YOU DON'T HAVE TO QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
*Gasp* DON'T TELL ME THAT! I WANT TO QUIT! I HATE MY JOB! IT'S HOLDING ME BACK. I DON'T FEEL FULFILLED HERE. LET ME OOOUUUUTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!
Sound about right? I know, I know. Trust me, I really know. I worked the same day job for 10 years straight and I finally reached a point where I couldn't take it anymore. I felt completely drained. Not creative at all. Tired all the time. Angry all the time. I felt like I was wasting away there. Like it was literally sucking my soul right out of me. So I quit.
I wanted more time to be creative. More time to take pictures. More time to write for my blog. More time to spend with friends. I just wanted more. So, I quit. That's what I was supposed to do, right? That's what the internet told me to do. The internet says that I should follow my bliss. It says I should find a job that I love so that I won't ever have to "work" another day in my life. The internet says to jump and my creative passions will catch me. I'm supposed to be poor. I'm not supposed to know where my next paycheck is coming from. We call them starving artists for a reason, right? That will make me work harder. It will make me hustle. It will set me free of everything that holds me back so that I can pursue what I was put on earth to do. My true calling. So, I quit my job. I did what the internet told me to do. I took a leap of faith to follow my passions and man, was that the best decision I ever made!
WAIT! Scratch that. That was someone else's life.
I did quit my job but I did it because I got a different job. One that didn't pay as well but gave me more time and energy. The new job didn't make me feel like I was losing my mind. It wasn't a new job that I absolutely loved but I liked it. It gave me what I needed. A steady paycheck and a stable place to work. The new job gave me a little more time in my days and a little more downtime at work to come up with ideas for my creative outlets. It gave me time to gain a little more clarity toward what I want to do with my life. It was at that new job that I started pursuing the one thing that really lights me up - teaching. I had so much time to think through the different things I knew that I could teach other people about. So many ideas came out of my time at that job and I am so thankful for that.
I could have easily followed the advice on the internet. I wanted to. It sounded awesome. There were all these people everywhere telling their stories of how they just up and quit their jobs and 3 months later had already replaced their salaries. It sounded amazing. I mean, if they could do it I could do it, right?
Wrong. I knew it was wrong. We are not all the same and I know that just because Suzzie Smith could quit her job and instantly replace her salary with her creative passions that didn't mean that I could. Maybe Suzzie had some kind of training that I didn't have. Maybe she had a bigger savings account. Maybe she had already been working at her side gig for years to be building it up. Maybe she did a lot of things I would never know about. So, I quit, for another day job.
If you're in the creative or entrepreneurial realm at all, I'm 100% sure you've seen story after story of Jack or Jill quitting their 9-5 to follow their dreams and being a huge success. Those kinds of stories are constantly running through my head. Don't get me wrong, I think those kind of stories are amazing and I'm so happy for those people. But what about all of the people who quit their jobs and didn't make it? Or what about all of the people who embraced their day jobs and used them to stay stable while they pursued their passions during the rest of the day. Or what about those people who actually like their day jobs?? I think that those stories aren't talked about enough.
We have romanticized not being prepared. We have, for some reason, made it cool to set yourself up for failure. Life isn't like the movies. Things don't always work out. You keep seeing people on social media talking about how they quit their day jobs and became wildly successful but what they aren't telling you is way more important than what they are. They aren't telling you about the stress they've dealt with, or the debt they might be in, or the 20 times they almost broke down and got another job. They aren't telling you about the real life things that happen in between being jobless and "making it." And what does that mean, really? When have you "made it"? It's different for everyone but we don't talk about that.
I've been watching an interview series called 30 Days of Genius and I recently watched interviews with Mark Cuban, Daymond John and Marie Forleo and they all talked about day jobs. If you aren't familiar with them, Mark and Daymond are an investors on Shark Tank and Marie is a life coach who also hosts an online business school. They all have really interesting stories of how they got started and you should check out their interviews when you get a chance. You can watch Mark's interview here, Daymond's here and Marie's here.
Daymond and Marie both spent a lot of time working in the restaurant industry while they tried to build up their businesses. Neither of them knew if they were going to make it but they gave it everything they had. While still working a day job. They had to. There were bills to pay. They understood that in order to quit those day jobs they would have to be bringing in a replacement income from their new ventures and that would take time. They weren't afraid to work extra hard for awhile in order to make their dreams a reality. In his interview Daymond said, "the dirtiest secret in entrepreneurship...having a job is actually responsible."
I want you to know that I don't think that everyone should take the same path. Everyone is different. The reason I am saying any of this is because I feel like the prevailing message out there to people who want to be entrepreneurs is that in order to do it they have to quit their day job and take a leap of faith that everything will work out. The problem with that message is that everyone is different. There are people out there who can quit their jobs, dive head first into their new endeavor and be wildly successful. They like the pressure and the hustle and that's awesome for them. But there are also people who need the stability of a steady income and the security of knowing they aren't in a "make it or break it" period of life. *raises hand from the back of the class* THAT'S ME!
Those of you who know me are probably going, "uhh but Katelyn, you don't have a job right now." Yep. That's right. I don't. I'm working on this blog, my podcast and a new art project with one of my sisters. When I go to work now it's about two steps from my bed. It's awesome and you know what... it's also pretty freakin' stressful. You can hear all about that in an upcoming podcast episode - be on the lookout for "The One Month I Had a Respectable Job."
Just know this - whatever you want to do, quit or leap, do it because it's what you feel in your gut will be best for you. Do it because you can't not do it. Do it because it's true to you. Whatever you do, don't do it just because it's what the internet told you works for everyone. The internet isn't always right.
I'm curious, do you have a day job? What do you do? What are you working on when you're not at your day job? Did you recently quit your day job? How does that feel? Let me know in the comments below!