We always hear about the freelancing vs. working for someone else argument.
But why are the two ideas always mutually exclusive?
I know tons of freelancers who started freelancing on the side of a full-time job and once ends could meet without the job, they ditched the cubicle and made the switch to freelance.
But I also know freelancers who started taking some work on the side and realized they hated freelancing. Imagine if they hadn’t tried it first.
You can actually start freelancing right this minute without quitting your day job.
First, credit goes to Jon Acuff
His writing really resonated with me because he’s got a wife and kids just like I do and he doesn’t write in a way that makes you feel like the only way to be awesome at life is to quit your secure job (that you actually don’t really hate as much as you pretend), move to Thailand, and learn to speak Swahili.
Jon talks about responsibility.
He talks about defining your “awesome” and ensuring you include being an awesome spouse, parent, or friend.
Sometimes quitting your day job right now and uprooting your family is not what being awesome is all about.
Anyway, Jon has a really fantastic piece of advice for people who want to start building their dream today without crumbling what they’ve already got going for them.
Is this you?
How to start freelancing without quitting your day job
Here’s what Jon says about how to start freelancing:
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be selfish with your time. Not at all. You just have to know when you can be, which is why I encourage you to be selfish at 5AM.
The mornings I get up and write from 5-7AM, you’d be surprised how little my wife tells me that I’ve been ignoring her. You’d be shocked at how little my oldest daughter wants me to watch her jump rope at 5:30AM. You’d be mystified at how few requests my youngest daughter makes to go bike riding at 5:15AM.
You can be selfish at 5AM. Or 11PM if your spouse goes to bed early and staying up an extra hour doesn’t wreck your next day. You can carve out time in your day and claim it, if you’re willing to hustle. If you’re willing to find your time at the beginning of your day or the end, chances are you can tweak your schedule a little and be a little selfish.
So I put Jon’s challenge to the test.
I started getting up earlier.
You all know I have a day job and run my business on the side.
So to add some priority to top projects and dreams lately, I’ve been getting up 60 minutes earlier for the last 2 weeks and here’s where it has gotten me:
- I’ve been a more awesome entrepreneur and freelancer. I’ve spent at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week on projects I thought I couldn’t “get to” before. I’ve developed new ideas, built relationships with other business people, answered emails in a timely manner and more. (PS: this includes a redesign of GDB which is going to be great, so stay tuned.)
- I’ve been a more awesome dad. I’ve spent many mornings watching cartoons or playing trucks with my toddler who I don’t get to see enough. The time has been wonderful for us.
- I’ve been a better employee. Since I get my freelancing fill each morning (in addition to what I do every evening already), I don’t sit at work and wish I could pursue my “fun personal projects.” I don’t run late in the morning because I’m up plenty early.
- I’ve been a healthier person. I finally eat breakfast and take time in the morning to meditate which is something I’ve always felt like I should do but have never made time for.
So thanks, Jon.
Now it’s your turn to take Jon’s advice: start chasing your dream today without killing what you’ve already got going for you.
Be selfish with your dream and with your time.
But be selfish at 5am.
Tell us what you’re going to be selfish with at 5am by leaving a comment here. And if you know anyone who’s wondering how to start freelancing, share this post with them!