Feeling Trapped 9–5? Here Are 9 Practical and Actionable Tips to Help You Escape

April 12, 2023

Read this if you feel trapped in your 9–5

Too many people today:

Dislike their jobsAre still scared of getting laid offDon’t know what else to do

If you’re in this situation, you are trapped. You should probably try to find a way out.

Here are some thoughts and practical steps that might help.

1. Be willing to bet on yourself

Getting out of your comfort zone is HARD.

But it’s even harder to excel in a job where you aren’t interested. It’s much easier to be your best self when you’re working on what you WANT to work on.

If you’ve never been in a job where you were EXCITED to be there (most haven’t), then you don’t even know what you’re capable of.

2. Find your Ikigai

“Ikigai” is a Japanese concept about having a sense of purpose, or a reason for living.

This is work that will leave you fulfilled.

Ikigai lies at the intersection of:

What you loveWhat you are (or can be) good atWhat the world needsWhat can make you money

3. Look for stepping stones

Ikigai is work that will leave you fulfilled.

But it’s easier to describe than to locate.

Which is why you need to find stepping stones that can take you closer to Ikigai.

4. Create online

This is a very powerful stepping stone. Especially if you don’t know where else to start.

Creating online will open doors for you that you never knew existed.

Do NOT think of creating online as a means to making money.

If this is your goal, you will almost certainly give up because it takes so long. It takes years to grow and monetize as a creator, even if you do everything right.

And it might not be where you find your max passion.

Then why should you create online? …to unlock opportunities.

The world cannot present opportunities to you if the world does not know you exist.

There are online creators who started from nothing and are building multi-million $ empires now. Social internet is the most powerful mass communication tool the world has ever seen. And it’s easier than ever now with all the AI tools to help out.

I’ve also created a free guide about how to grow on Twitter.

5. Be intentional

Too many people “fall into” their life situation — career, marriage, location, etc.

One of the most renowned self-improvement books of all time is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. You’ve likely heard of it.

“Be proactive” is the first of the 7 habits the author encourages. I like to reframe it as “Be intentional”.

You are always walking on stepping stones that will determine your future. But you might not yet be on the right stepping stones yet.

Better to locate the stepping stones you need, and stride with conviction than just stumbling along the default path.

Being intentional with where you want to go makes it a lot easier to get there. It’s also empowering to know you’re on a path you’ve chosen to be on.

6. Never eat alone

Meeting new people is another way to unlock doors, just like creating online.

Most people have a very limited view of what “networking” means. Networking does not have to mean attending conferences (it can, but there’s more to it).

Networking = proactively meeting & building relationships with new people:

Reach out to people you admire in your field.Ask a friend to connect you to [X] who is further along your path.Going for lunch with a new coworker.Engage with an online community in reddit or discord.Cold DM your favorite online creators.
I met my co-founder because he used to make YouTube videos, and I reached out to him, just asking to chat.

A mentor of mine recommended this book to me “Never eat alone”, and it left an impact on me. Good read, especially if you’re trapped.

7. Go DEEP into new technologies

Understanding new technologies immediately puts you ahead of 50% of people.

Knowing how to use them effectively puts you ahead of 95% of people.

Leveraging them to build/create puts you ahead of 99% of people.

How can this help you escape?

Get better at your own craft using new techGain competitive advantagesLearn, then teach — add value to others’ lives, and that value will find its way back to you.Build a business on top of new tech

8. Motivation comes second

A common pitfall I’ve seen people fall into:

“I need motivation to start”“I don’t think I could do that. I’m not as motivated as him/her”

What you don’t realize:

Motivation and action are a flywheel, not a one-way path. Action leads to motivation, and motivation leads to action.

You can start with action:

Action → Motivation → Action → Motivation → Action → …

Act first, motivation will build from your actions.

9. Just Do It

About 50% of the trapped people I encounter overthink their “plan”. They’ve been *thinking* about starting a business, creating online, networking, investing, etc.

It’s another common pitfall:

“I’ll come up with the right plan, and once I have it all figured out, then it’s much more likely to work out”

What you’re not realizing:

It takes years of consistency for most of these things to work — years of DOING.

Years of planning don’t contribute nearly as much as weeks of doing.

Don’t overthink and over-plan. Listen to the shoe dogs.

Just do it.

To summarize:

Bet on yourselfFind your ikigaiLook for stepping stonesCreate onlineBe intentionalNever eat aloneGo deep into new technologiesMotivation comes secondJust do it

I know much of this is easier said than done.

But everything worth doing is.

Follow on Twitter, LinkedIn and Substack if you enjoyed this post. And considering sharing with your friends who meet be feeling trapped.

Feeling Trapped 9–5? Here Are 9 Practical and Actionable Tips to Help You Escape was originally published in Entrepreneur’s Handbook on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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