mental wellbeing

Why you should keep your day job (while you go for the business your dreams).

It seems like everyone I talk to lately wants to start a business. There are so many opportunities these days and when we see others fulfilling their dreams a part of us perks up and says "ooh, me too!". That is a good thing – so good! The next thought is often quitting your job, but there are a few good reasons not to hand in your resignation letter just yet...


Drop it like it's hot

We all hear the stories about people who "just knew" what their business would be and then proceeded to quit their job with $35 in the bank and build incredible business empires. This is such an appealing story! It's a hero's journey with a successful outcome. It is all guts and glory. It is also part of the reason why so many businesses fail in their first year. 

Don't get me wrong, jumping into things head first is totally my jam. I'm a quick start on the Kolbe index. But jumping in AND leaving your parachute behind (in the form of your day job), is not the smartest move for a few reasons.

Firstly, it creates too much pressure.

When we are highly pressured financially, all our decisions come from that place. It makes you reek of desperation trying to get business. It also makes you more stressed, less creative and less likely to take the calculated risks you need to make (over and over) to have a thriving business. 

So how about working a steady job but compromising to ease the pressure a bit. There are many ways to configure your working week: work on the weekend for a while, keep your day job but cut down your hours or get a part-time job instead. 

Keeping another income stream gives you the peace of mind and finances to really build the business that YOU want. It means you can try and fail over and over (also known as collecting vital business information). It may seem slower, but it has a much higher chance of succeeding and you get wiggle room that will allow you more time, creativity and risk taking overall. 

Secondly, it keeps some kind of structure to your day. 

When you quit your job straight away you have lots of time to work on your business. This is great in many ways but it can give you a little too much time. Time for self-sabotaging thoughts to take over (get a free guide here). Time to get lonely. Time to spend down rabbit holes online. 

It can be a blessing in disguise to have a limited time to work on your business at the start. Concentrated time working on it, surrounded by other blocks of time to think and doing other things, including your day job, can work really well. 

Thirdly, a steady job provides social contact.

As I said, quitting your job and working on a business solo can get lonely. Whether it's talking rubbish about the Bachelorette or celebrating the latest life event it's great to have colleagues around. While you build your new community, it's great to appreciate and enjoy your work community. 

There's one thing that people worry about when they decide to keep a day job while building their business. That it will somehow doom your business ("I didn't 100% commit!"), signal you didn't really want it or that you will lose motivation. 

The key is to know where you are invested, deep down.

Keeping your day job for a while doesn't mean that you have to invest your heart and soul in that job.

You can commit to your business, while still doing what you know well for a portion of your week. If you're running a business that is soul or passion driven, it's unlikely you'll lose motivation. It will have a drive of it's own. Knowing your 'why' is the foundation of it all.

Why are you running this business? 

It is uncomfortable for a while, straddling two worlds, but it will be worth it. You will know when to make the big leap. Trust that.

By the way, if you're not quite sure what business you want to start or job you want to move into, this is one of my favourite ways to help my clients.

I want to hear from you!

Are you planning a new business?

What questions do you have that are holding you back?

What expert do you currently turn to for an outside perspective? Or do you need someone?

Fill me in below, and let’s see if we can get you on track so you can move through the discomfort and take action!

xx Lara

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Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.

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