I’ve been talking to a lot of creatives lately about what they do and do not like about their “day jobs” and whether or not they’d like to go freelance full-time.
Something surprises me each time I hear their responses. Their thoughts tend to start like this:
“I don’t hate my day job, I just…”
“My day job isn’t really that bad, buutttt…..”
“There are lots of things I love, it’s just that….”
It’s great to hear that people aren’t miserable and generally see the positive side of their situation or career. But there is a flip-side to this “not so bad” coin.
It makes it too easy to settle.
Settle for “good enough”.
Here’s the problem with “good enough”: It doesn’t last.
And while you’re coasting by, focusing on only the positive stuff and ignoring the downsides, not taking action to fix them, your life is passing you by.
You’re denying yourself a lot of better stuff.
Projects that inspire you.
Colleagues and friendships that challenge you.
Income that you control.
Flexibility on how you spend 40 hours a week.
So what are you going to do about it?
I challenge you to make a list of every aspect of your professional life and rate how you feel about each from 1 to 3:
1 = Great
2 = Good enough
3 = Horrible
Here’s some examples for your list:
- The projects I work on
- My co-workers
- My bosses
- Respect I receive for the work I do
- Time spent away from family
- Vacation time
- Work environment
- Clients I work with
- Inspiration on Monday mornings
- Motivation on Monday mornings
How’d you do?
Lots of 1’s or too many 2’s and 3’s? Here’s the truth: You can have all 1’s.
It’s just a matter of recognizing where you need them and taking active steps to change them. Otherwise, it’s too easy to be complacent.
I personally found that self-employment was the best way to go beyond “good enough” in all areas of my life. Although it’s not the only solution, if you’re hanging out here at the FTFP, I suspect you may think it can help you too.
Once you recognize that you are settling for “good enough”, it’s time to take action and plan your leap into full-time freelancing.
Let me know in the comments, are you settling for good enough or have you in the past? What areas do you need to work on?