For My Entrepreneur Clients: Having to Go Back to the 9–5

This is Day 18 of my “30 Blog Posts in 30 Days” series. After years of feeling guilty about procrastinating blogging, I decided to treat it like a bandaid and rip it off. If you also need a kick in the pants, join me for “July’s 30 ____ in 30 Days.”

Entrepreneurs are doing things differently in 2017, but sometimes, funds become a huge issue.

As a career coach, I get a lot of interesting FB messages. Stories about getting fired by a racist AF boss, women negotiating a pay raise for the first time, etc etc.

In the last few weeks, I’ve had 5 (FIVE!) people approach me with a similar story:

Hi Brianne! About a year ago, I quit my job to (insert: start a business/do my startup FT/freelance FT/etc). Well, to be frank, the money has run out. And I find myself staring up at my ceiling in a panic over finances every night.

I feel like a failure because I can’t make it work. I need to get a 9–5, at least for a little while, to build up my nest egg.

Can you help?”

Y’all, this is a painful time. Entrepreneurs literally tell me, “I feel like I was following my calling by quitting my job. And now, by going back to work, it feels like I’m rejecting that calling.”

Okay, first of all:

You’re not a failure.

You are not a failure.

You are a success.

Below, you’ll find my advice/insight on this difficult topic. And if you find yourself staring blankly at your resume, or a blinking cursor, drop me a line and we’ll figure this out.

As an entrepreneur, your to-do list has to-do lists.

Step 1: Give Yourself a Fucking Break

Being self-employed, or being an entrepreneur, is hard. It’s risky and it’s a hustle. Sometimes, you take risks that don’t pan out, and you have to deal with the financial fall-out.

All of the people I have talked to about this have been women, who just have a harder fucking time making a startup work. In 2017, only 17% of startup founders are women. (Source)

Being a woman entrepreneur means that you are rejecting the status quo. And, when you do that, The Patriarchy™ actively tries to fuck you over.

Being a woman entrepreneur means that you are rejecting the status quo. And, when you do that, The Patriarchy™ actively tries to fuck you over.

Right now, in this moment, give yourself a fucking break. You have made yourself vulnerable, put yourself out there, and done something most people never dare to do.

Step 2: “This Isn’t the End (duh)”, or, “Time to Fucking Prioritize”

The folks I’ve talked to are so dang discouraged, because now they don’t get to work full-time on their venture (#GottaPayThoseBills).

Okay, so while this is frustrating, it’s a godsend. Entrepreneurs and self-employed folks, have a bit of an issue with FOCUS. We have “shiny object syndrome” following great idea to great idea.

You know how its. Today, you’re obsessed with building your email list. Tomorrow, you may spend 7 hours researching how to start a podcast. And next week? Who the fuck knows.

C/O #WoCInTechChat

Having less time makes you take direct, measurable action — action that should directly impact your bottom line.

Now that you have less time, you need to make that time fucking count. What campaigns or actions can you take to get more sales, more clients and increase your bottom line?

Step 3: Spice Up Your Life (through Scheduling & Honesty)

Along the same lines of prioritizing w/r/t ROI, you need to be a Google Calendar power user. (Or paper planner. Whatever.)

Now that you have less time, get real about how much time you do have, and make the fucking most of it.

On the same note, I recommend being honest with your friends (real ones and the ones on Facebook) about getting a 9–5. Be honest about what isn’t working and your struggles. Write a Medium post. SHARE IT.

Entrepreneurs are good at pretending like everything is “FINE!” and only posting the highlight reel to social media.

BUT, you’ll find that by sharing what *isn’t* working that people will feel inspired to come to your aid. Everyone loves an underdog. Share your story, and you’ll probably find a new group of people who become your evangelists.

This desk is way too organized, imo.

Step 4: Know Your Numbers & Fucking Quit

Take a look at your product or services, and figure out the exact dollar amount you need to bring home to quit your new job.

How many clients do you need? How many site memberships do you need to sell? Get real about those numbers.

Also, figure out how to cut expenses. Is ConvertKit really doing that much for your business? Can you do a local staycation instead of traveling later this year? How do you feel about AirBnB’ing your couch?

Step 5: You’re a Rockstar. *Cue ‘Eye of the Tiger*

Going back to a 9–5 is a hit to the ego, but it can be a game changer for your company. Turn on some tunes, punch the air and remember YOU CAN FUCKING DO THIS. If the movie of your life (coming to theaters in 2022), where you are will serve as the #Adversity you faced to be a success. This is your story, so keep on keeping on. ❤

Go kick some ass.

Want more action packed business/marketing/life advice? Join this newsletter. I won’t spam you, but I will deliver HBIC and action packed verbiage to help you level the fuck up. If you want to engage 1:1, tweet at me Brianne Huntsman (yes I’m serious, I fucking love twitter) or lurk on my Instagram.

Queer feminist and activist. Designer via @Stanford. Freelance creative & consultant. Here to raise a little hell.