I cringe when I see so many young people give up their 9-5 job so that they can pursue their business ideas. Why? Because ideas don’t pay the bills.

If you hate your job and have built a real business with a real income, feel free to give it up.

But don’t give it up just to work part-time on a business that doesn’t even cover your rent and household bills.

Reaching $1 million by age 50

I reached $1 million in net worth at age 50. My ecommerce business helped me reach my goal, but it was my 9-5 job that really helped build my wealth. I still worked my 9-5 for the 3 years that I ran my business.

People asked why I didn’t give up my job and focus on my business. There are two reasons. Firstly, my plan was to reach financial freedom. I would reach it much more quickly if I lived off one salary and invested the other. The second reason was that I loved my job and had great work colleagues. I didn’t want to be stuck at home on my own running a business.

Avoid loneliness and depression

Many claim they want to work from home, but the majority that do end up getting very lonely and sometimes very depressed as well. Humans need social interaction.

But I see so many give up their 9-5 jobs when they don’t even have a business. They may save enough money to get them through 2-3 months and then start some business that they think will give them a full-time income almost right away.

Building a business is tough

Building a business isn’t easy and most businesses fail. Even businesses that succeed often take time to build up enough profits to pay the owner a salary.

Another oddity is that these people often claim they want to run a business because they want to get rich. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rich, they’re going about it the wrong way.

A salary from a 9–5 job should be your base

For me, a 9-5 job that gives you a monthly salary is the base that you need to build from.

With a monthly salary, you have your bills covered. You can then work on setting up some extra income streams. Each new income stream will be a bonus. You can use your salary to cover your general monthly expenses and use the new income streams to grow your wealth.

If you give up your job you’re left with using any new income streams to cover your expenses. That means there’s usually nothing left over to invest.

Build multiple income streams

In my life, I built many income streams while I had a full-time job. My biggest success was my ecommerce store. I also wrote 8 Kindle books, ran a few travel blogs, owned rental properties, built websites to flip, wrote on Medium, invested in index funds, invested in crypto, flipped goods on eBay, and many more things.

Most of my side hustles only made a few thousand dollars, but that money was then invested. You’d be surprised how much it can grow over 10, 20 or 30 years.

No longer a millionaire, but that’s ok

I’ve slipped back below $1 million but that’s ok. I have enough to live comfortably for the rest of my life. I still run side hustles though. I enjoy the process and it makes a few extra bucks.

Many people don’t seem to understand building wealth at all. Many have claimed I’m making it up because I write about a side hustle that earned me $500. Why would someone that reached financial freedom bother to work for $500, they ask?

Well, the answer is simple. I enjoy it. $500 is $500. $500 can be invested and grown into a larger amount. I learn new skills. I see new opportunities that I would have missed if I wasn’t in the game.

Build your wealth slowly and consistently

Those that fail to build wealth seem to see the game as either making a million from one business or making nothing at all. They refuse to build slowly. It’s always all or nothing for them. Then they wonder why they’re always broke.

So, keep your 9-5 and use it as your base. Build wealth on top of it. Create a few side hustles to earn extra cash and then invest it so that it grows. Also, have some patience. It’s very rare that you’ll become wealthy in a few years. Aim for a few decades. And don’t forget, it’s about the journey. Too many are so focused on the destination that they fail to enjoy the journey.