SHOULD I QUIT MY DAY JOB?
At some point in every creative's life, we inevitably ask ourselves: Should I Quit My Day Job?
The thought of creating full-time is a tantalizing one. We imagine ourselves waking up with the sunrise, pouring a cup of green tea or a cappuccino, and spending the entire day writing/drawing/painting/etc. in an effortless wave of inspiration. Oh, the things we'll get done now that we finally have the time!
But let me tell you as someone who has quit their day job, there's a lot more to it than that.
When you're working for yourself full time, the only person holding you accountable is you. The only deadlines you face are the ones you impose on yourself. If you have an unproductive day, it's not your boss's fault you didn't get your work done or your annoying coworkers' - it's yours. I've read countless articles that tell you to only quit your day job once you've saved a certain amount of money, or once your side hustle can cover your expenses, or any other number of monetary factors. But my advice is different, and has nothing to do with money. Sure, money is nice, and definitely essential for paying rent, but there's a million success stories out there of people who quit their jobs with only $40.00 in their bank account (or some other ridiculously low number) and did just fine. That's because those people went home after their last day at the office, sat down, and got to work. No excuses.
You should quit your day job if (and only if!) you're ready to work twice as hard on creating as you did at your day job. Whoever said "Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life" clearly never quit their day job.
I would argue you could have all the money in the world and quit your day job and still not create a single thing. That's because once it's up to you to choose how you fill your day, you experience an element of agency over your life that you didn't have when you worked a day job, and that agency can actually be stifling. I know in my first few weeks out of work, I actually spent a lot of time waffling around, wondering if I'd made a mistake. Eventually I got into the swing of things but I still struggle with staying motivated, especially on days when I'm feeling low on inspiration. But that's totally normal, and all part of the process, and if that scares you, then I would not suggest this route.
I think creatives romanticize quitting their day jobs sometimes to an unhealthy extent. Remember that plenty of people go to work in the morning and then come home to create. Those people enjoy the benefits of 401K matching, healthcare, and socializing with their coworkers. And that's just fine.
So if you read this post hoping for an answer to the question of whether or not you should quit your day job, the main takeaway here is that you already know. You already know whether you're the type of person who has the drive to make it work. You already know if you would need money to make it work or if you could take a leap of faith. You already know if you're the type of person who can hold yourself accountable and keep yourself going day in and day out.
If you're that person, then you should quit.
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