Over The Hump: 3 Strategies To Help Leave The Corporate Life Behind
6 am. The alarm goes off.
You hit the snooze button. 10 minutes later, it’s still Monday. You sit up on the edge of the bed and ask yourself, “Where did the weekend go? And Is this really my life?”
You get up, hit the shower, grab breakfast, throw on some clothes, and rush out the door. You sit in traffic or stand cramped on a sweaty train just to end up at a job that literally makes you cringe. Impatiently waiting for the weekend and your next check. Then, come Monday, you start the cycle over again.
Does this sound familiar? Half of your life is dedicated to something you hate. But guess what? This doesn’t have to be your life forever.
For those looking to live their lives differently, I’ve provided 3 strategies that have been promoted by some of today’s most successful people. Utilize these strategies to take your first steps towards leaving the corporate world. Once you put these to work, you can say goodbye to micromanagers and brown nose politics and hello to creative freedom and endless possibilities. The stuff dreams are made of.
1) Time Is Worth More Than Money
Who wouldn’t want more time? The truth is that everyone has 24 hours in a day. In order to make the most of your time, you have to budget it like you budget your money. You have to begin looking at time as your most valuable asset. When you waste it on non-productive activities like hitting the club on the weekend, lounging around on the couch playing Madden, or binge-watching Walking Dead on Netflix (trust me I’m guilty of all these things) you take away from the time that could be spent on improving your craft or working on your business. When you’re not working for your employer, dedicate that “free time” to reaching your goals. This means nights, weekends, and even holidays.
You should spend your time on everything from establishing a social media presence, acquiring or honing your skills, creating a business plan, attending networking events to becoming more involved in your community. There will always be something to do that will help move you forward on your path.
Remember, time is the most valuable commodity you have.
“When you’re not working for your employer, dedicate that “free time” to reaching your goals. This means nights, weekends, and even holidays.”
2) Your Employer Is Your Investor
Let’s face it, money makes the world go round. As a member of society, you have to make sure you have a roof over your head and put food on the table as a means of survival. To accomplish this, the first thing you do is you go out and look for a job to pay the bills. When these jobs no longer work for you, you find another, and then another. But along the way you get trapped in this cycle.
This is what most people hate, the never-ending cycle.
Many of us are working dead-end jobs just to survive. That’s it. Where is the fulfillment in that? But your employer is actually worth something more than just a means of survival.
You should adjust your mindset and think of your employer as your investor. Instead of only living paycheck to paycheck, your employer can provide a means for you to achieve your dream life. Once you find a decent job and figure out a way to cut back on your living expenses, the “extra money” you have is your employer’s investment in your dreams. They are now funding your new business. Once you see your employer as an investor, it’ll be easier to get through these dreadful days of just working and being in survival mode.
Most of us don’t have a rich uncle or a trust fund with millions laying around for such an occasion. Instead, you can take the money you make from your job and put it into building your business. This may mean skipping out on the new Jordans dropping this weekend or hitting Vegas for your birthday, but with this extra cash flow being used to build your future, just think where you will be in a year’s time.
1) Pick A Date
This next step will take some imagination and some visualization of your end goal. The first question you have to ask yourselves is where do you want to be a year from now? Are you still chained to the cubicle or are you handing in your 2-week notice on your way to creative and financial freedom? Once you’ve decided where you want to be, take out a sheet of paper, write down your goals, set a date, and sign your name. Now you have this vision that has been floating around in your head written down on something tangible.
This is when the fun begins.
You have a date and it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable and stick to that date as best you can. It may take you only 6 months or it may take a year and some change, but come hell or high water, you know you will get there.
Inevitably, there will be some setbacks. However, if you are really serious about your life goal of becoming an artist, writer, musician, fashion designer, or whatever your dream may be, writing it down and setting that date are the first steps towards leaving your employer and beginning your journey as a full-time entrepreneur and living life on your own terms.
This journey will be a struggle and you’ll face many challenges, especially for those of us who have been brainwashed into thinking working for an employer all of our lives is the only way we can achieve “The American Dream”
It won’t be easy. I have trouble with each of these things, but every day I go to work I know this is not who or what I want to be. I’m sure a lot of you can relate.
So, you have 2 choices. Will you continue to live in fear and remain slaves in Corporate America? Or will you take the risk and set yourselves free to join others who are on their own entrepreneurial journey?
The path you choose is up to you.
Sway Calloway is one of the most revered journalists of hip-hop. It’s only fitting he would launch his very own block party, Sway Fest, in the Bay Area!