A Revelation – of sorts…

I was minding my own business when this blog post from Jeannie Spiro appeared (and now I can’t remember where it was; maybe a recommendation on Facebook).


It got me thinking.


You see, I was always of the opinion that I was going to work online, and that would be my sole income. It would eventually replace my full-time job (or rather, replace and at least double my current employed salary).


But the day job and life in general tends to get in the way of plans (was it John Lennon that said “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans”)?


In Jeannie’s blog post, she gives 3 reasons that keeping the paid job is a good idea while working on your own business in your spare time.


(Briefly: less money stress, reinvest in yourself, and time – you’ll need to read her post for the details!)


Now, this gave me a bit of a lightbulb moment.


I’ve spent a lot of time being resentful of my job (it takes up my time! I have to get out of bed in the mornings!), but actually I do get a decent amount of benefits by being employed.


And now that I live with Chris, who works from home, the idea of me working from home as well all the time has lost appeal. When I lived by myself in my lovely flat (the Purple Palace) then that would have been a great location to work from home. But if I have people around me, then I’ll get distracted (unless it’s strangers in a coffee shop, but all the cups of tea I’ll need would prove expensive).


Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with Chris (you’d hope so, wouldn’t you!). But I don’t think it would do our relationship any good if we were together 24/7.


So reading Jeannie’s post resonated with me.


At the moment, I get 28 days paid holiday a year. If I get ill, I can take time off and still be paid. It takes me between 10-15 minutes to drive to and from work. Plus, I actually quite like the people that I work with. Not that I’d ever tell them that of course, can’t have them thinking I’ve gone soft!


So yes, while I am technically part of the rat race, I don’t have the worst deal of all time.


No, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to work on my own stuff. I think that’s the most frustrating part of it all. But in the meantime I bring in enough income to pay my bills & enjoy my life to a certain extent. So I don’t have that pressure on me at present.


After reading Jeannie’s post I realised that at the moment, I can have the best of both worlds. I have the security of knowing my bills are being paid, and I don’t have to worry about my next paycheck. This therefore frees me up to be creative and do what I choose to do online (rather than desperately chasing money).


Seth Godin illustrates this well on his blog, particularly point 7.


So rather than feeling like a failure, I shall accept where I am in life at the moment, and continue pottering away in the background with a newfound respect for my job (well, until it annoys me again of course!).


Ultimately, yes, I will be my own boss & work for myself, but for now, I have a safety net, and therefore can do things that are enjoyable while I work (e.g. I can just about afford to go on holiday).


Just as long as I don’t get too comfortable…


What about you? Do you work for a company as well as for yourself? Do you have a conflict of interests as I did (and still do, to a certain extent)?


Let me know in the comments below!


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4 replies
  1. Hilary Dickinson
    Hilary Dickinson says:

    Hi Nikki

    I know exactly what you mean – I have a similar dilemma. Mine is that I love teaching and know that I do a good job, but being hourly paid, I am constantly working between three jobs, teaching different subjects and levels and looking for something more permanent.

    The summer break is fast approaching (two weeks’ time!) and I need the break, but it also means no income for six weeks. I have studying and paperwork to do as well as catching up on all the tasks at home that need to be completed.

    All of this has taken me away from my online journey, which I would love to concentrate on, but life is different for each of us and we must learn to enjoy our journey (even early mornings!)otherwise our time disappears without us finding fulfilment in our everyday lives.

    So this summer break I hope to try to get done (not necessarily in this order):

    1. My assignments for my Level 5 maths course
    2. Teaching paperwork up to date by the end of July
    3. Planning for next year’s teaching done early
    4. The house and garden tidied up
    5. Some momentum with my online business ideas
    6. Enjoy my family and friends
    7. Enjoy life!

    I hope you and Chris enjoy yours too. We can only live our own lives – not someone else’s.

    Hilary Dickinson recently posted..Which road to follow?


    Nikki Reply:

    Hey Hils,

    Great to hear from you!

    Ah, it’s not just me then that has trouble balancing it all. It’s a pain isn’t it, you have certain things in your mind that you want to do, but then life (& the responsibilities we all have) get in the way.

    A couple of months ago I sat down and planned out a new product, or at least, the structure that it would take. And then I moved house, and so that’s all gone out of the window for now. I’m only just starting to ease myself back into the online world.

    The summer break sounds great! Although not earning for 6 weeks doesn’t sound so good. So there again is another example of a conflict – that much time off would be fantastic, but not if it isn’t bringing in the money.

    I like that you’ve put your aims for the summer into a list (I love lists!). 6 & 7 are those things that it’s all too easy to push aside, but they are probably the things that will give the most enjoyment. As we’ve discussed before, taking a break from everything is important to allow us to recharge, otherwise we’re just running around drained & not enjoying anything.

    I don’t know about you, but I like to enjoy my life and the experiences within it. So that’s a crucial factor for me.

    As for my summer, well, I’ll be at work, but also I want to get the house sorted, and the garden sorted, and spend time with family & friends, and sleep, and relax, and get back into learning Italian before we go back there at the end of September. Oh, and of course, get back into the online saddle and make some decent progress!

    Thanks for coming over & commenting.



  2. Mandy Allen@Learn To Blog
    Mandy Allen@Learn To Blog says:

    I guess have an idyllic life really. I have a good income from my shop but don’t have to be there 24/7, in fact I only actually sit in the shop a couple of days week.

    The down side is I am responsible for everything that goes on and am on call constantly when there’s a problem or when someone doesn’t turn up for their duty. But in reality that happens maybe a couple of times a month.

    I created my online presence while I had an art gallery, which I did work in every day, but I was able to be online all day while waiting for customers – most people there were browsers which is why it had to go.

    I do have other ‘jobs’, like the alpaca trekking, but that’s really for pocket money and because I LOVE the alpacas! I also love doing the weddings, which I have started this year. Anything around animals and I’m in my element. But I wouldn’t be able to do that either if the shop didn’t support me in the main.

    Working from home is brilliant, I spend my time as I fell I want to, but must admit I often find myself spending too much time doing ‘nice things’!!! Good job I have a job that pays too!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy Allen@Learn To Blog recently posted..Making Sure Your Video Is Centred


  3. Joey Xoto
    Joey Xoto says:

    Hey there Nikki, I stumbled upon your Blog from Barry’s post and thought I’d check out what you’re doing.

    Looks like we are currently running the same race.

    Re; your post. Good read. I still work a 9-5, and still hope for freedom from my office job so I can spend more time on my own business. It’s definitely a struggle bouncing back and forth, but I guess it’s just one of those temporal things we must deal with.

    I was just over at the warrior forum this morning, and saw a post from a young guy who gave up his office job to pursue his online business; it’s not going too well for him. I think it takes a certain courage and confidence to do that!

    I guess the 9-5 has it’s upside for me; it gives me time to brainstorm sometimes when I’m free at work (thinking of product ideas etc). It also gives me a break from the marketing stuff, which I think we need once in a while from running into virtual walls all day.

    Your attitude is the correct one to have really. Don’t need to feel down about it, just get on and we will make it 



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