Is Your Day Job Ruining Your Motivation?

Entrepreneur 21 Comments

Get Up and Go CartoonIf you’re like me, then you don’t rely on the internet as your main source of income and inevitably that leads to having a full-time day job. Personally, I work a typical 9-5 job at a development company doing web maintenance and simple graphic design and after what seems like a long day of work, I find my motivation running on empty. I’ve been sitting at a computer for 8 hours already, I’ve been working with HTML code already and I don’t even want to look at the computer anymore. On the other hand, I have the business ideas I want to develop and know that I need to get them started if I ever want to move on from the typical 9-5 grind.

Does this happen to you? How do you cope with it? What drives you to keep going? Here are a few simple tips to help you when your motivation levels are dangerously low.

1. Realize That You Control Your Own Future
Take a moment and think about how your life would be different if you didn’t have the 9-5 day job. Think about what you could accomplish and the how much better you will feel when you can devote all of your time on the business that you want to. The hard work and sometimes long hours that you put in now will ensure that in years to come you will have the time and means to accomplish exactly what you want.

2. It Happens to Everyone
Loss of motivation and depression can and does happen to everyone. It’s ok that the thought of going to work sometimes is depressing. Having to go into a job that isn’t what you want to do for the rest of your life can seem discouraging, but learn to recognize the when you are feeling depressed or lacking motivation and combat them. Here are a few articles on regaining focus and motivation:

6 Tips to Prevent Procrastination
Top 20 Motivation Hacks

3. Your Day Job is Temporary
Remember, your day job is a short-term fix to help you pay the bills while you develop your craft. It’s hard to jump right into relying on the internet as your primary income. Think of your day job as a good thing. It enables you to create financial security while you work towards a sustainable internet business. Never think of you day job as a life commitment…..remember that it’s temporary and work towards making it as short a short-term fix as it can be.

4. Find Support
Look for someone in your life that you can talk to about how you are feeling and ask them to help motivate you. This can be just about anyone as long as you are comfortable talking to them and respect what they have to say to you. Having someone there next to you telling you what you have to gain from your continued work and even sometimes scolding you for not doing work is a great motivator.

5. Reward Yourself
Is there a specific candy bar you like or perhaps a drink you enjoy? Instead of always having them on hand, only get them as a reward for yourself when you accomplish goals towards your business. It may sound a bit childish, but it does work. Personally I love Coke and try to only reward myself with it once I complete a goal or large chunk of work. You still get to enjoy the item and you get more work done…it’s a win-win situation.

It’s not fun having to work a full-time job to support yourself and you’d much rather be working on your own business ideas, but it’s much easier to stay motivated when you learn to realize that it’s only temporary and you’re doing it to support your true calling in life.

It’s your turn to talk: Do you work a full-time position to support your internet business? Do you find it hard to do your own work after your day job? How do you keep your motivation levels high?

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    1. 1 Christine Senter November 8, 2007

      Hey Erik,

      I’m one of the few lucky ones. I do have a “real” job, but it’s only a part-time waitressing thing. My hubby is the bread winner in the family. However, it’s still hard to get myself up and go to work when I’d much rather be working on my blogs in my jammies.

      The only problem with that is, if I was sitting in front of my puter all the time, it wouldn’t be as much fun. So, I think of it this way. I go do my day job with as much enthusiasm as I can. My reward is that I get to go home and play on the puter. It makes my blogging that much more enjoyable.

    2. 2 Liberty and New Creation November 8, 2007

      I’m in the same boat, and it’s even worse when you travel. I’m at a conference, and by the time it’s over for that day, you don’t want to ANYTHING.

      I have scrape the bottom of the motivation barrel to get anything done. So far this week, I’ve gotten just or 4 hours worth of work on my online business. Any other week and I would have put in 20 by now.

    3. 3 Erik Karey November 9, 2007

      Christine – It’s nice to have it so that you come home and blogging is your escape from work and something to look forward to. That’s a good point, you should always try and look forward to the work you have because it’s only going to help you.

      Liberty – I’m sure that’s true. Traveling can take it’s toll on you and being in a different environment can throw you off as well. Best of luck with getting your online business completed.

    4. 4 Thousand Dollar Project November 9, 2007

      Hi Erik, Great new post, very interesting read. I’ve reviewed your site at for you.
      Keep them coming buddy, your writing style is something to be proud of!

    5. 5 Wayne Liew November 9, 2007

      I am not working yet but my course (I hope you know what is ACCA) is capable of sucking me away from blogging. Although it does not give pressure like a day job does, it certainly makes me struggle to find time for it.

      I learned all my blogging, marketing, content writing and HTML skills by myself. I really do hope I can stop my studies now and totally focus on the Internet although I know this is quite impossible since my online income is definitely not enough to support my future expenses… :lol:

    6. 6 Erik Karey November 9, 2007

      Wayne – School can definitely take it’s toll just like a full-time job so I totally understand. It seems it’s a matter of how much work can you fit in without burning yourself out.

    7. 7 Trip Around the Blogosphere 11-10-2007 | Pajama Professional November 11, 2007

      […] Karey asks, Is Your Day Job Ruining Your Motivation? He then offers some tips for overcoming your lack of energy to pursue online endeavous after you […]

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      […] Karey – Is Your Day Job Ruining Your Motivation? Remember, your day job is a short-term fix to help you pay the bills while you develop your craft. […]

    9. 9 Derek November 13, 2007

      This is something that I can completely relate to as I work the day job and then spend some time with the wife and kids before turning to the blogs and Interweb work once they are in bed.

      There are times it is very difficult to drag myself out of bed in the morning for the day job but it has to be done. The motivation for me is keeping my eye on the prize where I will no longer need the day job to cover the bills.

    10. 10 Speedlinking - 12 Nov 2007 » Derek Semmler dot com November 13, 2007

      […] Erik Karey discussed something that I have battled myself when he asked the question: Is your day job ruining your motivation? Speaking of a lack of motivation, my alarm will be ringing in approximately 4 hours for me to get […]

    11. 11 marci November 13, 2007

      Thank you for your words of encouragement!!! I needed to read them for sure. I have been stuck in a rut of sleeping in every single day for like months and I know it’s because I don’t have the motivation to go into work everyday. I have side projects at home (sites, etc.) but it’s hard to do ANYTHING on them when my life feels wasted on my day job!! I am now going to read your tips for ‘preventing procrastination’ and ‘motivation hacks.’ Thanks.

    12. 12 Lin November 13, 2007

      Hey Erik,

      Have you been looking in my desk drawers? Is that how you found my candy bars? I was wondering who took them! Don’t even think about going near my wet-bar hidden in the coat closet! It’s all for me! :)

      If you tell on me, I’ll tell everyone you’re a Coke-Head!

    13. 13 Jason A Clark November 13, 2007

      Good article. Sometimes it’s important to remind ourselves that we are working towards something and won’t always be a “slave to the man.”

    14. 14 Erik Karey November 13, 2007

      Lin – The candy bars were excellent, but please don’t tell everyone I’m a coke-head :P

      Jason – That’s the goal, thanks for commenting

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      […] Is Your Day Job Ruining Your Motivation? – In case you missed it, I wrote earlier this week about my day job and it’s effects on my motivation and work ethic when I work on my internet ventures after work. Take a peek and let me know what you think and how you handle the added workload of keeping a day job while working online. […]

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    18. 18 Paypal2u Bloggers November 26, 2007

      I’ve a same situation as you. First, I do have a 9 to 6 daily job to fulfill. I work as a System Administrator for a medium size Oil & Gas company.

      My daily chores is to handle and manage Oracle Database, Sun Microsystem Server, TOAD, LDAP and other including our Super Cluster server (which I developed myself for this company) plus some maintenance for HPUX and Linux based fileserver. This load gives me a full headache and leaves me no free room.

      But then, my personal Internet venture is started to blooms and maybe in the next 6 month I can generate much income from it. I hope to leave this system admin job in the near future when my internet business started to have a good and steady income.

    19. 19 November - Month in Review by Erik Karey: Internet Entrepreneur December 3, 2007

      […] or so ago, I was shocked the month was coming to a close so quickly and found myself swamped with work at my day job. Unfortunately this pile of work made it impossible for me to get time to write here the past week […]

    20. 20 Adrienne | affiliate marketing tip March 6, 2008

      Hello Eric

      I understand what it is that your talking about. Before I started the internet business I thought of my future & what was in store for my wife & kids. I do like my job for now because I’ve been doing it for 23 years now but I didn’t want to stay doing this for the rest of my life. I would like to give back. Very Helpful. Thanks

    21. 21 Karen Davis October 13, 2008

      I like number 5 (reward yourself). If I need motivation after work, I just relax first for a few minutes or take a nap.

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