“Your 8-5 Pays the Bills. Your 6-9 Builds the Empire.”

By Coach Tafadzwa Mukoyi

A person without bills is not too far from misery, That must be taken with a pinch of salt but it holds enough water to wash any misguided perceptions that bills are a bad thing. Bills are an indicator of progress but not all bills are good bills. The bills that are bad are that outside of your means. Please note I did not say salary, I said means. 

A lot of people have come to me to get validation on a decision they would have long made; to leave their job when their side hustle begins to show signs of success. I always tell them that if I had known what I know now I would have kept my job much much longer than I did before I ventured out alone. 

The entrepreneurship corridors are lonely and a lot ought to be done before one fully commits to take the deep end dive. Your 8 am to 5 pm pays the bills and that is exactly what it was designed to do. While many others have realized that they can practice entrepreneurship within their 8 am to 5 pm and have become successful, the truth is that your financial freedom is proportionate to the growth of your company and the percentage the shareholders are willing to share with you their gains through a salary, a dividend and in some cases a bonus or profit share and it pays the bills. 

Your 8 am to 5 pm must be a source of stability that guarantees a regular income so that you can use it to budget for your regular and recurring bills such as rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, medical cover and so on. In many cases, that paycheck, when used wisely, can open doors to loans and advances that will help activate your 6 pm to 9 pm.

Your job must be a stepping stone to your dreams and without that, serious soul searching is important. For both your job and hustle keep your eye on the end game, keep focused on who you are and what you want. For that reason, your 6 pm to 9 pm is not a time to wind down and relax but to grow yourself in all aspects of your life and as a life coach we use the wheel of life to help you plan a holistic life approach. 

While this article will focus mainly on the entrepreneurship and personal development side, the wheel of life also teaches us not to ignore Leisure, Family, Significant other, Emotional intelligence, Heath as well as spiritual well being. 

To build your future always focus on outputs, not inputs and to achieve that you have to be a cause and not an effect. That means driving both your agendas to keep your job and to sharpen your skills for the hustle. To stay on track, measure your outputs using your individual targets and also consider 360° team reviews, appraisals and reiterating reviews must be your friend. 

Your 6 pm to 9 pm, therefore, is about developing your soft and hard skills and these often help you at work as well as outside your work, especially the soft skills. Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you do everything you do on and off the job. They include how you interact with people or your interpersonal skills, communication skills, listening skills, motivation, conflict resolution, empathy, problem-solving capacity, creative thinking and how you manage your time and responsibilities among many others.

Often these are also called transferable skills because you can use them regardless of your chosen profession or the entrepreneurship ventures you pursue. Having said that, to develop these during your 6 pm to 9 pm you can choose anything from coaching, mentorship, training, reading, meditation, and even studying depending on the objective. While soft skills are difficult to measure they are easy to observe.

Your 6 pm to 9 pm is also a time to develop your hard skills and these are the skills required to perform at your peak in a specific job category. In effect to develop the expertise to successfully carry your job role you may need to use your 6 pm to 9 pm to acquire formal education and training programs which may include going back to school, college or university; apprenticeship programs, short-term training classes, online courses, and other certification programs.

I learnt sadly once about someone who was unable to differentiate one day from another as their 8 am to 5 pm blended together with their 6 pm to 9 pm as did their weekends and weekdays into one depressing and unbearable blob which was only interrupted by intermittent sleep and when the sleep did come it was to sleep off the sludge. What is saddening is that many people find themselves in this place and when they get some free time they still have nothing to look forward to and they don’t know how to use it and actually dread their free time by remaining active in wasting time.

Leave work at your 8 am to 5 pm and leave your hustle at your 6 pm to 9 pm. The challenge is a lot of people want to mix the two and one will suffer because of your absence when you are present in another.

Listen to podcasts or audiobooks when you commute or drive, there is lots of content on almost every topic. So on your way to work listen to something relevant to your work to inspire you and on your way home do what helps your side hustle. That way you allow the top of mind awareness to guide you throughout the day. This also helps you to look forward to both aspects of your life. Even if your 8 am to 5 pm is about paying bills, remember to pay yourself first and not last. If there are debts that remain after paying yourself first it will motivate you to punch higher. Furthermore, also remember that by paying yourself first you can then prioritize your side hustle, sharpening your skills and building your future. By paying yourself first you can also focus on passive income streams, for example, online education, app creation or even blogging

Without a doubt, one of the most valuable skills you should learn is the skills of sales and marketing if you are going to build a sustainable future. You may have good ideas or products or even sharpened skills but if you cannot take them to the market you will have unused stockpiles of potential.

When people look for a job, what do they want and when they get it why do they want to quit? I will let you ponder on that one.

Featured image from Coach Taf Mukoyi

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