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Is the 9 to 5 making us unhappy at work?

For years, people have daydreamed about breaking free from the 9 to 5 schedule. Cue fantasies of taking calls poolside, or typing away by night while exploring new cities by day.

But is the schedule really to blame for our unhappiness at work? According to Seth Kniep, the CEO and Founder of Just One Dime, that's not always the case.

Seth spent years feeling unhappy at his 9 to 5 job before quitting to live life on his own schedule. He experimented building businesses of all kinds and now runs Just One Dime, a coaching business with courses and services for budding entrepreneurs.

We spoke with Seth to hear his learnings from working on many different schedules, coaching dozens of entrepreneurs, and finding what it takes to feel truly happy at work.

First things first: what inspired you to quit your job and start Just One Dime?

J: I worked for the richest company in the world. (It was named after a fruit.) I was unhappy for a while, and one day, I quit so I could build a new life for my family.

I started studying e-commerce. I began to create passive income through real estate and my own businesses in e-commerce. I generated over half a million in 6 months. Later, I helped friends do what I did, and I ended up teaching their friends too. And with that, Just One Dime was born.

We offer coaching, online courses, and internet marketing services for entrepreneurs looking to start their own online businesses. We've turned multiple students into millionaires, more than 40 of our students make over $100,000 revenue a year, and hundreds of students have enough cash flow to do what they love with the people they love. Our goal is to help people live the lives they want — regardless of schedule — and build successful businesses.

After working many different types of jobs yourself, what's your take on the 9 to 5 schedule?

A lot of people think their job makes them miserable because it’s a 9 to 5. I disagree. I don’t think the 9 to 5 schedule has anything to do with it. Most people who quit their regular job and start their own business end up working more like 9am to 9pm.

It’s more about freedom, creativity, and innovation. The ability to grow, learn, and be in an environment that actually cares about what you do and values you as a human. Those are the things that make you happy at work.

This is the kind of team we’re striving to build at Just One Dime, and it’s what we hope we can give those who go through our courses.

In your courses, how do you discuss happiness at work as it relates to business results?

We have 5 courses. We cover a lot of detailed learnings about starting a business, but we also cover broader topics about business success, which are closely tied to finding value and meaning in your work.

We talk about taking ownership for your success, understanding the critical four assets that can make or break a business, and the fact that a business will always be proportionate to your own personal growth. In other words: you have to be willing to grow and change yourself in order to grow and change your business.

In your courses, how do you teach your students to build an environment where employees are happy? How do you ensure your own employees are happy?

I think three things are important: tools, expectations, and vision.

1. Access to tools. It's important to give your team access to the tools they need in order to succeed in their role. (Front is one of them we use!)

2. High expectations. Studies consistently prove that employees feel far more value and happiness at work when the standards are high. People need something to work toward. They need to be able to grow and see progress in themselves every day. Our team is obsessed with the mission at hand, and they know we expect nothing short of absolute excellence. And that drives satisfaction. When you as a leader care, your team will care more too.

3. A vision to look forward to. Let the team understand what you are trying to accomplish and let them see how their actions, every day, directly impact that end goal. No one at Just One Dime just shows up to "do their job." That kind of life gets old quickly. Just One Dime team members show up because they are part of our mission to help people achieve and live the way they want.

We had to ask: Why did you decide to use Front for your team at Just One Dime?

We researched countless email apps, and really struggled to find one that made email simple, collaborative, and efficient. Front did all three and then some. We've never looked back. It's one of the tools that we see as being critical to allowing our employees to be efficient and happy.

Emily Hackeling, Content Marketing at Front
December 09, 2019