For so long I read article after article, story after story about people who had quit their 9 – 5 and were now blissfully working in their online business. Even now, when I’m being interviewed, you can almost guarantee there will be a question about ‘when did you decide to quit your job’. But here’s the big secret – I have an amazingly successful business, and have have no intention of quitting my job.
Trust me, I asked myself over and over again ‘Do I have to quit my job to have a successful business?’ After all, I loved my job. I’ve been a Paramedic for almost 8 years now and it’s one of the best jobs in the world. I love helping people, I love the complexities and the challenges that come with it… but I want to have a successful business too.
You might find yourself asking the same thing. Maybe you’ve been struggling with the idea of when is the right time or if there even is a right time.
I understand that some people may not like their job, and the idea of quitting gives them such excited little butterflies in their stomach and thrills of joy. But that wasn’t me. And I understand that some employers have an ‘all or nothing’ kind of attitude, where you either work full time, or not at all, but that wasn’t my employer.
Over the last few years as my business has grown, I’ve managed to reduce my hours from full time down to just 10 hours a week. That means I only have to work one day a week and I love it.
There are so many benefits to keeping your job while you run a successful business.
Diversify Your Income
As business owners we are told time and time again that we need to diversify our income. There’s a common ‘statistic’ thrown around that says millionaires have an average of 7 income streams. I’m not 100% sure if that’s a true statistic or not but it sounds reasonable to me.
When you think about your blog as a business you often have multiple income streams without even realising, perhaps you write for another publication (freelancing), have a few sponsored posts on your site (advertising), you sell an eBook (products) and you recommend your favourite tools to others (affiliates).
Keeping my job just adds another income stream to my overall wealth.
Have a Social Life
When you’re working from home each and every day it can be quite easy to hibernate for days without actually talking to anyone other than your cat… and even then the conversation can be a little one sided.
Having a job that forces you to leave your house and talk to other people can be incredibly beneficial to your overall health. Plus it gives you the opportunity to step away from what you’re working on and give your mind a break. Which can often lead to some of your most creative times.
Learn New Skills
One of the best ways to learn new skills and to get paid for it is to find a job in the industry you’re interested in. There are a lot of industries who will hire ‘assistants’ who may not have the qualifications required but are keen to learn and assist others.
A lovely lady I know wanted to learn more about the wedding industry as she wanted to create her own wedding planning business, so she applied to local venues to assist with event management. She worked hard and learnt everything she could and in that time was able to learn how to connect with suppliers, how to manage and event and improved her people skills. All valuable assets she was able to carry on to her own business.
Have a Backup or Escape Plan
I know a lot of entrepreneurs talk about the ‘dive in and don’t look back’ kind of strategy, or they say that having a back up plan stops you from giving it all to your business. But I’m a realist. I have a family to support and bills to pay. So I keep my job not only because I love it but because it maintains my skills in my industry (Paramedicine) and it means I can go back full time if I ever need to.
I’m also the kind of person who has always had some sort of escape plan from every job, ever. Whether it’s my job for someone else or for my business for myself, having an idea of what options there are incase you ever needed to shift your focus and change you income source is a smart move in my book.
Do What You Love
Aren’t we always reading motivational quotes that tell you to ‘do what you love’ and have a job that inspires you? Why do we feel like this needs to be 100% in our business? Sure, I LOVE my business and it inspires me in so many different ways, but it’s not possible for it to inspire me in the same way my job as a Paramedic does.
I love the thrill of my Paramedic job, I love the adrenaline hit, I love the high level, fast paced thinking that is needed. And I love the feeling I get when my job is done. It’s like nothing else.
So, if your job is something you love as well as your business, then don’t feel like you absolutely must give up your job to have a successful business. It’s entirely up to you. At the end of the day, do what you love, do what makes you happy and do what you feel good about.