How to Follow Your Dreams Without Unfollowing Your Day Job

You’ve found some exciting problems you’ll like to solve. Or a great idea you will like to see come to life. You would have started on a more exciting and fulfilling path now…but for the job. The demands of time make it seem like you have to choose from the get go, otherwise it’s D-O-A, Dead-On-Arrival.

This is the promised sequel to – What if you get fired?

Shortly after the last post, a friend of mine put out a poser about entrepreneurship on her instagram page. Her question was ‘Does everyone have to be an entrepreneur?’ Needless to say I felt compelled to answer, and ran to her page like something was chasing me. Lol.. (I initially saw it on her blackberry dp). And my answer was quite in sync with her caption. My answer was:

“Your business or career is only a means of expression of your gifts and talents, and essentially your person. Every legitimate expression of these gifts is valid. Whether you do this employed or as an entrepreneur is only a matter of choice. What matters is that you get the opportunity to fully express your gifts, and you find fulfilment doing it. This is without denying the fact that the entrepreneurial life/ journey is soo attractive and very very enriching”

Now that was a more elaborate version of what I posted on her instagram page, but this is my long held view of this question. We don’t all have to be entrepreneurs, and in fact we can’t all be entrepreneurs. That said, an entrepreneurial mindset is priceless for everyone. Priceless.

But, I digress…..

My business today is to give you the tips you need to start your passion project while fully invested at a day job (or any other full time commitment) . Sound good? Let’s go.

Now, when I say passion project this could be a personal development project, an idea for a business, or a pet project to solve a social problem.

I hate to break it to you but creating your dream life or transitioning into entrepreneurship from a paid job requires more than turning in your resignation letter. Much more. The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to choose between the job and the dream. At least not immediately. The better way for most people will be to have a way to test the idea, get a few real world lessons under their belt and then go for it. Here are my thoughts on what you need to get you started on this path —

  1. Get clear on why


The million dollar question is why? Why do you want to start a business? Why do you want to embark on that personal development journey? Why do you want to champion that cause? Whether your why is more money, or free time to spend with family, or influence, or simply fulfillment doesn’t matter (although, it is true that connecting to a higher and more selfless why gives you a bigger and more sustained push), what matters is that you have to be very clear on your why because this is what keeps you going when the going gets tough. And boy, it could get really tough. Holding down one job while trying to bootstrap another is no easy feat. If you don’t know why, you’re simply not ready. I’ll ask again. Why?

2. Decide – Not think. Not fantasise. Decide.

Once you reach a firm decision to stop admiring other people making remarkable strides in their lives, and instead get to work and make your own mark too, you finally give yourself permission, and brace yourself up for the work ahead. So, what’s it going to be? Yay or Nay?!

3. Break it down into small projects.

Breaking it down into small projects makes it so much easier to go at it. The most effective and efficient way to get things done is to handle them as projects. Big projects, small projects, it doesn’t matter. You can read more about this here: Where is the project?

4. Plan plan plan. 

You need to schedule time to think through how to actualise the dream. Do your search. Talk to people. What resources are required?, how much time is it likely to take before you can reach a critical milestone?, what’s the best way to bootstrap with little to no capital?, what skills do you need to master?, what’s the best way to maximise your time, given that you’re holding down a full time commitment? and the likes. Things may not necessarily work out as planned, and that’s fine. The plan is not an end in itself, the reward is in the planning.  Planning helps you grow closer to your dreams, to see the workability of it in your mind’s eye. You need to think through it. You need a plan.

plans-quote-eisenhower5. Execute execute execute. 

Start today or lose the dream! This is where the rubber meets the road. The moment you have decided, don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. An average plan that is excellently executed is of course way better than an excellent plan that never sees the light of day. You need to get to work immediately, otherwise you seriously risk losing that dream. If you take a moment to look back, I’m sure you can remember one or two things you really wanted to do, but didn’t do at the time, and now they just don’t excite you anymore. You lost the dream, because you didn’t act on it. And what’s more? Small accomplishments give you the energy to go for more. Even if it doesn’t work out, you would have learnt something for sure. Start today! Start by deciding!

6. Review and repeat.

Yup! This is all you really need in my opinion (on a high level). Decide-Plan-Execute-Review-Repeat. It’s the Project Management way, and it’s super effective. When you reach a critical milestone, go over steps 1-5 again. If things don’t seem to be working, go over steps 1-5 again. If things seem to be working and your head is getting big, you guessed it, go over steps 1-5 again. Lol…Simply continue to remind yourself of why, plan and re-tweak your plan, execute ruthlessly, review and repeat. And you’re well on your way to actualising your dream!

**So as not to make this post long and winding, I intend to shed more light on specific considerations for planning and execution in later posts**

By the way, do you follow me on instagram? Please do! #noteverytimeinspiration #sometimesjustconnectandenjoy Lol… See you there? **wink** @adenikejemiyo

Let me know what you think about today’s post in the comments below.

And don’t forget to share, sharing is caring…

Hearty Cheers!!

P.S: A few people already engaged me saying its not as easy as I think. And I agree completely. But…it’s not easy, is different from it’s not possible. That’s precisely why I’ll be showing you how, and showing you who’s done it! I already have quite an interesting line up. You don’t want to miss this! Stay tuned!

P.S.S: If you know anyone who has built something meaningful from scratch while working working at a day job, please hook me up in the comments below. And if you know anyone who needs to read these posts, please hook them up (share this with them, and ask them to subscribe).


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