2016 was an interesting year to say the least. As a self-proclaimed people watcher, I noticed a few things. From social media posts, to traditional blog posts, to webinar announcements, to online “branding” courses, self-titled experts were telling their respective audiences to quit their day job. These “opt-ins” were promoted by doing what marketers have done all along to sell products, appeal to a person’s emotions, be it their point of pain or simply an interest. This can be easily accomplished by using emotionally triggering words and phrases such as: job frustration, underpaid and overworked, stressed, and my personal favorite, “why work for someone else when you can work for yourself.” The overwhelming majority of these opt-ins required an email, for a future sales funnel, that was already saved in cue and ready to go on a pre-determined scheduled date.
What I found most fascinating about this cycle of events is that it appeared that nearly every single offer was designed to teach people how to sell (to other people like them) products. I can’t begin to tell you how many blog posts I read telling me how someone went from doubling their income in less than a year by stepping out on faith and branding. On the flipside, how many posts basically said if you didn’t desire to be an entrepreneur you were foolish?
To say the social media market was oversaturated was an understatement.
For those of you ready to fight me, allow me to provide some context.
Entrepreneurship is a beautiful thing, but faith and clever posts doesn’t mean the first thing you should do is quit your job. Many women, myself included, were bombarded with images that portrayed entrepreneurship as an easy, logical next step to escape hating one’s day job and or discovering one’s life’s purpose. Social media has fascinatingly glamorized one of the hardest career choices. If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t know these women no matter how forthcoming they might appear. Sure many have spoken openly about their struggles, but let’s be frank, struggles are relative. A struggle for a single mother with two children and little to no financial support is not the same as a wife whose husband makes enough money to support the household while she steps out on faith. Nor is it the same as a woman who can’t afford to lose the health coverage her job provides because it covers her entire family, husband included.
It’s time to end the fantasies and get realistic. Time to assess our individual situations and needs. Oh and before I forget, we need to be honest with ourselves about our work ethic and career goals. Entrepreneurship is not for thin skinned fly by night people. If the grind isn’t in you, don’t quit, stay put. There is nothing wrong with working for someone else. Everyone cannot be the CEO and even they report to someone.
A few things to consider/ask yourself so you don’t make any stupid decisions.
I am all for women following their dreams. I really am the best realistic, encouraging, cheerleader you can find. I will whoop whoop you the whole time and remind you it’s time to get to work. I am a girl’s girl who loves seeing women win. What I don’t love is seeing women duped.
Before you quit your day job, make sure it’s the right decision for you. You’re too smart to do anything less.