#20: Balancing the Chaos Part 2: Still Being a Great Employee

Now that the craziness of the holidays is beginning to wind down, I want to get back to the series I began a few weeks ago. 

As a recap, I’ve been discussing how to Balance the Chaos of transitioning into making your passion the thing that not only supports you, but enables you to enjoy your life on your terms (and not somebody else’s). My first post, which you can find here, was about managing time. I highly recommend you read that one first and then make your way back here, because time management is a super important step that will lay a strong foundation enabling you to reach your goals.

With that, I’m going to dive into a super important attitude that will carry you through your time still working for “the man” when you have this passion burning inside you to do your own thing. 

Maybe not everyone will experience this, and if you are one of those select few, then kudos to you my friend! But I think most of us will probably begin noticing that focusing on work at your day job is a lot harder; clocking in becomes a nuisance, coworkers become more frustrating, and having to request time off and work life around the schedule your employer decides is now… cumbersome. 

This is what happened to me. 

A few months ago I realized that I want to create art for people that comes from my own sources of inspiration and that glorifies God and brings joy to people. As an in-house designer, I can’t do that. I have to do what the company wants, with their look, their wording, their style, and their direction. 

I began to find my thoughts wandering and this transition of priorities took place in my mind. Suddenly Amanda Mills Design became this super important, exciting thing. SO much more exciting than other things.

What I soon realized though, is that I couldn’t let my work ethic slip simply because I want to grow my own business. As you all know, I am a Christian. Part of what that means is as this Bible verse says:

“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.” - Ephesians 6:7

This is something that my Dad taught me as a young child and that I will never forget.

So to apply that to my situation, I daily remember that even though I no longer want to work for someone else, I should still provide to them the same level of service I always did before. And perhaps even more so.

Because if I’m working as if I’m working for God Almighty himself, who is completely perfect, I am going to be the best employee I can be every single day! If I were working as if working for people, who are flawed, rude, unloving, and selfish, then I wouldn’t want to do a flippin' thing for them! I’m sure you can relate.

Even faith models aside, it becomes super unethical to work on personal work while at your day job. There is this huge temptation to, while no one is looking, answer that email on your smartphone for your freelance client, or draw up ideas for your new product, or research ways to better market your new service. 

I’ve seen it first hand, and it’s wrong. It’s detrimental to your employer, because you’re no longer giving them your utmost. You’re giving them your least.

And you’re stealing.

Yep. If you’re working on your passion while on the clock, you’re taking your employer’s money and putting it towards your own work.

So what’s my solution?

Number 1:

If you still need a day job to support you while in pursuit of your passion, you need to find one somewhere else where you can devote enough focus and mental capacity to that day job, and then still come home with enough gusto to pursue your passion.

Number 2:

Maybe you’re getting enough clients/selling enough product, etc. from your passion project to step down from full time and take on a part time job. This will take even more resentment away from your day job because it’s not taking up so much time.

Number 3: 

If you’re passion is causing you to be a horrible employee, then for your sake, and the company’s, it’s time for you to leave. “So where will I get my income from?” you ask? I urge you to save your money. Save your money to cover your expenses for at least 5 - 6 months. Work as hard as you can on your side project during that time (outside of day job only) to get it started. And when you have that money set aside, put in your notice and dive head first into your passion project.

Finally, remember to be patient and tenacious

Getting to the point where you passion supports you fully is going take time. And it might not be a success the first time around. But all successful entrepreneurs know that it takes falling down, and getting up over and over again, stronger and more tenacious than the times before, to truly be successful.

Saturday Scripture:

- “Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” - Colossians 3:22-25