I’ve had several part-time jobs over the course of my entrepreneurial journey, and throughout, I’ve grappled with the same dilemma: do I focus all of my time on building my business, or maintain a part-time job (or two) to supplement my income? And if I work a part-time job, does that mean I’m giving up on my business?
Months ago, I decided that my part-time jobs were too demanding of my time, and I didn’t have the space I needed to really make any headway with my business. At the time, my business was barely generating revenue. So I quit the part-time jobs to focus solely on my business.
For a few months, it worked, and I was able to support myself with my business revenue alone. But it was a hustle, and after those few months, I was tired. I knew I needed to find a way to support myself financially, without burning myself out.
While I investigated new ways of running my business, and generating revenue in ways that worked for me, I picked up a one day a week independent contracting job. I still do this job, because it’s easy, flexible, and helps me pay some bills.
All the while, my business has seen consistent growth - not drastic, but consistent. But here’s the thing: this consistent growth isn’t enough to fully financially support my life yet. So I’m left living on a strict budget, attempting to force my business to be something that it’s not yet.
Why do I do this? Because I have underlying beliefs that say, “If I get a more consistent job, my business will suffer,” and “If I get a job, that means I’m giving up on my business,” and “I should be able to support myself; I must be doing something wrong.”
I’m calling bullshit on all of these beliefs right now.
Supporting myself financially from sources outside my business will actually free up my business to grow naturally, instead of by force.
There’s a harmful myth floating around the start-up entrepreneurial world these days that creates this belief that if we’re not an overnight success, we must be doing something wrong. All that belief does is create shame, and ultimately sabotages many new entrepreneur’s hopes and dreams if they’re not where they think they “should” be.
How about, instead of “should-ing” ourselves, we each do what’s right for us at our current stage of business? How about, instead of setting unrealistic expectations, we acknowledge and appreciate where we are, and how far we’ve come? How about, instead of forcing our growth, we allow our businesses and lives to unfold as if it’s all meant to be?
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