Over the past couple of years, the culture has definitely shifted from going to school to get a good 9 to 5 job and ultimately working for someone else to “F the man – I’m working for myself.” There has even been a surplus of FB groups dedicated to encouraging people to quit their day jobs (with a plan in place of course) and fully invest their time (and resources) into their own entrepreneurial endeavors. I agree with some of these sentiments as I’m even in the process of working on my own creative gigs that I hope to turn into my full-time profession, but I can’t dismiss what I’ve gained from working my 9 to 5 that aids in the current success of my entrepreneurial endeavors.
I know it can be hard to shift your brain throughout the day from full-time work to entrepreneur work but as the saying goes, perception is reality. If you perceive your 9 to 5 to be nothing but a distraction and barrier to your 5 to 12, that is exactly how it is going to feel when you approach the latter part of your day. If you perceive your 9 to 5 to be a stepping stone, you will find that it can help boost your daily flow.
Below are 4 ways that my 9 to 5 help boost my creativity and pour into my entrepreneurial endeavors.
For those who may not know, I am immersing myself in the world of filmmaking and currently in mid-production of my first feature film, The Kinloch Doc (view teaser here). Because this is a new endeavor, I can’t even express how challenging (yet rewarding) it has been to manage all that encompasses creating a film…..with a day job…..and a kid….and a fiance…..and etc. My current role is an Administrative Coordinator for a college access program so 95% of my job is to take care of logistical tasks from behind the scenes and make sure everything is in order – emphasis on order. Filmmaking requires a lot of pre-planning and order from scheduling interviews, renting equipment, conducting interviews, editing projects on a deadline, etc. My administrative coordinator role enhances that skillset so I’m more than prepared during production.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust myself to work for myself 100% at this point in my life. My level of discipline is not where it needs to be. Like, if God said “Alana, quit your job and go work for yourself” I’d probably say, “Wait, I aint ready yet.” It’s something about a pre-established schedule and expectations set for me that helps make my job a little easier. Maybe because I’ve been conditioned to learn and work that way all my life so approaching anything new so abruptly would cause more anxiety than excitement. However, I am taking this time to translate my work discipline into my creativity: setting my own deadlines and following them, seeking out people to hold me accountable, task follow through and completion, etc.
Because I am looking forward to working on my own projects when I clock out, it helps me approach my work tasks with more dedication, discipline, and efficiency. Ultimately, I want to get all of my necessary tasks out of the way so I can start working on what I really want to work on. Consider it rewarding yourself for a job well done.
Self explanatory. For me (and in general), making a film is EXPENSIVE and contingent upon how much money I have available at any point in time, that will dictate my production timeline. You need a steady flow of income that will help fund your other endeavors until those endeavors can consistently fund themselves. I try to treat my film like its own bill and have a completely separate bank account with another institution that I only use for my film and any film related expenses.
I know many of us are counting down the days, hours, and minutes to where we can ultimately be our own boss but until that day comes, find value and contentment where you currently are. I’m fortunate enough to have a job that I enjoy and colleagues that I loooooove working with, AND they also understand and support the fact that this job is only temporary for me. I know that is not a reality for everyone. However, there is reasoning and purpose for the now and with a few minutes of self-reflection and introspection, there are several things we can pull away from our 9 to 5 that will enhance our 5 to 12.
Make it work for YOU.