Pursuing my passion while working a 9-5

Since very young I’ve grown up with the idea that working a 9-5 was not the way to go. There were two coins to this 1) The Local Drug Dealers and 2) The Celebrity Entrepreneurs

The local drug dealers (at a certain level) were making what seemed to be good money and the celebrirty entrepreneurs dropped out of school and became Millionaires and Billionaires! In my impressionable youth, it seemed to me that they had figured out the key to life and that working a 9-5 was not the way to go.

After deciding that I wasn’t going to be a drug dealer. I resolved that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

This decision had quite an impact on many choices that I took on my journey:
1) I could never envision myself staying in a job for too long and
2) I was totally against going to university
This was not particularly helped by me reading Rich Dad Poor Dad at a young age. I missed many of the messages in the book that discussed how the author worked in multiple roles before starting his business and I just held on to the following narrative:

“People are taught to go school, get good grades and then get a well paid job. After this they get married, they put together each others income and then their expenses and liabilities increase. As a result, the couple work to keep up with their outgoings and then they spend the rest of their working lives paying off their debts. Welcome to the rat race!”

This was one of the scariest narratives for me. The idea of becoming a slave to money for the rest of my life, the idea that I would be a person that said that I used to have dreams, but you know ‘work got in the way, a family got in the way’ or whatever the situation was. Because of this I constantly ran away from a 9-5 while simultaneously running towards it.For the sake of brevity I won’t go through my whole life story in detail, but here is a snapshot: I did end up going to university to study entrepreneurship, I worked for one of the top tech companies in the world, I left them to pursue my dreams full time, struggled and then ended up working for another top tech company.

It could be seen by others that I gave up on my dream by going back to a 9-5 and to be honest, when I first made the transition I was extremely embarrassed. I was embarrassed that I tried to make it work and seemingly failed. As a result, I actually tried my best to keep it quiet that I was going back into full time work.

However, although my circumstances prompted me to get a full time job, I can attest that there are definite benefits to it. I know there is a trend to jump the cliff, but everyone’s situation is different. So here are a few reasons why going back to a 9-5 doesn’t mean that you are giving up:

1) Building your dream for the long term

When I jumped off the cliff to pursue my passion, I was getting married and was about to move out of my mum’s house. As you can probably tell I was in need of some substantial money quick!

I put extreme pressure on myself to make my dreams grow fast. This stopped me from building my dream for the long term and caused me to become very desperate. It’s not easy to build a brand and profit handsomely from it straight away. That was the pressure that I put on myself. It was one thing that I had this internal pressure, but I also had the external pressure of an upcoming wedding and moving out.

In fact when I left my job, I hardly worked on my dreams because I was freelancing as a speaker. At the time this wasn’t paying me enough so I tried to figure out how speaking engagements could pay me more. It meant that I was trying to build one ‘business’ while I completely neglected the main ‘business’, my dream.

2) Get paid to learn

One of the key skills to run any business/entrepreneurial endeavor is sales and marketing. My first professional job was in sales, so this was a perfect place for me to be trained up by the best in the business and to learn on the job. After going back into full time work I went back into sales and now I am currently working in marketing. This is all helping me to create with the right foundation to develop my dream.

It can be very useful to get paid to learn how an established business runs. While working for the business you can get paid to make mistakes with the use of someone else’s money. Sounds great right? You can also discover how they operate on a larger scale so that you can recreate these ideas for your own journey. This is particularly true if you work in an area that aligns with your pursuit.

If you do not work in an aligned field, all is not lost. It is very possible that you are learning skills that are transferable. You may not see this at the time, but it’s like when Karate Kid had no idea why he was painting the fence, it’s all wax on and wax off.

3) Get paid to fund your dreamNow this will depend on how much you earn and how low your expenses are, but you can ultimately use the money that you get from your 9-5 to help fund your dream.

Yes, you may not have loads of money to splash out however, every little helps and it can provide the platform for you to trial your dream on a smaller scale. This is without worrying about what you’re going to eat for dinner and how you are going to pay rent.

These are all just a few reasons why working a 9-5 can be beneficial for your passion. However, please do not think for one second that this is an easy choice. The one thing that you miss with working a 9-5 is time. You have to work hard to find pockets in your day to work on your passion. That is whether it is during your lunch time, on your travels to and from work, during the evening or throughout your weekends. Every pursuit requires sacrifice. However, the big question is how bad do you want it? If you want it bad enough you need to eat, s!#t and sleep your dream.

I sometimes get frustrated about the little time that I have to work on my dream. But, if it was easy everyone would be doing it? Plus I can guarantee that someone in a more difficult position has made it work. So what’s my excuse? How bad do I want it?

Let me know your thoughts. Are you pursuing a passion while working a 9-5? How are you finding it? Or maybe you are wondering whether you ever should? Whatever the case everyone’s journey is different.

Christopha Gordon


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