“It pays the bills.”
Seriously? Have you heard this before? I hear it far too often. I’m here to put an end to it. Intelligent 20-somethings and folks of any age shouldn’t feel that they have to be stuck at a job that they hate just because it pays the bills.
While it’s great to pay the bills since we all need a roof over our heads and some food to eat, you can’t remain unhappy forever just because your current job is enough to pay the bills. There’s a perfect balance between paying your bills and still having a decent quality of life. That’s the whole purpose of this article…
Why is the saying “it pays the bills” total crap?
Because you deserve more out of life. I’m not just here to be a cheerleader. I do live in the real world and totally understand all of your concerns. I know that it’s not easy to give up a steady gig. I also realize that it’s very scary to branch off on your own. Both are frightening. However, they’re not the worst case scenarios.
Let’s take a step back first.
In the $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau summarizes what we want more of as: love, money, acceptance, and free time.
Every human being wants more money and free time. How do you figure this out? More money usually equals to less free time because you have to work more. It’s a tricky situation that I’ve been working on for the last four years. Can you make more money without devoting every breathing moment to working?
What do we want less of? Stress, conflict, hassle, and uncertainty.
We all hate uncertainty. We all have expenses to cover and bills that need to be paid for us to survive. You can’t just stop working to follow your passions because you don’t want to be homeless. Along with uncertainty will usually come stress. We get stressed when we don’t have any money. Being broke isn’t pleasant by any means.
Now it’s time to put this all together.
How can you move on from just paying the bills?
Every single person here reading this with a little ambition and consistency can go from being stuck in a job that just pays the bills to working a better job and making money doing something that they enjoy. How can you ditch the world of just paying the bills?
Create a buffer for yourself.
This is the first and most crucial step of all. Without any savings, you can’t really do much because you need money to continue covering your bills and to survive. Without a buffer, you don’t have any options. If you want to quit your job, you need to start saving money and aggressively attacking your debt right now!
Then you must…
Test your ideas out.
It is quicker than ever to start a brand new business and reach customers. You don’t believe me? Give it a try! Throw up an ad on Kijiji or reach out to potential clients through any other strategy. The answer is always no if you don’t ask.
The beauty is that you don’t have to stress about being an annoying sales person. You don’t have to charge for everything either. I give away 90% of my content. As long as you test your ideas out to see what works, what has a potential market, and what can make you money.
There’s an overlap between your passion and what others care about. The onus is on you now to look for this overlap.
What if you’re still afraid of overcoming “it pays the bills” syndrome?
You need to realize that failure isn’t that scary. To keep on going and going, putting up with the same crap is more harmful to your long-term happiness. I’m more ashamed of not trying than I ever could be of failure. We all fail. Failure is apart of life. Not trying is inexcusable and will always leave us wondering about what could have been if we only put the effort in.
There are two final steps if you’re still not ready to go all the way or have some concerns about making your own money.
Keep your job.
I hate it when I read an article and the author dictates that you must quit your job. I want you to know that it will be possible one day to quit your job. Just not today. You have to earn some your freedom. You’re not owed anything. The world doesn’t owe you a favor.
You need to keep your job until you have:
- Attacked your debt.
- Freelancing clients that are paying you money.
Keep on saving.
We all have our own levels of comfort that we want to maintain. That’s cool. This is why when my buddy turned to me last year about quitting his job, I advised that he save as much money as possible so that he could maintain his expenses assuming he had no income for at least three months.
You need to keep on saving for the next few months until you’re comfortable with the idea of quitting. Now it’s time to work.
Are you stuck in a job that just “pays the bills?” If so, I want you to know that you can start freelancing today to increase your income and possibly quit your job one day. You don’t have to be stuck in cubicle nation or in any gig that drives you insane.