Learn how you can increase your professional worth by playing the entrepreneur and employee balancing act.
There's something awesome about running your own business while still keeping up with a 9-5.
If you've ever done it before, you know what I mean. You feel like a superhero right? I'm no stranger to this lifestyle, as I've maintained it on and off for the past five years.
Sometimes, it can be completely taxing, but most of the time, it's incredibly rewarding.
1. Iron Sharpens Iron
When I am focused on one project, I struggle to gather inspiration. For example, the few times I've just supported myself with a 9-5, I found myself getting bored. I'm sure all you entrepreneurs can relate.
I felt like I wasn't being challenged enough. At one time, I thought transitioning into full-time entrepreneur life was the answer, but that also failed miserably. However, in the past couple years I've learned to easily balance the two.
2. You Have a Steady Flow of Cash to Invest
Sure, you can rely on free marketing methods, and if that's the case—I wish you well. When building new businesses, I simply have no patience for slothlike growth. I want to invest in proven methods that I know give an immediate return. I'm a huge fan of Facebook Ads, and when I'm working my 9-5, I can afford to funnel some cash into this performing tactic.
3. Inspiration Is Much Harder to Come by Under Financial Stress
Some of you may disagree with this rule, and that's just fine. Some live by the phrase "no pressure, no diamonds," and if that works for you, then by all means, embrace that.
But, for me, it just doesn't. A few years back, I founded an online burlesque clothing store. I left my 9-5, and for a while, worked only on this business. Although it was never rocky, I struggled to gather inspiration, when in the back of my mind, I was stressing about upcoming student loan payments.
Sure, I had the money then, but would I always? What if the site went down for a few days? Would I then be forced to give up my beautiful apartment? That kind of financial pressure crippled my entrepreneurial growth, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
4. Your Strict Schedule Forces You to Stay Motivated
When you're a full-time entrepreneur, you have the freedom to set your schedule. With this freedom comes certain restriction, as some of you aren't self-disciplined enough to hold yourself accountable.
When you're working a 9-5 alongside your entrepreneurial projects, you're forced to stay on task. You might only have a couple hours each day to get work done on your own business, so you make the most of that time. When your schedule is somewhat open ended, you tend to procrastinate, which leads to slow results. You have to be a pro in time management to make the full-time entrepreneur life work.
5. Your 9-5 Forces You to Build Valuable Connections
I've been working as the Director of Content Management over at Slicktext.com for about nine months. Before I started there, I thought I knew everything there was to know about SEO. I sincerely thought there was nothing more for me to learn. I now work under a guy who puts my SEO knowledge to shame.
I have learned so much, even in the past few weeks, about SEO—knowledge that I would never have acquired on my own time. This knowledge makes me more valuable and aware in and out of the workplace. When you stick with a 9-5, you build a network of intelligent people, and can gather insights that also help you in your entrepreneurial projects.
Related Article: Too Legit to Quit: Is It Time To Take Your Side Gig Full-Time?
6. You Have the Opportunity to Educate and Inform the People Around You
Entrepreneur life can be pretty lonely. Back when I worked as a full-time entrepreneur, I was flying solo 90 percent of the time. Not only did this discourage my mental advancement, but it also prevented me from spreading knowledge to my peers.
You learn more yourself when you're forced to explain certain processes and tactics to a listening ear. It helps you test your knowledge and shows you where you've become a bit rusty. There are many reasons why teaching someone else really is the best way to learn yourself.
7. Looking for an Investor? That Person May Be Closer Than You Think
When I founded my burlesque clothing store while still working as National Director of Marketing at a 9-5, my boss approached me about investing in my company. Crazy, right? I'm a control freak, so I didn't accept the offer. The point is, working a 9-5, pending your supervisors are supportive, could allow you to take your relationship from employee to partner in a New York minute.
I won't lie, balancing these two lifestyles can sometimes make you feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr(s). Hyde. But ultimately, it's so worth it. It increases your professional value, broadens your perspective, sharpens your skillset and makes you a better employee and entrepreneur. Who wouldn't want that?