Dear. Dr. Darcy: I've been out of work for 3 months & my girlfriend is driving me crazy about being unemployed. I'm thinking this would be a great time to start my own business but she thinks I’m just lazy and has threatened to break up with me if I don’t get a job. How do I get her to get off my back?
You can get your girlfriend off your back by getting off yours. Seriously.
When you’re out of work, your fulltime job is getting a job. Not starting a new business. Being an entrepreneur is a privilige – it’s something you do while you’re paying your bills from a j-o-b. But before I go off on a tangent here, let’s get back to the point:
You need to wake up every day, take a shower, leave the house and go to either an internet café or, if you’re like me and your ADHD would be off the charts in a busy café, go to your local library and work on your resume. After you’ve shown it to a few people who are employed in your field and they’ve confirmed that it’s AMAZING, you need to spend hours every day searching for, responding to and following up on job openings. Let me be more specific:
You need to be at your library/café by 9:00 a.m. and you need to engage in the above-referenced activities until noon or 1:00 p.m., at which point you may take 1 hour for lunch, and then return to your job hunt until 5:00 p.m. And I’ve got news for you: You'll only have worked a 7-hour day. Most people work 8+ hours a day.
When you get home at night, that’s when you can work at starting your own business. Responsible entrepreneurs do this at night after we finish our day job, and until you have a day job, getting a job is your day job.
Let me tell you how I started my company in 1998. I was laid off from a hospital with no health insurance or severance. I vowed that I’d never work for another person/company again in my life, and to accomplish that, I cleaned horse stalls in a barn for 5 months while I started my company. Just in case there’s anything remotely vague about what I’m saying, let me underscore my point: I had a Master’s Degree from Columbia University and I shoveled horse shit during the day so that I’d have the ability to meet my financial obligations while I built my company at night. Within 6 months I was earning enough to quit the barn and Alternatives was officially open.
That’s how you get your girlfriend off your back.
Writer’s Stats: Female, Lesbian.