‘Figure It Out Fridays’ is a new weekly blog series where you submit your questions and struggles about designing your Uncaged career – and I give you my straight up Uncaged answers.
I’m feeling stuck. I’m so dying to create my Uncaged career, but I don’t have the money to go after this crazy dream right now. I’ve been offered a full time job that would lead to a great career, but I don’t want to be working for someone else forever. I’m afraid of getting even more stuck if I take this job, because all I really want to be doing is working towards my new business! But I need income to survive. Should I take the job to help save money to build my Uncaged career?
Ohhh this one is SO common and I’m so glad someone asked it.
My short answer is YES – take the job.
I never recommend that anyone put that much stress on themselves and their new business by not having a backup income.
In fact, when I started my business I hadn’t been working for a year, and I went out and got a job. I knew I wanted to make my business work, but I didn’t want to be eating ramen noodles for the next year either!
And there are a few different ways to approach this question.
Let’s start with the actual question – should I take the job? I say yes, because it can take a lot of time to build a business that is financially sustainable, and there is nothing Uncaged about not being able to pay your rent. If you go into the job thinking of it as your business loan, as the thing that is funding your dream, and remember that it’s just temporary (whether your boss knows or not), it will take the financial pressure off. That way, you can grow your business slowly on the side, and once you’re making enough money to live off it, you can make the transition out. Yes, this means you will be working two jobs for a while… but it’s better than putting all that pressure on yourself to make money fast (which is not usually how it goes when you start a business). That’s when most entrepreneurs quit – when it’s not happening as fast as they want/need it to, and they don’t have a backup income stream.
Now, to attack it from another angle:
Who says you need a ton of money to start your business?
Yes, you need enough for the basics to live – food, rent, wine, etc. But nowadays, if you’re building what I call an Uncaged Career – which means your business is based online – startups costs are crazy low (it none at all).
Start by grabbing clients within your immediate circle. Start talking to people about what you do, and asking people to be your clients. Clients are everywhere! Start working with them NOW! That doesn’t cost you anything, yo!
Then slap up a website, even if it’s a super basic one, and get started making a name for yourself! You don’t need a few thousand dollars to get started. In fact, I created a video last year walking you through exactly how to do it yourself for FREE. Start creating great content that helps people (and get a free account from Mailchimp to start gathering email addresses of people who visit your site) and things will start to grow!
Think you need to hire a copywriter? Think again. After working with the best copywriters out there and spending thousands of dollars on business courses, what I’ve learned is that writing your copy yourself is totally easy IF you know how to do it. So how do you do it? Write in your clients language. Their exact language. Find a handful of your ideal clients, and survey them! Listen to how they talk about their problems, and then cut and paste their exact words into your copy. When new people come to your site, they are going to think “Holy shit! She’s talking directly to me!” and they will fall in love with you and give you their money. And once again, this costs you absolutely nothing.
That’s it, that’s all.
You don’t need a lot of money to do this, and there is no point in waiting til you have money to get started
As your business grows, you can start to invest in a better website, a business coach, whatever else it is that will help you grow your business, but to get started, you DO NOT need a ton of cash.
Bootstrap it baby!
So, my real answer to this questions is – Yes, take the job, and build your business in the meantime.
Stop using money as an excuse and get started already.
I’d love to hear what you think! Are you stuck between business and job? How does it feel to know that you don’t have to choose right now? Comment below!
Got a question you need answered? Shoot ’em over to email@example.com with the subject FIGURE IT OUT FRIDAY.