avatarEve Arnold


Stop Telling Full-Time Employees They Can’t Build a Business

You can design your career any way you like

Photo by pipe gil on Unsplash

There’s one idea that really grates my cheese.

It’s this: people who work 9-to-5 can’t build an online business.

I think it annoys me so much because it’s what I believed for so long and once I was on the other side of it, I couldn’t believe I’d listened to that nonsense.

Here’s the deal: if you work 9-to-5 you have a competitive advantage.

No, entrepreneurship is not reserved for those who quit their job to go all in. No, they’re not ‘more of an entrepreneur’ than you because you don’t work full-time at your business.

You can (and absolutely should) build your brand on the internet if you want to. Here’s how:

Realize that you have a competitive advantage

What’s the reason most businesses fail?

They run out of money, they do a bodge job of marketing, and they get the product market fit all wrong. But actually, if they had the capital to keep going, they could iterate until things worked.

The reason most businesses fail is because they run out of time.

Now, as someone who has a full-time job where your mortgage and lifestyle are paid for, you might not have as much time in the day (I built my business in 1–2 hours a day) but what you do have is the long game.

With a full-time job, you can build your thing, at your pace, for as long as you want. And that leads me to point number two…

You have the privilege of freedom

You might be thinking, what are you talking about?

What freedom, I work 9-to-5 — The freedom I’m talking about is creative freedom.

You work a 9-to-5, and your lifestyle is paid for. So you get to create whatever you want, however, you want, in the way you want.

It’s a real luxury to create from a position of freedom.

Pressure is the death of many businesses. Creating a place of mental freedom is a huge unlock for people working 9-to-5.

Stop thinking the grass is greener and water it

There’s a notion that the entrepreneurial pursuit is the best thing since sliced bread. Everyone else is simply working for the big machine and selling their soul.


It might sound good, and it might sell something, but anyone who works a 9-to-5 and who has worked in different corporate settings knows that each job varies wildly depending on:

  • Your boss
  • Your colleagues
  • The business
  • Your role

And several other factors. It’s not one size fits all, it’s nuanced.

Don’t think you’re missing out because you’re not all in on your business. There are a lot of downsides to working for yourself — you’ve just heard the highlights.

You can build a brand in 1–2 hours a day

You can make enough content in 1–2 hours a day to build a brand on the internet:

  • You can spend a weekend brainstorming product ideas.
  • You can take annual leave and spend your weekends building a product.

I’m not saying it’s easy — of course, it’s not, where would be the fun in that?

What I am saying is it can be done because it’s what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years. I’ve built an audience of 100,000 by writing for 1–2 hours every day for the last 3 years.

Hard? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.

Realize where your time goes

When I first started on the internet I thought there was no way I could find 1–2 hours a day to write. No way. But actually, as it turns out, I was wasting huge chunks of time:

  • Listening to podcasts that sold the dream
  • Worrying about what people thought of me
  • Reading books that solved problems I didn’t have

When I started to audit my time I realized that all of the time I spent worrying whether I was good enough, had enough time, dreaming of a different life.

All that time could go into actually making a better life for myself and it did.

Don’t wait for permission

I think the biggest kick up the butt for me was realizing my morality.

I don’t want to look back at my life and wish that I would have tried harder, that I should have started my own thing, or that I maybe could have been someone.

I wanted to create my future. So I did.

And if you work a 9-to-5 (like I do) you can too. Don’t wait. You don’t have to quit your job to build on the internet. You can start right now, what’s stopping you?

To build your thing without quitting the day job, join 18,000+ creators in the part-time creator club. Get more guides at: The Part-Time Creator Club.

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