In Defense of the Six-Day Workweek | Creating Multiple Income Streams

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Genesis 2:2

All your eggs in one basket

Just as you don’t put all of your money in a single stock, don’t put all of your income-producing eggs in one basket. (Click to Tweet)

It took God six days to finish his masterpiece, then he rested. That is a good model for us working as well.

Most people don’t work six days each week for three reasons:

  1. You only have one stream of income. There is no reason to work more than the minimum if your only source of revenue is a single employer.
  2. You are miserable all week. If you’re doing the same thing day after day and hate it, adding another day of work, no matter how much fun or rewarding it might be sounds like a nightmare. Instead of building a side business, you need two full days just to recover from the misery.
  3. You don’t work with purpose. Whether you believe the story of creation or not, it serves as a brilliant model for how we should work. Each day had a purpose, including the sixth and seventh days. Day one, create light. Day two, make land. Day five, fill the sky with birds and waters with animals. Day six, land animals and mankind. Day seven, rest. If you don’t know your true purpose each day, adding a sixth is pointless.

Streams of income

If you are employed by someone else, your main source of income is from your employer. But mornings, nights, and adding a sixth workday are great times to add a second stream of income.

Even if you are self-employed (and not independently wealthy), adding a sixth day is a great way to build a second business or learn new skills.

Personally, in today’s economy, I am a huge fan of diversifying your income portfolio. Just as you would not invest all of your money in one single stock, you shouldn’t put all of your income-producing eggs in one basket.

Adding one, two, or even three additional streams of income is a great way to protect yourself against layoffs, economic downturns, and being forced to work 40+ hours a week at a job you hate. It’s much easier to turn a three-year old side business doing $1000/month into a profitable career than to start from scratch.

Finding joy in work

If you are miserable at your job, the thought of more work makes you sick. I get that. But the easiest and most effective way to get out of a bad job is to have another income source readily available.

It’s a lot easier to quit a miserable job if you have a $3000/month side business waiting for you and $40,000 in the bank saved up.

As you build a second stream of income, you will find your passion. You will find joy in work. And that will carry over into your “real” job.

Most people think that it will make them even more miserable at their “real” job. They think they will spend all week fantasizing about their “sixth day” job. But the reality is that your sixth day will make you better at the other five days. You will find crossover skills that make you better at both. You will learn new skills from each of them. The extra income will reduce your stress at the “real” job. It will help you find joy the other five days.

Work with purpose

Find a purpose (or theme) for each day. Your purpose for day six will be clearly defined: build a new business. But even within that framework, what is the specific purpose for that day? Is it to work on the product? Work on the marketing? Learn SEO or Facebook ads?

Do the same Monday through Friday. Have a purpose for each day. Find joy in your work and set yourself up for a great day six.

Do you have multiple streams of income? How do you feel about a six-day workweek?

Free Affiliate Training from Matt McWilliams
  • Let’s Grow Leaders

    Matt, As you can probably tell, I’m doing a lot of 6 days these days. It’s a lot of nights and early mornings too…. juggling a day job that I am very invested in, and building Let’s Grow Leaders. I agree with you about the overlaps of skills. Getting better at one improves the other. It can also be a lot…some days.

    Working the 6th day is great… it’s amazing how much you can fit in. And its also vital to take needed breaks to refresh.

    • I figured you might.

      Vacations/sabbaticals are key. In building a side business, I think it’s important to have reasonable expectations of time up front. Then take a 3-day weekend every 6-8 weeks and a full week every 4 months or so.

  • Isaac Dorrel

    Great post and I completely agree with what you said. skills from both do carry over and make you better at the other job.

    • I’ve got a post about that very thing on Jon Acuff’s blog in a month or so. :)

  • Steve Pate

    Its funny that you bring this up now! Lets just say I have been recently been offered a position with another non-profit, and the income side of it, is having a few different streams of income. 2/3rds of it coming from the non-profit and one third from our side business. To me this is exciting!

    As for 6 days of working, most of my year is that! We just make sure no matter what day of the week I have off, we make it our day of rest! Thanks Matt

    • That IS exciting Steve! Did you accept it?

      • Steve Pate

        no not yet. The non-profit is and the director is a very close friend of mine. We’ve been meeting together on the river and talk “Why” and the rolls I could fit into. The interesting thing here is, where I work know is in the same community where Family Lines is out of. So I need to make sure I leave the RIGHT way and not burn any bridges.

        When we make this move, it would happen in the fall of 2014 do to a commitment I’ve made to Tall Timber Ranch.

  • Ahhh Matt. This hits home with me right now!
    I was thinking this past weekend that really, I work an extra 2-3 per day on “my” projects and typically at least 5-6 hours over the weekend. It really does make me better at the first 40!
    And knowing that I’m working on stuff I want to do is one of the greatest encouragers I could ever hope for!
    The funny thing is, all that extra work, doesn’t feel like work. I’m working in what I love to do, what I’m passionate about it, so I don’t get tired, I don’t get bored, I just keep working! I think that’s the way we are meant to work!
    Thanks for the great (and timely) post!

    • That is awesome Mark.

      There is work that doesn’t feel like it, that is for sure. Hopefully, over time, it makes up a bigger percentage of your time!

  • I know how much you like me talking about my commute, and now that I think about it, my train time adds an extra 8 hours to my work week. There you go. I’m the same as Mark, when I’m writing a blog post or dreaming up new ideas time flies. It does at my day job too, because I’m fortunate to have a job I love. I still struggle with the time and attention my family and my home need. Still working on those!

    • Lily, with those 8 hours of commute, you might be one of the few people that could argue against a 6th day :)

      Seriously, that could be your time, not the weekend. You’ve got some extremely long days.

      Or you could use that time to rev up and wind down and still use the 6th day.

      What works best for you?

      • Definitely my commute time is very productive time and it serves as that sixth day. I read, write and think. Unfortunately, the sixth day is to catch up on home stuff. My answer is that I need to clone myself.

  • It’s funny the Book of Genesis talk about having multiple streams of income. Genesis 2:10 NKJV “Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.” One river parts in 4 riverheads. My interpretation: we have a Source (God) but He gives resource. One riverhead is never enough to water a whole garden AND just in case one dries up the garden won’t dry up.

    Alright I’m done. Ill take my offering now lol

  • I’d like to have a three-day work week with multiple streams of residual income.

    • Best way to get there is to work six now and build those streams :)

  • Lulu

    I don’t agree. In Genesis when it said God rested – He didn’t rest, as in feet up, relax – the word means He stopped because He was finished. Although I think we should make the most of opportunities and use all our gifts – we also need to set priorities. There will always be new ideas, opportunities, and money to be made – but our children will not always be with us. Our friendships need feeding. Our church needs support. Our spouses need attention. We need to put effort into our relationship with God and the studying of His Word. We don’t need to do more – we need to do what we do smarter, more efficient. Remember, where your treasure is – so will your heart be. Let’s treasure what is good. I wonder if you asked your love ones about this prospect, what they would think? God’s Word says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Balance.

    • I agree with all of those needs Lulu.

      It’s not about loving money but financial security. The fact is that job security as defined 20 years ago no longer exists. So I feel there is a need for side jobs that could develop into more if needed or desired.

      I look back to when I was laid off from a company going out of business…I had a consulting company on the side. That allowed us to save an extra $9000 before the lay off and have an immediate $2000/month income. Usually layoffs are panic button time. For us, it was no big deal.

      That certainly benefitted my family. No stress. No money fights.

      I made the natural progression to full time consulting and haven’t looked back,

      None of that was possible without the little extra effort I put in when it seemed I didn’t really need to.

  • Pingback: When Life Hands you Lemons | Starting a Second Job()