pursue things – your day job included.
Romantic myths aren’t reality
Secondly, there is no alternative to having to fight for time to do creative work. A lot of people have this romantic myth about working on their dream full time. They believe that if they can just get to a place where they’re making some money from the thing they love, they can quit their job and work on their dream full time.
But once you build your dream and you start to get some opportunities and customers, there’s going to be a lot of maintenance work that you have to do to keep that dream alive. For everything you do, no matter how much you love it, whether it’s playing baseball as a career or being a parent, there are going to be aspects to doing what you love that aren’t fun and that feel like any other day job. No matter how you set up your life, you are still going to have to get good at fighting to create space in your life where you can work on the visionary, creative, big picture stuff that makes you come alive.