Part of our business coaching service involves advising people on any number of things. Sometimes I have people who are not necessarily in my programs call and want to meet with me for some advice. Most of these people are friends or friends of friends or friends of clients. I usually try to fit them into my schedule and treat these meetings as ministry-like opportunities.
It’s my time to help others, just as others helped me when I was getting started.
As you might expect, most of the issues are job-related.
Let’s say someone is between jobs. He or she finds a part-time opportunity like brokering freight, selling residential real estate, working as an Uber driver, etc. They usually are achieving some success, but it’s not nearly enough to make this a career so they continue to search for a permanent job in their chosen field. Once they find a job doing what’s in their wheelhouse, they think about continuing the side job at night and on weekends—in addition to that new, good day job. They ask me for my advice.
Another situation might see someone struggling in his or her day job. This day job isn’t producing the results they’d like so they are thinking of supplementing their efforts with a side job like brokering freight, selling residential real estate, working as an Uber driver, etc. (Sound familiar?) They ask me for my advice.
So what do you think they should do?
If you have had an interim job generating $1,000 to $3,000 per month, why not continue that and work the day job? After all, that’s real money. And if you’re struggling at your day job, that extra money can be a big help with family finances.
Based on the experiences of people who have tried both scenarios, I advise just concentrating on one job and one job only.
If you are starting a new job doing what you know best, what you are trained to do, you’ll need all the focus and energy you can bring in order to be truly successful at that job. Leaving your new main job at the end of the day and going to a second job diffuses your focus and energy. Also, it doesn’t allow you the necessary “downtime” to decompress and recover from the pressures and stresses associated with starting a new job. Trying to do both jobs results in misdirected energy.
And if you are not doing as well as you could at your current day job, figure out how to do what you do better. Don’t try to circumvent the problem by getting a second job. Stretching yourself too thinly will not help you succeed. I’ve found that usually the problem isn’t the day job itself but how someone is performing while doing that day job.
Here’s what else I’ve found: High performers and overachievers perform well and overachieve because they devote all of their energy to one thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone being recognized for overachieving in two industries at the same time. If success were that easy, we’d all have two simultaneous careers. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I’m also sure those exceptions are rare.
Overachievers go into fields they enjoy, where they know they can succeed. They are strategic in their approach to their careers. Generally, their job becomes their passion, and perseverance is a given. For more on that topic, read Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
This adage is true: You can’t worship two gods at the same time.
You gotta pick one and be all in. You need to find what you are good at doing and then concentrate your efforts there. Do that, and you’ll do what you do better.