All of the experts in the entrepreneurial, self-help, motivational space will tell you that in order to stop living for the weekends, you have to love what you’re doing. Be passionate and start your own company.
Unfortunately it’s a little more complicated than that.
Whether it’s student loans, credit card debit or other financial obligations, the notion of leaving whatever job we’re lucky to have in order to pursue something we’re passionate about just seems absurd and dangerous. Likely it is.
So how do we find the job and create the lifestyle where what we do actually makes us happy?
What makes you happy?
Go beyond the instant gratification we get from sex, partying, new purchases, food or spending time with family. Some of these activities address our primal needs, while others like family time would occur more frequently if we weren’t too busy working to survive.
Check to check, month to month, I get it and I’m right there with you. Through the grind of everyday life (insert Eric Prydz) we either forget or never get to experience / learn what really makes us feel fulfilled. Maybe it’s working with the homeless, locking down business deals or building jet engines. Who knows?
So because we’re stuck in whatever job for whatever reasons, we’re unable to to find what makes us happy. Because of these we compensate or recover happiness from the suckage known as our jobs, by deriving short-term utility from vices like alcohol or iPhones.
Often the higher the price, the greater perceived benefit (rarely true) and the cycle of “living for the weekends” goes on and on.
There’s definitely a high associated with buying something new. I love fresh Under Amour shorts and socks. I’m not advising you to live some frugal life where your wardrobe is made up of collections from Goodwill and your diet consists of beans and rice.
It should become a concern when these behaviors are the only things that bring you fulfillment.
How to change it…
So the first step is to stop every single activity that you do outside of your work hours. Everything.
Work will always take up a tremendous part of your life and if you’re unhappy doing that, then all of that other stuff going on isn’t working for you. It’s time to get a little bit radical and cut all of it out for at least a month.
All of your obligations with friends and whatever else, just tell them you’re taking a hiatus.
This idea is probably terrifying for you, which takes us back to the first part. If you don’t know what you’re after, then you’re not going to start a business, quit your job or find something that you love to do. Quitting everything is a way for you to work towards that.
Quitting all of these behaviors will be hard. I got a B+ in pysch101, so I’m fully qualified when I say that they’re addictions. You’re going to feel lost without them after you start something new and immediately want to crawl back. Don’t go back. If you want radical change, you have to work for it.
I’m close with a lot of people who complain everyday about their jobs and everything else going on. You control a lot more than you think, but no one is going to do it for you.
We’re always looking for new solutions to problems when the answer is really out there in front of us. It’s why there’s a new diet fad each summer and fitness magazines are able to sell a new six-pack abs workout each week. The answer for changing your life starts and ends with you. It’s going to be hard, but doing something that you hate five days a week until you retire is going to be even worse.
Finding a balance.
I think that happiness lies somewhere in between the balance of life and work. Given that you just stopped everything that you’re doing outside of your job, there are two paths you can take to find this kind of zen. You may start on one and end up on the other, but it’s good to have a plan in mind.
You can work at a job doing something that you love
You can create a business doing something that you love
No matter which path you start on, the first thing that you’re going to have to do is stop living for weekends and start working on weekends. You can create your own four hour workweek, but it’s not going to happen immediately.
We already killed all of your plans a few paragraphs ago, but going forward you want to remove yourself from all of the outside functions that aren’t actively pushing you closer towards your goal.
You’re like UFC Fighter Georges St. Pierre leading up to a title fight, distractions are eliminated and all focus is dedicated to the goal of remaining world champion.
Create a business doing something you love
Entrepreneurship isn’t something that can be taught in a classroom, it’s all about experience. Fundamentally you can learn a lot from reading, but it doesn’t fully prepare you for all of the problems you’re going to run into. I don’t think you’re ever fully prepared, but getting started is the first step.
You want to avoid creating the next revolutionary product that no one has heard about yet. Don’t create an app because you saw someone else made a million dollars doing it. Focus on building something that you can sell fast and won’t take a ton of cash to get started.
When you’re looking at your passions and things that you love, be critical on how you plan on being able to monetize it. Your goal should be to launch and sell as quickly as possible.
1.) Analyze your strengths
- What are you good at doing now?
- Where do you have the most industry connections?
- Do you have any other advantages?
2.) Tie them into your passion
- Is there a market that combines my strengths + passion?
- Who are the major businesses and how did they get there?
- How long and expensive until I can get X to market?
3.) Clearly define goals and metrics
- I’m successful if I can sell X widgets every Y days
- I can quit my job when I’m doing X revenue a month
- I want to be at X level in Y amount of time
Things to do:
- Read the 4-Hour Work Week / $100 Startup
- Test Your Business Idea for Less Than $100
- Start building niche websites to learn internet marketing
Weekends are a foreign concept to the successful entrepreneurs and internet hustlers that I know. They’re constantly working on their business or trying to build something new, not only because they’re chasing after wealth but because that’s what they love doing. Building incredible businesses drives them.
A lot of them are rich and if they wanted to they could sit around all day pwning n00bs in Call of Duty. In the short-term that’s fun, but it doesn’t compare to traveling the world and running a business from your laptop.
Make the sacrifice and work your butt off. It will pay off in one way or another.
Land your dream job…
You have to be a badass and have a proven skill set that makes you invaluable so that when you apply to a company that gives unlimited vacation, free beef jerky and free foot massages every Friday they can’t turn you down.
If you’re whining in your head about not being able to “get skills” while you’re struggling at your current job… there’s something I need to share with you. You’re using the internet and with the internet you can learn almost anything in the world. Then you can immediately start using those skills and getting better.
Getting your dream job is about being incredible at what you do.
So whether you’re a digital marketer, sales genie or pr pro, use those skills online and keep building out your network.
- Read every single thing imaginable, become an expert
- Start a blog that talks about your thoughts on the industry
- Do some freelance consulting for businesses (free & paid)
- Join groups, forums and follow blogs. Conversate, don’t spam
- Offer a free favor to authority figures for one back later (maybe)
- Get out to the events, conferences or wherever the action happens
Whether you choose to chase a job or build a company, both paths can intertwine. I’m pretty sure that I’m more employable now than ever because of all of the contacts that I’ve made from blogging and networking online. Opportunities pop up all of the time as well.
Getting back to the main point;
You stop living for the weekend, when you start working towards your goals that bring you fulfillment in life.
It doesn’t feel like work when you’re creating something that you believe in. Whether it’s something you share with others or start yourself, this is the only way to stop living for the weekends and vacations.
It’s that or submit to a lifetime or corporate slavery and consumerism.
- I think music festivals might be one of the last places on the planet where you can be mentally, emotionally and spiritually happy all at once. You should go to one this summer.
- Basically this is a toned down version of the RPJ (rip-pivot-jam) from the Lifestyle Business Podcast.
- Unfortunately, it’s normal to be stuck in “living for the weekend” and to do anything otherwise is frowned upon by the majority of society.