For those of you who have done this or who are in the process of doing this now, you know that if you are passionate about your dreams, they will become a priority, and will not suffer at the hands of a 9 to 5. Therefore, the key to following your dreams while gainfully employed is passion, passion, passion. If you have this, you’re honestly already halfway there!
I consider myself the QUEEN of multitasking. I have worked a full time job, attended graduate school, become a blogger while maintaining an editing gig on the side and a social life! I wouldn’t recommend others try this because I’m a professional, and everyone isn’t able. But, for those of you who only have to juggle your dreams and a job, here is what you must do:
Sacrifice - When you are pursuing your dreams full time, you WILL have less time to do other things you enjoy – like sleeping (my personal favorite), watching Hoarders, dating, and the like. A financial sacrifice may also be required to achieve your dreams. However, your sacrifice will only be temporary. Work hard now so you can play hard later.
Believe - I always say, “if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.” At times, you will want to give up. Some will try to convince you to give up. But, if you truly believe, your dreams will not perish because of negative outside influences, and your dreams WILL ultimately come to past.
Network - Connect with others trying to achieve a similar goal. When I first started blogging, I felt like just another number. WordPress said there were over 1 million bloggers registered on its site alone. I was a small fish in a huge pond. But, as I began to reach out to other bloggers, I learned how to build my audience. I had others with which to share my frustrations and I even began writing for some of those sites.
Seek Help - Not therapy, but get your friends and family involved. If you’re anything like me, you are surrounded by talented individuals. Determine how this group can help you achieve your dream and don’t be afraid to solicit their advice, assistance and support.
Manage Your Time - Sure, you work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but there are 24 hours in a day. When you look at it this way, working actually only takes up 33% of your day. It is up to you to use the other 67% wisely. Complete tasks that MUST be done over the phone or in person during off hours. Tasks that can be completed by email, text or through social media can be done throughout the day since most phones are now equipped with these applications.
Downgrade - You don’t have to be a “starving artist,” but if you can afford it, take a pay cut or get a less-demanding, more flexible job. Most people would rather make less money working towards their dreams than six figuring it at a dead end job that makes them miserable. Oprah herself preaches the importance of following your dreams, affirming that the money will inevitably flow from your labor of love.
Prepare - You must be mentally and emotionally ready to face the challenge of pursuing your dreams. Understand that anything worth having is worth fighting for and it won’t be easy. But, living in your purpose is the most exquisite joy you will ever know.
“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”
Henry David Thoreau
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