For the love of the game

So many people want to quit their day jobs to pursue a side passion full-time.

My boss dreams of leaving corporate marketing and being an interior designer. My brother-in-law, the public defender, yearns to open a little 20-seat restaurant. My clients are brand new life coaches and all any of them want is to get to the point where their coaching can support them full time.

But in a world where it’s getting harder and harder to afford to buy a house, or save for your kids’ college education — quitting the day job is so often just not an option.

But this does not mean you need to suffer until retirement!

A few years ago I dreamed of quitting, too. But as I’ve been building my coaching practice on the side of my job in corporate marketing, I no longer want to quit to coach full-time.

Holding onto my day job while I build my business is turning out to feel exactly right for me, and here’s why:

I get to allow my coaching business to grow organically.

Because I am intentionally building my business “on the side” I can feel 100% OK about letting it grow at its own pace. Most businesses, like most things in life, are not an overnight success. My business is bringing in money bit by bit. I don’t need (or expect) it to pay the bills right now.

I can “test, learn and re-invest what I earn.”.

My day job is paying the bills, funding my 401k and building my daughter’s college fund. Right now, what I earn from coaching is going straight back into the business. Instead of funneling the extra income into my household account, I use it to test things like Facebook ads, invest in courses to grow my knowledge and my own coach to give me the perspective and support I need.

I’ve been able to pivot without worry.

I trained with Kate Swoboda (aka Kate Courageous) and fully intended to be a life coach. With time I’ve pivoted to mentoring new coaches in marketing. I use my life coaching skills and my marketing expertise every single day with these new coaches and it’s incredibly fulfilling. If I’d stayed solely focused on leaving my day job, a pivot would have slowed that path and I may never have tried it!

I found a new appreciation for my day job.

Once my day job stopped being my only career focus, I found a renewed pleasure in it! I went from feeling frustrated to pretty darn content. For me, having my coaching business on the side gives me the fulfillment that I couldn’t seem to find in “just” my day job. Now I’m happy at work and at home!  #ProTip:  Stick a post-it in your workspace that says “Thank you job” to remind yourself that your day job is enabling your side gig.

And last, but certainly not least….

By allowing my day job to support me, I get to ENJOY what I do on the side.

I’ve found that if you don’t require your side business to support you, you can enjoy it a whole lot more! Sure, it’s hard work. Sure, it can take up your weekends and eat into your evenings… but it’s also that thing you love to do. And it doesn’t need to pay the bills!

So, if you’re like so many others and have been dreaming of quitting to pursue what you love full-time, I’d like to pose an alternative. Why not hang onto the day job as long as you possibly can and instead… intentionally follow your passion on the side?

Vanessa Soto is a marketing exec, life coach, solo mom of a teenager and founder of The Side Passion Project. By weekday she develops digital advertising campaigns for a Fortune 500 company and by weekend she coaches, blogs for The Huffington Post and produces the Doing It On the Side podcast. Whether you already have a side project, or are looking to find yours, subscribe to the Doing It On the Side podcast and you’ll be off to a great start.

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