Have you ever considered the saying, "You work during the day, but make a living at night?" If not, then you should.
It's my hunch that the majority of twenty-somethings go to work not out of habit, or even ritual, but out of necessity. Even at the start of our careers, when we are arguably the most optimistic and free to take risks, we are reduced to the status quo. Bills amass like dirty dishes along with other responsibilities that weigh on our minds and wallets. There will always be another deck to revise and report to review. But, theoretically speaking, what happens after the dishes are put away?
The Night Time is the Right Time:
I do my best work at night. After the dishtowel is folded and placed adjacent to the kitchen sink, in spouts of solitary preparation and meticulous attention to detail, is the concept proven, market segmentation defined and real legwork performed. It can be the chords to a new song, the research behind your next lesson plan or the executive summary introducing the next Google, but it all starts with an extraordinary plan. A road map comprised of key milestones, success metrics and signals to revisit the path should you be led astray.
And why should we not begin today? The night is darkest right before the dawn, and you have put in a full day's work. You have discovered a need within your community, sought counsel from those you intend to serve and developed a solution that will change the world. You have unearthed the entrepreneurial spirit and it is your cross to bear. I recognize that, with limited resources and no sure bets, most of us cannot afford to jump ship this early, but we can begin to chart a new course.
Arriving on Top:
Some may argue, and I am not one of them, that employment provides a safety net that prevents true entrepreneurs from being fully engaged. It's not until you're standing at the precipice with the wind at your back that you figure out how to fly. No one, however, arrives at that summit over night. Not until all three movements are comprised, your students graduate and your product on the shelves should you quit your day job. Remember, it's a marathon and not a sprint, and those of us who do well leverage today's opportunities to create tomorrow's promise.
Take advantage of The Man:
For many of us, now is our first time encountering a future with no obvious next steps. The journey requires insight, resources and connections. Many of which, a job can provide. Take the time to know your colleagues; their networks will soon extend to yours. Meet with and ask questions of management, they have been in this game much longer than you and I. Most importantly, expose yourself to the operations and organizational structure of a real business; it will soon be up to you.
Ultimately, Oprah may never call and your product may never be chosen as one of her favorite things. But, in the deep of night with pen to paper, you'll never lose sleep over it.
Michael Peggs is the Founder of peggsit.com, an online marketplace for short-term gigs. He serves in a business development capacity at Google Inc. and blogs for Under30CEO. You can email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.