The best career advice out there is probably to follow your passion and do what you love. It’s pretty cliche, but very true and straightforward. With the rise of the new gig economy, people have been able to make money online in a variety of ways and even launch successful businesses.
Entrepreneurship has its pros and cons, but it can certainly be fulfilling and profitable for the right person. However, some people position traditional work as being a thing of the past and assume you’re wasting your time if you’re not being an entrepreneur and following your passion.
There’s no right or wrong way to make money in my opinion. In fact, if you are thinking about getting into entrepreneurship, it can be extremely beneficial to work at a traditional job for a while first to gain some of the necessary skills and experience beforehand. Entrepreneurship is HARD. If you’ve been juggling a full-time job and a side business for some time now, here’s why you might want to keep your traditional job for a little longer.
Learn How to Master Time Management
You don’t have any time to waste when you have a job that you’re committed to. You have 8 hours of work in a day at most traditional jobs. On top of this, you also have to travel to and from work, prepare your meals, and worry about any other commitments that you might have.
So in other words, you’re forced to make the most out of the little free time that you can somehow squeeze in. If you ever want to be a full-time entrepreneur, you’ll be faced with the reality that time is very scarce. It may seem like you never have enough time for anything and your to-do list is constantly growing.
When you work a job and try to get a business off the ground at the same time, you’ll see firsthand what type of time management skills you need to have and/or develop. This may involve getting up early or staying up late, cutting out distractions, or getting more organized with your calendar.
When you transition to full-time self-employment, you’ll be completely in control of your schedule and that can be freeing but it can also put lots of pressure on you.
You’ll Still Interact with People
Being obligated to show up at work each day creates an environment where you need to constantly interact with others. Even if you don’t consider yourself a people person, you can still use this to your advantage. You’ll likely learn how to work in a team, become a leader, help others, and also how to manage annoying or unproductive co-workers. You’ll be constantly surrounded by others and by tasks to complete.
All of this experience will help sharpen your communication skills. You’ll know how to do all of these things and confidently network and communicate with new people once you become a full-time entrepreneur. Successful business owners all need the experience of being a leader, follower, and student.
Working for a small start-up can also be very helpful. I did this before leaving to start my own business, but it was great to experience being part of the team and see how my boss ran his business. It was basically the best of both worlds since I got to earn a living and observe the business structure while using my boss as a mentor. I still utilize many of his strategies and processes to this day.
There are too many hidden benefits in working for a highly efficient group and you don’t need to force yourself to reinvent the wheel when you fully transition into entrepreneurship.
Continue to Bring in a Secure Paycheck
When you work for yourself, money is NEVER guaranteed. There will be months where you’re laughing all the way to the bank. Then, there will be times where things are lean and you’re barely able to break even. It’s called feast or famine syndrome and it can really contribute to a lot of stress and worry.
When you have a job, you work and you get paid. It’s that simple and there’s no disputing this formula. As fun as it is for online business owners to scoff at the idea of a job, the reality is that steady income beats no income.
It’s also important to have money coming in just in case you have any consumer debt you need to tackle. Student loan, car loan, and credit card bills are due monthly like clockwork. If you don’t have the money, you’ll risk going into default and your lender can even pursue you by taking legal action.
Many people don’t have the luxury of being debt free due to rising college tuition fees are soaring along credit card usage. You’ll want to live below your means and try to pay off as much debt as you can while relying on the income from your steady paycheck.
Any money brought in by your business can be set aside for savings or reinvested to continue growing your venture. Starting your business on the side while relying on the guaranteed income from your job is also wise because it can help you determine if your business idea is truly profitable or not.
I personally didn’t quit my job to pursue entrepreneurship until I was earning more on the side than I was making at my full-time job. That gave me some security knowing that I could make enough money with my business to continue supporting myself. If aren’t 100% sure of that, then there’s definitely reason to stay at your traditional job for a little longer.
There’s nothing wrong with working a ‘real job’ or a 9-5 until you figure out where you’re headed with entrepreneurship – if that’s even the ultimate goal.
If you want to explore how you can use your free time to make more money, then I recommend you consider your current skills, interests, work with a mentor, and start setting up a side hustle. This will help determine if entrepreneurship is truly right for you and when you should take the leap.