For my birthday this year my girlfriend purchased me a copy of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job by Jon Acuff.
This is a great book for someone such as myself who works full-time and works part-time on nights and weekends towards a dream. I think it is a great book for any young leader who has a dream or vision in her heart to do something great, but who is having trouble making that dream or vision possible.
In Quitter Jon talks about some key principles people need to know if they are serious about making progress toward their dream.
Here’s a few quotes from the book that I feel are relevant to you and I as leaders who are working towards a dream and vision.
“When you keep your day job, all opportunities become surplus propositions rather than deficit remedies” (p. 14).
A major theme in Jon’s book is that if you have a dream you want to pursue it is a great advantage to keep a full-time paying job. The advantage is that you know your bills are going to be paid, you know you have good health insurance, and you have stability. If you have a solid full-time job it helps to provide you a springboard you can launch your dream from because you can pick and choose which opportunities to pursue and what you dedicate your time to simply because you know all your bills are taken care of. You get to do what you love to do because you do not have to do it for money.
“You have the perfect amount of time each day for the things that matter most. The key is spending time on those things” (p. 73).
Jon talks about building a schedule and system of how you can spend time working on your dream. His advice is to find a way to wake up an hour earlier every morning to work on your dream. Whatever your process might be, I agree that if you are committed to working on your dream you need to schedule time for it. For me, I know that from 7pm to 9pm I have time for my dream. I’m home by 5pm to enjoy a walk with my girlfriend, eat dinner, then get to work on homework, creating content, and writing. That gives me a good two hours every night that I get to dedicate to my dream of completing a college degree and creating content for this blog.
“Bad employees make horrible dreams . . . . You’re not just working; you’re practicing for your dream . . . . If you want your dream job to work, work on your day job.”
This is an important principle that I have seen not lived out. Often I have come across people who are terrible at their 8 to 5 job because all they do is dream about their dream job. They do a crummy job at their paid job then expect to magically “turn on” their hard work switch to work on their dream job. It does not work that way and I am glad Jon touched on this in the book. He says that if you are serious about pursuing your dream job you need to start by giving everything you got your paying job.
I throughouly enjoyed and have benefited from Jon’s book. He has some great insights about how to make progress towards a dream and vision while still holding down a full-time job, being a great father, and a faithful husband.
If you know of someone chasing a dream on nights and weekends while still working a full-time job (or maybe that person is yourself) I would suggest Quitter as a great resource.
Question: What other principles do you believe are important when someone is working a full-time job and working to pursue a dream?