A job is a means to an end

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A job is a means to an end but how do you find balance between your job and your startup?

This is a cross-post with our blog and IndieHackers

With rising inflation, skyrocketing home prices, and the daily cost of living going up overall, it’s not likely that most startup founders will be spared from higher costs in their businesses.

Furthermore, startups cost money.

From monthly SaaS subscriptions to new hardware for your home office, the costs do add up, even if you’re bootstrapping it.

So I’m going to address how you can find a happy medium between being an indie hacker and employee.

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What Does an Indie Hacker Do?

First, let’s explore what it means to be an indie hacker. An indie hacker is someone who makes their own money, directly from customers, and not via an employer.

The glamorization of startups in the media has unfortunately skewed the idea of the indie hacker.

According to social media, an indie hacker is someone who rage quits their job with no cushion to immediately head out to build the next niche startup (and they are instantly successful at it).

And they, of course, instantly become a digital nomad surfing daily in exotic locations…

Except…

Quitting Your Job and Going Full-time As an Indie Hacker: Is It the Right Move?

Most indie hackers initially struggle when their daily basic needs are no longer being met by a job, no matter how their startup is doing.

While this situation creates the hunger (literally!) and passion that people so much love to see in startup founders, it also means that your plans may not come to fruition.

  • You don’t grow as fast as you could have.
  • You can’t scale to your full potential.
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It’s okay to keep that day job while you build your dreams.

bee and puppycat money GIF by Cartoon Hangover

Should Indie Hackers Quit Their Full-time Jobs If They Need the Money?

Money is an important reason to keep a job. But there are several reasons why I don’t consider it as the most important reason to keep your day job.

Better yet, more than great monetary compensation:

Your job needs to come through for you, if you’re going to stay there.

IMPORTANT: Don’t jeopardize your employment. Do this the right way.

Studying College Life GIF by Emmelinedraws

How to Leverage Your Job to Build a Startup

Here are a few ways to leverage a full-time job as an indie hacker:

  1. Take on roles and tasks that will help you advance the skills that you need to grow your startup.
  2. Use your company to obtain continuing education (conferences, e-learning, certifications).
  3. Start building a network before you move on.
  4. Have a plan and goals. Just like your business plan, create a “job exit plan.”
  5. Find a partner to work with. So many startup founders have met each other through connections at work.
  6. Build in public. Use #buildinpublic (but not on your work social media accounts 😀 of course). That way you can find the people you need to support you once you take the leap.
Good Vibes Love GIF

The Bottom Line

The steps to become an Indie Hacker ARE compatible with having a job.

One caveat: In light of the Great Resignation, make sure that your day job leaves you stress-free enough to work on your side projects.

If your job is creating chaos in your life, get a different one and keep it moving.

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Don’t stay in a toxic environment just to have extra cash.

You’ll need all of your stamina to build.

“A job is a means to an end” to the Indie Hacker, a useful #lifehack #twentytwo

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