That 9-to-5 Job You Hate Isn't As Safe As You Think You won't regret spending your "free'' time growing your side project into a viable way to make a living.

By Steve Eakin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Most people haven't jumped into the crazy, be-your-own-boss world of entrepreneurship because they're tied to an anchor: the job they think is safe and steady.

That same "safe" day job keeps people's side hustles in the category of fun projects that never reach their full potential. In reality, it's probably a good thing. Diving right into the deep end of the work-for-yourself pool isn't right for everyone.

Realize you're already taking risks.

Being your own boss is risky, and there are no guarantees. Some people can't handle the stressors that go with the territory. But as scary and risky as it is to launch your own business, odds are you're taking bigger risks right now by counting on your 9-to-5. Your supposedly steady gig can change or end at any time, likely for any number of reasons. If you don't have a side project to earn money and ramp up into full-time work, the anxiety around starting your own company pales in comparison to what you'll feel if a pink slip comes your way.

Related: How to Improve Your Gut Instincts

Make time to build something that really matters.

Many people want to do more than their day job. They want to launch an app, start doing some consulting work, build a tech startup or take on an entirely new challenge. When I talk to people about starting a side business, the biggest objection I hear is they don't have time to dedicate to it right now.

Not enough time? They don't have one or two hours a week? Everybody has a spare hour a week. But some people rather would be all or nothing, apparently. Here's some breaking news: A day contains 24 hours for everyone. Successful people, millionaires and CEOs don't get extra time in their days. They just are far better at prioritizing the time they have.

Related: How to Wake Up at 4 a.m. and Be Successful

Invest in yourself and your future.

Let's assume you buy into the idea you can spare an hour or two a week to work on your dream project. What's the downside to dedicating that time? Honestly, not much. Yes, you'll be down a couple of hours each week. But you'll gain knowledge and experience to put you a whole new level above those around you.

Invest some time and money into the possibility of the upside. It can be nothing short of life-altering. What if your app takes off and starts making you serious money? Or your startup gets thousands of users a week? Imagine waking up one day with the unbelievable freedom to do whatever you want or being the boss everyone looks up to. An app on the side can change your life.

Related: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs

The potential upside is the reason you need to do more than just go to work every day at some job you hate -- while someone else gets rich. Figure out how you want to live the rest of your life and do whatever it takes to get there. The over-inflated risk of reallocating a few bucks and one or two hours a week is no excuse to waste away with no backup plan for the worst-case scenario.

Steve Eakin

Founder of Startup Black Belt

Steve Eakin is a speaker, investor, startup advisor and the founder of Startup Black Belt, where he helps tech startups launch, grow and scale.

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