The Ugly Truth about Working for Others (Milk Your 9-5)

Last updated on August 9, 2023

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about quitting your job and starting your own business?

If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, most people hate working for others (even though most of us still do).


Because the idea of being our own boss and creating our own success is incredibly appealing.

But, what if I told you that you don’t have to quit your job to achieve that kind of satisfaction and success?

Today, I’m going to:

  • Show you how to “milk” your 9-5 before considering building a successful side hustle
  • Share with you easy-to-use strategies and actionable tips
  • Go over important things to consider when working for others
  • And much more

So, if you’re ready to take control of your financial future. And create the life you’ve always wanted, keep reading.

The conventional narrative of earning

The typical way people think about earning money is to “get a good job, work hard, and get paid.”

This narrative is deeply ingrained in our society and is often seen as the only way to achieve financial success.

Many people believe that if they can just find that perfect job, they’ll be able to earn enough money to live comfortably and achieve their goals.

However, this conventional narrative is limiting and doesn’t take into account all the ways to earn money. There are countless opportunities to make money outside of the traditional 9-5 job.

And many people are discovering the benefits of building a side hustle or starting their own business. By embracing a more diverse range of earning strategies, you can open up new opportunities for financial success and gain more control over your financial future.

Many successful entrepreneurs and business owners have achieved financial freedom by thinking outside the box and exploring alternative ways of earning money.

For example, the gig economy and the rise of the internet have created countless opportunities for people to earn money through freelance work, online businesses, and other non-traditional avenues.

Additionally, it’s important to recognize that the traditional job market is not always stable and secure. Companies downsize and restructure, and even the most loyal and hardworking employees can find themselves out of a job.

By exploring alternative ways to earn money and diversifying your income streams, you can protect yourself from the financial risks of relying on a single source of income.


Breaking the mold & challenging conventional ways

A lot of people out there feel trapped in the conventional way of earning income. But this way doesn’t take into account all the ways you can earn money. And that’s where side hustles come in.

A side hustle is a way to earn money outside of your traditional 9-5 job. And let me tell you, they’re becoming more and more popular.

And why not?

With the gig economy on the rise and technology making it easier than ever to start a business, there’s never been a better time to explore your options.

So, what are some examples of side hustles?

Top 7 realistic side hustles

Well, there are online businesses, consulting, freelancing, and even renting out a spare room on Airbnb. The possibilities are endless. And the best part? You can do it while you’re still working your 9-5 job.

Freelancing: Offer services such as writing, graphic design, web development, and photography on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.

Online tutoring: Share your expertise by offering private lessons via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Skype.

Pet-sitting or dog walking: Offer your services to pet owners in your local area to care for their pets while they are away.

Selling products on Etsy or eBay: Use your creative skills to make or find unique products to sell on these platforms.

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Delivery services: Use your own vehicle to make deliveries for companies such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Postmates.

House cleaning or organizing: Offer your services to help people clean or organize their homes.

Handyman or home repair services: Offer your skills in home repairs and maintenance to homeowners in your area.

Milk your 9-5 while building your side hustle

Have you ever considered that the job you have right now could be the perfect springboard for your side hustle?

The truth is, many of us have resources and connections that we don’t even realize we have. By utilizing these resources, you can give your side hustle a boost without having to invest much time or money.

For example, if you work in a company that sells products, you might be able to purchase those products at a discounted rate to resell them online.

Or if you have a job that requires you to travel, you can turn that into an opportunity to network and find new clients for your side hustle.

Another way to take advantage of your 9-5 job is to use the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired to start your own business.

For example, if you’re a graphic designer and you work at an advertising agency, you can use your skills to start your own freelance business and offer your services to clients outside of the agency.

Also, don’t forget that with all the money you accumulate over working for someone else, you can invest to help you reach your goals faster. That is another key way to milk your 9-5. Don’t just burn your cash every single month.

Balancing a 9-5 job with a side hustle can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible.

Tips for balancing your 9-5 and your side hustle

Set realistic goals: Before you start working on your side hustle, it’s important to set realistic goals for what you want to achieve. This will help you stay focused and motivated, and it will also help you to manage your time more effectively.

Create a schedule: One of the keys to balancing a 9-5 job with a side hustle is to create a schedule that works for you. This might mean working on your side hustle in the evenings or on weekends, but whatever schedule you choose, make sure it’s one that you can stick to.

Prioritize your tasks: With limited time, it’s essential to prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important ones first. This will help you to make the most of the time you have available and ensure that you’re making progress on your side hustle.

Use technology: Technology can be a great help when it comes to balancing a 9-5 job with a side hustle. There are many tools and apps available that can help you to stay organized, manage your time more effectively, and even automate certain tasks.

Seek help: Finally, don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it. Whether it’s hiring a virtual assistant to help with administrative tasks or outsourcing some of your work, there are many ways to lighten your load and make it easier to balance your 9-5 job with your side hustle.

Tips to help you make the most out of your side hustle

Make a schedule: Set aside specific times each week to work on your side hustle, and stick to that schedule as much as possible.

Prioritize: Focus on the most important tasks and deadlines first, and save the less important tasks for later.

Be efficient: Use your free time at work to get ahead on your side hustle, such as by responding to emails or scheduling appointments.

Communicate: Keep your boss and colleagues in the loop about your side hustle and how it’s impacting your 9-5 job.

Top 5 things to know when working for others

Job security: Your job may not be secure, and you can be terminated or laid off at any time.

Limited autonomy: Your responsibilities and work hours will be defined by your employer and you may not have much freedom to make decisions.

Limited benefits: Depending on your employer, you may not have access to full benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement savings plans.

Pressure to perform: Your performance will be closely monitored and evaluated, and you may face pressure to meet expectations and goals.

Competition for advancement: Opportunities for advancement within the company may be limited, and you may face competition from others for promotions or raises.

Don’t just trade time for money

When you’re working for someone else, you’re essentially trading your time for money.

This can be a great way to earn a steady income. But it also means that your earning potential is limited. You can only work so many hours in a week, and your salary is usually capped at a certain level.

This is why it’s so important to consider other ways to earn money. By building a side business or offering services as a freelancer, you can potentially earn much more than you would by working for someone else.

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But even if you’re working for someone else, there are still ways to maximize your earning potential.

How to maximize your earning potential: 4 easy tips

  • Negotiate your salary: Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise or negotiate a higher starting salary when you’re first hired.
  • Look for opportunities for overtime or bonuses: If your company offers bonuses or overtime pay, take advantage of them.
  • Keep learning: By continuously developing your skills and expertise, you’ll be more valuable to your employer and more likely to be offered raises or promotions.
  • Network: Building relationships with colleagues and supervisors can open the door to new opportunities and higher pay.

Top 7 FAQ on working for others

How can I build a successful side hustle while working for someone else?

To build a successful side hustle while working for someone else, it’s important to make the most of your time and resources.

This may involve taking advantage of the skills and connections you have through your 9-5 job, as well as being strategic about when and how you work on your side hustle.

You’ll also need to have a clear plan for how you will grow your side business. And to be consistent in your efforts.

Is it possible to make more money while working for someone else?

Yes, it is possible to make more money while working for someone else. This can be done by taking advantage of opportunities to earn bonuses, commissions, or other forms of performance-based pay.

Additionally, building a successful side hustle can also increase your income.

How can I balance a 9-5 job with a side hustle?

Balancing a 9-5 job with a side hustle can be challenging. But it’s important to set clear boundaries and prioritize your time.

This may involve setting specific times during the week or month to work on your side hustle (or carving out time on the weekends).

Additionally, it can be helpful to have a plan for how you will manage your workload. And to communicate your schedule and priorities to your boss and colleagues.

What are the risks of relying on a 9-5 job for income?

Relying on a 9-5 job for income can be risky. Because it can limit your earning potential and make you vulnerable to layoffs or other job losses.

Additionally, relying on a single source of income can make it difficult to build savings or invest in other opportunities.

How can I make the most of my time and resources while working for someone else?

To make the most of your time and resources while working for someone else, it’s important to be strategic about your career.

And to take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills (or advance in your field).

Additionally, building a successful side hustle can also help you to maximize your earning potential.

What are some unconventional ways to earn money while working for someone else?

Some unconventional ways to earn money while working for someone else include starting an online business, consulting, freelancing, and investing in the stock market.

Additionally, many people have also been able to generate passive income through rental properties, dividend-paying stocks, and other investments.

How can I prepare for a future where I am in control of my income, rather than relying on a 9-5 job?

To prepare for a future where you are in control of your income, it’s important to start taking steps to build a successful side hustle. And to be strategic about your career and financial planning.

Additionally, it can be helpful to start saving and investing early. And to stay informed about trends and opportunities in your field.

Best 8 books on working for others

“The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss: This book is a guide for individuals looking to escape the 9-5 grind and create a business or lifestyle that allows for more freedom and flexibility. It covers topics such as outsourcing, automating income streams, and creating a “muse” business.

“The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau: This book is for entrepreneurs looking to start a business with a small budget. It features stories of individuals who have launched successful businesses with minimal financial investment. It also provides practical advice and resources for getting started.

“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber: This book is a classic guide for small business owners and entrepreneurs. It covers the common pitfalls and challenges faced by entrepreneurs. And provides strategies for building a successful business.

“The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander: This book is a guide for individuals looking to break out of conventional ways of thinking and create new possibilities in their lives and careers. It covers topics such as leadership, creativity, and finding meaning in work.

“The Power of Side Hustle” by Chris Guillebeau: This book provides a comprehensive guide to starting and building a successful side hustle. It covers everything from identifying profitable business ideas to marketing, sales, and scaling a business. It also includes interviews and case studies of successful side hustlers who have turned their passion into a profitable business.

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“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries: This book provides a methodology for creating and managing successful startups, with a focus on quickly testing and iterating on business ideas. It emphasizes the importance of building an MVP (minimum viable product) and gathering customer feedback in order to validate assumptions and make informed decisions.

“The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ DeMarco: This book argues that traditional methods of earning money (such as working a 9-5 job and saving for retirement) are slow and unreliable. Instead, it advocates for taking control of one’s financial future through starting a business or investing in income-producing assets.

“Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki: This is a classic book that explores the difference in mindset between the “poor dad” who relies on a traditional job for income and the “rich dad” who builds multiple streams of income through investments and entrepreneurship.

The book encourages readers to think differently about money and work. And provides practical advice for building wealth through real estate investing and starting small businesses.

It is a great resource for anyone looking to break free from the “working for others” mentality and take control of their financial future.

Top 11 things to consider when working for others

The importance of building multiple streams of income: While a 9-5 job can provide a stable income, relying on it solely can limit your earning potential. By building multiple streams of income, you can diversify your income and create a safety net for yourself.

Mindset and attitude: Having the right mindset and attitude towards work can make all the difference. For example, viewing your 9-5 job as a means to an end and using it as an opportunity to learn new skills, network, and save money can help you build a better future for yourself.

The role of networking and building relationships: Building relationships with people in your industry can open up new opportunities for you, whether it is through your 9-5 job or your side hustle.

The importance of financial literacy: Understanding basic financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, and investing can help you make the most of your money and set yourself up for financial success.

The benefits of working for others: While it may seem like working for someone else limits your earning potential, there are also many benefits to working for others, such as job security, benefits, and the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals.

The role of technology in creating new opportunities: Advancements in technology are constantly creating new opportunities for people to earn money, whether it’s through online businesses, freelancing or remote work.

By staying informed about the latest technology trends, you can identify new opportunities for yourself.

The importance of financial literacy: Understand the basics of personal finance and how to effectively manage your money to achieve your financial goals.

Building a strong professional brand: Your personal brand is how others perceive you and it can have a significant impact on your career. Investing in your personal brand can help you stand out in the job market and attract new opportunities.

Continual learning and skill development: Staying up-to-date with industry trends and developing new skills can help you stay competitive and position yourself for advancement.

Goal setting and planning: Setting clear, specific, and measurable goals for yourself can help you stay focused and motivated. Having a plan in place to achieve your goals can help you stay on track and make progress.

Work/life balance: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for your overall well-being. Finding ways to manage stress and make time for activities outside of work can help you stay energized and engaged in your job.

Top 8 quotes on working for others

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

— Steve Jobs

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”

— John Maxwell

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”

— Roy T. Bennett

“Your 9-5 may pay the bills, but your side hustle will pay for your dreams.”

— Unknown

“Don’t let your 9-5 define you. Find something you love and make it your livelihood.”

— Unknown

“The goal of work is not to escape life, but to create life in your day-to-day work.”

— Unknown

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

— Steve Jobs

“Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

— Marc Anthony

Final thoughts

Well, there you have it.

If you have a 9-5 appreciate it. And try to milk it as much as you can.

This is your stepping stone. Where you start doesn’t matter. As long as you keep moving forward. And closer to your own goals.

And remember to save and invest along the way so you can break free from “having to work” and be able to switch to “only working if you want to”. If you just burn all your income every month you’ll never manage to escape the rat race and you’ll need to work forever.

escape the rat race
Photo by Matt Bero on Unsplash

Also, don’t be afraid to challenge the conventional narrative of earning money. Just because everyone else is doing it one way, doesn’t mean that’s the only way.

And finally, always keep in mind that you don’t have to rely solely on a 9-5 job for income. You have the power to control your own financial future. And you deserve to live the life you want.

So go out there. Take action. And don’t be afraid to fail. Because doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Remember that.

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Pavlos Written by:

Hey — It’s Pavlos. Just another human sharing my thoughts on all things money. Nothing more, nothing less.