Since it pays the bills and you’ve kind of gotten used to eating and having a place to live, you drag yourself out of bed one more day. What’s keeping you going is knowing you are not going to stay there forever. You are working on secret world domination plans a.k.a. your own business. And, I realize some days you just want to quit and work on your business full time but unfortunately, you can’t do that yet! And it’s okay, for now, because you have to make sure you are able to support yourself without the corporate job first. So how do you stay sane while working a j.o.b. (jump outta bed) and develop your business, your real passion?
Exit stage right
First, let me congratulate you on your genius move. You are working for someone else and making sure you have money coming in and saving up before you go off on your own. You’re ahead of the game because most people go cold turkey, without a plan, and then run back crying to corporate. Starting a business when you are already stressed for money is a recipe for disaster. But you know that already and are just waiting for the right time. Go you!
So, exactly, when is that “right time”? Have you set your exit date for you to work toward? Your answer might be: “When I can support myself.” This is a start but when are you planning to be able to support yourself? Set a hard date when you will kiss corporate goodbye. Don’t worry how it’s going to happen. You’ll figure it out.
With no end date in sight, you may just continue to seethe with rage at your job, grow complacent and when you hit roadblocks in your business, you’ll talk yourself into staying at that job because you’ve put up with it for this long. That would be sad.
And, I already hear the question: What if I set a date and I don’t make it? Yeah, so what? Then you look at your plans and set another one and create better steps to achieve it. Also keep in mind: what if you set the date and you do make it or better yet are able to quit ahead of schedule?
On those days when you just can’t stand it at your job, put that energy into your business. Don’t waste precious energy on complaining or building anger. Let the energy fuel your real passion, your baby, your business.
You should definitely be networking. Join a networking group or more if you can, especially in your industry. It is absolutely inspiring to be around, meet, and connect with people who are also growing their businesses or are where you want to be: a successful entrepreneur. On those days when you are struggling with your business or just want to vent, these are the people who will be able to relate to you and support you. I recommend The 29% Solution by Ivan R. Misner, founder of BNI, which is a stellar step-by-step plan on how to be a better networker. Plus, if you are not networking, no one can know about you. If they don’t know about you, they can’t refer you business and then your business won’t grow and you’ll stay at the j.o.b. (just over broke).
Focus on your why
If you’ll notice, I am totally focusing on where you want to go, not that job. The saying goes, “what you focus on expands.” And since you don’t want this job, we need to shift your focus onto what you do want. Have you taken time to write down your real vision for your business? How are you going to make money to support yourself? What excites you about this business? Who are you looking forward to helping? How is it going to change your life?
When your coworkers or boss annoy you or when a project doesn’t go the way you think it should go, take notes. How will you handle a similar situation in your business? This is a stellar learning opportunity to see how you would treat your clients, customers, and employees.
You are in a prime spot to learn and observe how it is done and take from it what you can and apply it to your own business. Also, it may not all be bad, take note of the things you do like about the company--marketing, customer service, office management---and find a way to incorporate it to your own style.
You want your business to take off soon, like NOW but it looks like it is way off. I know, I’ve been there. And, you can choose to focus on how far way it is from you or you can turn it around and look at how far you’ve come. You may not be where you wish to be but you are certainly no where near where you were.
Starting your own business while working for someone else takes courage, skill, determination, and most of all patience to wait it out. You undoubtedly have less time to work on your venture because you spend most days at the job. But you’ve mastered all those characteristics to get to this point. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for a stellar job well done so far. Then, keep on your grind.