The biggest, and most likely only, thing preventing you from quitting your day job and making a living doing what you love is NOT a lack of financial resources or a dependency on a steady paycheck (even if you think you depend on that paycheck to pay bills).
* Read the above paragraph again and pay attention to any resistance you have to what it says. These resistances are excuses that are holding you firm within the life you wish to change. *
Instead, what’s holding most people back is the FEAR OF UNCERTAINTY about leaving a steady paycheck and the DOUBT that they have it in them to generate a livable income AND have fun at the same time.
We’re taught early that what you love to do cannot, does not, and will not (ever) pay the bills.
We’re trained to think that in order to have a roof over our head or put food on the table, we must put on a tie, clock in, say “yes sir, yes ma’am”, and kiss corporate ass.
Sometime between your first job flipping burgers and your current stint pushing papers around the cubicle, you might have accepted your fate within the so-called “40-year plan” of working jobs you’d rather not with the hope of being able to retire in the distant future.
If you are just joining the workforce now, you’ll be lucky to afford retirement by age 75.
Most people who want to leave their day jobs get stuck in the WANTING phase and never progress toward the DOING phase.
They dream of storming into the boss’ office, saying the words “I quit!” and jetting off to a beach somewhere. And this remains a painful fantasy for the majority.
But not for you! Not anymore!
You are going to do something about your situation starting today!
The first step to leaving your day job and escaping the 9-5 rat race is to stop thinking like an employee!
An employee convinces him or herself that they are dependent on others for their income.
The employee believes that in order to succeed, they must always impress the boss.
They believe that working harder, faster, taking on more responsibility, and working more hours (weekends and bringing work home), is the surest way to get a raise or promotion.
Employees tolerate a 3% to 5% annual raise regardless of results generated. They accept that they won’t be compensated for job-related expenses such as attire and commuting time.
They accept two measly weeks per year for vacation. And if they get sick and can’t crawl into the office (which many do, anyway), then no vacation.
It is time to change your thinking.
Here are some affirmations to read out loud. Be sure to read them out loud! Pay attention to any resistance that you feel when you repeat these words.
“I am capable of generating an income for myself without having to take a day job, or rely on my employer for money.
This realization really hit me at the very last job I worked.
The company held monthly meetings where they talked about sales and revenue goals for the month, the quarter, and the year. The company provided a service-based product and was an outsourcing solution for large clients.
Because of this, they had to constantly work to find new business, which usually resulted in a contract that would last anywhere from 3-12 months.
You couldn’t look two or five years into the future and know exactly how much this company would make, but because of the efforts of the sales team, they were thriving month after month, year after year.
Most companies operate the same way. Without the efforts of a few sales people, and the quality of the product or service offered, the company would be out of business quickly.
There’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t take the reigns and provide your own service or sell your own product to your own clients and have complete control over your own income.
“I have valuable skills and knowledge that can be harnessed and packaged into money-making products and services.”
probably definitely underestimate how valuable your knowledge and skills are.
If a company is willing to hire you for $15 per hour to do a job, rest assured you could make a lot more on your own (your salary is a portion of the profit the company makes off of your services).
Now you might only have worked simple paper-pushing day jobs and think you have no marketable skills that are worth more than $15/hr. Nonsense! The next post in this series will give you plenty of tips and ideas for rethinking your income strategy.
What you know, and what you can do well, are worth a lot more than your current company is willing to pay you for! I guarantee it!
“I will be far more successful on my own than I would be as a cog in a machine at a company.”
Employees don’t become rich. If you want to take full control of your income and really live the life of freedom you desire, you must leave your day job. There is no getting around this fact.
Without a dependence on your day job, you can take time off whenever you want.
You can travel and live anywhere in the world instead of spending an arm and a leg binge-traveling to some artificial resort. I recently spent 6 months wintering in the Yucatan. I couldn’t have done that if I was working a 9-5 job.
As an employee, you are at the mercy of your company. If they do poorly, your income could be shut off with little or no warning.
Your job can change from the one you signed up to do, to something else that isn’t at all what you want to do (or enjoy), and there’s not a thing you can do about it.
“I take full responsibility for what I currently have and for what I want to have.
Now is the time to stop giving your power away to your boss or “higher ups”. Instead, BE your own company and your own boss, even while you still work for others.
Instead of thinking of yourself as “just an employee”, think of yourself as a freelancer, a self-contained company of one – YOU – providing a service to the company you work for. This mental attitude is critical to hone when you are working for yourself.
Even if it’s just a mental game at first, thinking of yourself as company of one is an important step in segueing out of the 9-5 rat race.
Think of the company you work for as a client who has hired you to do a long-term, freelance job assignment.
When you want a raise, think of it as providing a quote for the services you provide (rather than permission for a few extra bucks to be thrown your way).
Manage your resources, including your financial resources, as if you were a company.
Instead of thinking of your income as just a paycheck you get from your boss, think of it as payment from a client based on your services.
Be ready to “fire” clients that will not or cannot pay a fair price for your services, knowledge, and skills.
“I recognize excuses for what they are – limiting beliefs.”
Instead of all the “yeah, buts…” that pop into your head when you think about quitting your day job, give equal weight to the positive “what ifs…” too.
Everybody is afraid of being homeless, broke, or bankrupt if they quit their day job. I was too.
But instead of dwelling on the possibility of these (very temporary) problems that probably won’t happen, give equal weight to positive outcomes for quitting your job – a higher income, the ability to work from anywhere in the world, more time with family, and to pursue your own interests, job and life satisfaction, better health.
Another major mental block that prevents employees from escaping their 9-5 day jobs is fear. Do you feel like staying put in your day job or quitting to pursue your dreams is a choice between freedom or security? What if you can have both?
What if quitting your job actually provided more security (and income) than your steady paycheck? I’ve found this to be true in my life!
“My day job is NOT a steady, secure source of income. I can generate a higher income without my job.”
And that brings me to our last affirmation. And I know this one sounds a bit negative, but it’s 100% true. Your job is NOT a steady, secure source of income.
You can be laid off (I was twice, and my wife was once.)
You can be fired.
Your company can shut down or relocate.
You could be forced to take a pay cut.
Your employee benefits could be cut.
You could become injured, sick, or disabled and unable to do your job.
So what then? Stop thinking about your job as the “safe, secure, and responsible” direction in your life.
Instead, take the reigns and direct your own life. Create your own income. Build a business that doesn’t require your butt in a cubicle in order to generate an income.
I’ll show you how to do this in part 2.
In part two of this series, I’ll talk to you about rethinking your income strategy. Making a living doing what you love is a strategic move. It has nothing to do with luck. Choose the right income strategy and you can successfully kiss your cubicle goodbye!
About Davy & Tracy
Hey there! We're Davy & Tracy Russell, the husband-and-wife team behind this website. We help trailblazers break through barriers so they can turn their passion into their life's work through entrepreneurship. How can we help you?