Why Self-employment is the Answer — Part I of III
Self-employment is more than a pipe dream — more than an escape. Learn what it means (and doesn’t mean) to be self-employed and living life as an entrepreneur.
This post is part of 1 of a 3-part series. For part 2, click here.
ONtrepreneur Academy launches in just one month and we couldn’t wait to share our excitement, so we decided to kick off our blog a little early.
As a Website centered around the idea of sidestepping the ole 9-to-5, what better way to start than with a series of posts about why self-employment is the direction you should be headed, and headed quickly. We all want more time to do the things we enjoy. Lets face it; we’re a race of overworked, underappreciated and unhappy people.
We spend more time with our work than we do with our family or friends and it’s outrageous! What makes it even more outrageous is the fact that, at no point do we get an opportunity to consider our own needs, desires, and passions before those of others. Even the idea of having a job is an example of how we’re helping to pursue other peoples’ dreams. At ONtrepreneur Academy, we think it’s time for a change!
What it doesn’t mean to be self-employed
So what does it mean to be self-employed? Well, to some it means quitting their job, doing something they’re proficient at and maybe even making a pretty good living at it. There’s a major flaw with that, and it’s that most people are generally unhappy doing what they already did for a living, even if they are their own bosses. Why? Well maybe they’re happy at first. Maybe they feel refreshed and empowered – they’re living the American dream, after all. But after couple of months or maybe a couple of years, they find themselves in a similar rut. At the end of the day, they become slaves to their own creation and are just as miserable as an employee, if not more so. An amazing book called the E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber helps really drives this point home.
The major flaw is that these people often find themselves in the wrong business in the first place. They start by building around a technical or intellectual skill set that they’re familiar with, and in most cases, it’s a direct extension of what they already do in the job that they already HATE! A close friend of mine (let’s call her Susie) came to me about a year ago with a similar dilemma that helps illustrate this point:
Susie — “Brice, I hate my job! I can’t imagine having to go through another year of it. I think I want to start my own business and I want to get your opinion. Can I run an idea by you?”
Me — “That’s great, of course! What is it?” I could have predicted her answer ten out of ten times:
Susie — “Well, you know how I am an appraiser right? And a damn good one! What if I start my own appraisal business? I could get a website, work out of my house, and maybe even get a couple of clients to follow me over to my new company. What do you think?”
Me — “But Susie, you hate what you do. I know the idea of working for other people doesn’t excite you, but do you really think running your own appraisal business is going to make you any happier?”
Susie — “No, you’re right. I don’t like what I do, but at least I can do things the way I know they should be done and I’m really good at it. Besides, I will be my own boss and if it works out, I can save up long enough to step back and make time for the things I’m really passionate about – like arts and crafts. You’re self-employed and happier than anyone I know. I want that for me!”
Me — “So how long do you think it will take to get to that point, 5 years? 10 years? Where does that get you in your life plan? Are you willing to wait that long? And why wouldn’t you find a way to make money at those things you’re passionate about now instead of years down the road? We spend something like 50% of our productive years making a living and most people waste that time in jobs they hate, doing work they despise – all for someone else to move forward in their life’s plan. The biggest difference between where I am at and where you’re trying to go, Susie, is that I’m PASSIONATE about what I do. I said to hell with what society says I should do, picked something I enjoyed doing, and explored ways to make money doing it. Above all else, I made sure whatever I did as a career afforded me the opportunities to make time for the things that were most important to me.”
And there it was, like a deer in the headlights — just like I was when I first came to the realization that I had been lied to my entire life. She too realized that we have all been fed the outdated B.S. that we’re all supposed fit within some corporate peg hole and work our way towards some sort of “retirement” — at which point we can officially start enjoying the fruits of our labor. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this equation? I do and I think Susie did too.
What it really means to be self-employed
I have a philosophy that you will likely hear me say over and over, and it’s that working in a job you hate is like treading water — taking all of your energy, but getting you nowhere. Treading water is the same as drowning. Finding your purpose however, is like finding a life raft.
You see, we spend most of our lives working through cliché milestones in pursuit of a pipe dream that will never come to fruition — retiring in our paradise with enough youth ahead of us to truly leave this planet happy. I mean, if we get good grades, we’ll get into a good college. If we graduate college, we’ll get a decent career with steady pay. If we work hard and save up, we’ll be able to retire and do all of those things we’ve ever wanted to do. Never mind being happy in the meanwhile; it’s all about what we do when we’re retired and free of those burdens. I for one cannot wait [insert sarcasm here]!
Working in a job you hate is like treading water – taking all of your energy, but getting you nowhere.
Let’s never mind that the average retirement age in the U.S. is now up to 61 and rising or that we’re working 50% more hours than we used to. What about the fact that most people will have spent 50% of their good years working towards 10-15 years of pleasure? I feel its my fiduciary duty to tell you this model is b^%$#*@t!
Why on earth would we wait 55 years (excuse me, 61 years) to do the things we’re passionate about? Why would we spend that time going through the motions of life, waiting for our time to actually LIVE? Sound like treading water to you? You have the option to take charge of your life NOW and I highly recommend not wasting another minute!
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Read that quote and truly take it in. Seriously, read it again. Does it make sense to you? Does it resonate? If not, you’re not there yet — but we’ll get there soon enough. If you do, isn’t it empowering to see that when you’re doing the things you love it doesn’t feel like work? Do you think Michael Jordan dreaded stepping on the court? Does Beyoncé loathe performing in front of 1000’s of people? I would venture to say no and no.
Does it take special skill to do those things? Sure, but to succeed at that level it takes more than skill – it takes PASSION! Now we may not all have the athletic skill and acumen to win NBA championships or the wherewithal to win Grammy’s, but we all have a talent and passion for something that is unique to us and we can make money doing it!
Try and think about what self-employment would mean to you and your life. Consider how it might feel to truly enjoy your job. Would you be more excited to wake up every day? Would you choose to take more time out for your family? Friends? Yourself? How about working remotely in some faraway place you’ve always wanted to go?
Before I decided to start ONtrepreneur Academy, I asked myself the same set of questions and answered a resounding, “Yes!” to every single one of them. In fact, I made a decision to never live the way I saw my parents live and their parents before them – working themselves to the bone to make ends meet. I made the decision to live rather than simply exist.
As I write this post, I am sitting in a beach house in Dana Point, California. Next week, I will be doing the same thing from my condo in San Diego, and come winter time, I will be packing up and spending my “work” days back on the beaches of Costa Rica. I’m able to work from anywhere in the world I want because I am able to leverage technology to aid me in doing so. More importantly, I am not only enjoying life like I never imagined possible, but I’m making money while I do it.
Am I saying this to brag? Absolutely not! In fact, I am here to help you achieve the same. Heck, if I can do it, anyone can. Luckily, I can save you 1000’s of hours of research on how to do exactly that. I’ve done all of the research for you and provided it for you in our courses; all you have to do is take advantage of it.
We hope you enjoyed the first installment of “Why Self-employment is the Answer”. In next week’s post, we’re going to talk about why the 9-to-5 as we know it is on it’s way out and why you need to act now. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. And as always, feel free to reach out to us if you have additional questions. Just email us at support [at] ONtrepreneurAcademy.com
[UPDATE] Our flagship course, Launch Blueprint 2.0 is here! It’s comprised of actionable learning modules that help you create, master, and monetize online businesses. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or Internet newbie, our solutions will help you gain an edge in online business.
Within 6 weeks, you could be running your own online business and working towards a happier existence in no time at all. Check out all of the awesome modules that are available within the course here. I also encourage you to sign up for our newsletter below, so you’re getting (free) actionable tips on how to create financial freedom through online business.