Can You Return to a 9-5 Job?

by / ⠀Personal Branding Startup Advice / December 26, 2012

In my years of following transformation and empowerment experts, I’ve heard plenty of people saying not to take a client out of need and not to price yourself on an hourly basis and how instead you should work a job and work your passion, which most times meant self-employment.

In real life, when you’re broke, all the dreaming and intending goes out the door.

No magical thinking helped me when I was desperately broke and not able to turn a profit in my business. The only other option was either giving up altogether on my business and going back to work or chanting “thoughts become things, thoughts become things”.

What happens when you stop dreaming and begin affecting your plans and actions?

That’s when purposeful living happens. Did you know that living your passion and living your purpose doesn’t necessarily mean not working at a full-time job? You might wonder why I say that.

At one time, I really believed that the only way I would be happy is if I became an entrepreneur. For many that is very true. For me, I learned that it wasn’t simply being an entrepreneur that I wanted. I desired a steady income on my own terms, something that was fulfilling and that allowed me to travel. I learned though that as an entrepreneur, many times that wasn’t reality.  My income wasn’t steady, I was working on my clients terms, I wasn’t fulfilled, and I couldn’t travel as much as I thought I would because I didn’t have the money. It was God awful.

It wasn’t until reading countless real-life experiences of successful entrepreneurs (Kim Levine’s Mommy Millionaire and Donald Trump’s How To Get Rich) and looking at the past few years of my life that I learned that many entrepreneurs worked more than 14 hours a day. I also learned that many entrepreneurs get scared and although they have become millionaires or billionaires, they were still very broke at times. It gave me a wakeup call that my fantasy of being a carefree, 4-hour a week entrepreneur, living life abroad in a fabulous dwelling may not be as passion-and-profit fulfilling as I wanted it to be.

The beautiful thing is you get to define your passion and you get to define what makes you happy.

It wasn’t until I was terribly broke and took on a temporary assignment through a local employment agency after five years of self-employment that I realized how much I actually LIKED working full-time for someone else. I missed interacting with coworkers on a daily basis. I liked going to work for a few hours and leaving my work AT work. I liked not having to obsess over how to get my next client or if they would pay me.

Especially amazing is that on my first day back in a corporate environment, I was scared to pieces and I felt like I was betraying my own belief systems and going against what the experts said. Then it hit me–I had been trying to live my life by the transformational experts terms, when much of what they preach is about living life on MY own terms. Also true was how quickly I adapted right into working for someone else. I’d figured, “If mom’s have stopped working to raise children to adulthood and gone back to work, then after five measly years as a virtual assistant and marketing consultant, going back to work wouldn’t be a big deal.”

The biggest breakthough was when I started receiving checks week after week. Steady money! Of course, one hour of consulting in my business was about the same amount of one day’s pay as an employee. But if I didn’t have ANY clients in my business paying me at all for months at a time, it made sence to do what I could to generate money in another way.

If you are terribly broke as an entrepreneur, doing something different may not be what you want to do. It may be what you have to do. Some people literally do live their dreams and become rich entrepreneurs working in the career they desire. Until then, you have to survive. Perhaps the survival can happen by finding other income streams in your business, changing your sales model, or starting a different more, profitable venture.

Others go get a job. Afterall, it’s not the worst that can happen. Much like when you transitioned away from full-time work, you can transition right back in. See new job opportunities as a chance to learn a new field or skill and as practice in working with other people–something I’d gotten out of the habit of doing because of being self-employed in a home office.

Oddly enough, when I made the decision to go get a job, I applied for a position as a PR assistant through Craigslist and ended up turning the job interview into a sales meeting. The “employer” is now a very well-paying client, under contract where I provide them marketing and PR solutions. Since they are clients, I define my hours, allowing me to still work my day-job until my business returns to being my overflowing cash machine.

Cash flow problems can impact your entire being. Of course, as entrepreneurs we want to be both happy and rich, but working for someone else doesn’t mean you are bound to a life of misery and pennies. In this economy, survival should be a priority, and a job can be the means to an end. It’s an awful feeling to be broke, but take deliberate action to generate income the best way you know how.

Author: Jasmine Powers of J Powers Marketing and Publicity LLC 

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.