Why Self-employment is the Answer — Part III of III
Self-employment is about living your passion. Learn how freeing yourself from the 9-to-5 can help you live a life you love.
This post is part of 3 of a 3-part series. For part 1, click here.
Last week, we discussed the not-so-subtle nuances in the labor market and really tried to provide some context as to why we’re pushing the entrepreneurial agenda. The 9-to-5 as we know it is on its way out and this means opportunity for you. In this week’s post and the final installment of our “Why Self-employment is the Answer” series, we will discuss some ideas on how you can leverage this opportunity for your own financial freedom and more importantly, live a life you love. But first, a little about me…
My entrepreneurial journey began when I was about 5 years old. I suppose I was always innately inclined to be in business for myself; I was continuously finding creative ways to make money as a child and I loved doing it. One of my favorite entrepreneurial memories was when my best friend and I at the ripe old age of 9 or 10 came home from the mall having made hundreds of dollars in just a few hours. We were buying and reselling passes to the local amusement park and running huge profits. By the time my mom came to pick us up, our hands were full of shopping bags of clothes and basketball shoes that we had just earned for ourselves, but more importantly, we came home with badges of honor and our entrepreneurial spirits alive. It was a rush that I will never forget.
By the time I graduated high school and college that spirit had been suppressed by brainwashing and society’s idea of what the corporate path should look like. I instinctively knew that this path wasn’t for me, but I followed it anyway because it’s what I was “supposed” to do. After all, you don’t run a business right out of the gate. You need to put in your time and learn through observation, right? I wish I knew then what I know now.
Fast-forward to my first (and last) corporate job, where I am feeling lost, hopeless, and depressed. I literally went to bed every Sunday with a heavy heart, dreading the week to come. Mondays were numbing and each day was better than the next. Is it Friday yet? This wasn’t for me. I shouldn’t be working my ass off helping to create someone else’s dream while I spiral down in misery. Looking around, I saw so many other people in the same boat as me—some who had been doing it for decades. Their faces looked older than they should. Is this what life is going to be like? Going through the motions and just accepting our fate? Anyone who has seen Office Space gets the idea—it’s literally misery in a can (or cubicle). Thankfully, I observed something in these other people that will forever change my attitude and beliefs about life.
I knew I could never end up like them. I couldn’t stand the idea of working towards retirement in a job I hated, only to be too old and run-down to enjoy my life once I finally got the opportunity. I didn’t want to wait until retirement. I wanted to enjoy life now. I didn’t want to just exist—I wanted to LIVE. The biggest thing I observed in the poor souls I worked with was that every single one of them talked about change yet did nothing about it. They talked a big game too; they were going to do great things with their lives—tomorrow, next month, next year—just you watch (crickets). It has been about 5 years since I met these people. They are still working their same miserable jobs, talking the same big talk.
Now at this point, if you’re relating to my experience (or those who I worked with), don’t worry—it does get better.
Knowing I had to be different, I spent the next six months at work researching every possible way to escape this prison before it was too late. I literally spent 1000’s of hours learning what I could about marketing, online business, and strategy. I was creating a template for a new life and financial freedom, impeccably taking notes on everything I could. I knew very little about how to run a business—in college, I studied science, not business—but I knew marketing and entrepreneurship were in my blood. I enrolled in business school and within 6 months co-founded my first company, which I helped run while maintaining my position at my shitty corporate job.
Spoiler alert: the company failed, but I learned a lot from that experience. For one, I learned that it’s a lot easier to create a company than people may believe. Having no computer background or help from others, I was able to create an entire eCommerce website in just one weekend and we literally launched the company in under a week. The biggest lesson I learned (or affirmation that I experienced), however, was that I still wasn’t passionate about what I was doing and that I wasn’t going to be happy or successful unless I was passionate about my work. In fact, no one working in the company was passionate about the company itself, which was the real reason we didn’t succeed. We had almost everything we needed to succeed—a good business model, a brand we could stand behind and a product that people loved. What we lacked was love for what we did. None of us wanted to push forward and we literally let the company fizzle out because we didn’t enjoy what we were doing—we were doing it for the money and nothing else. I learned that the key to success is to spend your life doing the things you love and I couldn’t be more grateful that it didn’t take decades for me to figure that out. If you’re passionate about what you do and remain dedicated, the money will follow.
Fortunately for me, that experience also uncovered my true passion: helping others monetize their passions. I really enjoyed the strategic work that I did with my first company, but didn’t particularly enjoy the industry or the lifestyle that came with the business itself. The happiness I discovered was actually in the process of helping others achieve their goals with online business. I knew this was my calling, so I did something that changed my life forever. I walked into my boss’s office with a fire under my belly and I quit. The next few days were the most rewarding and fulfilling days I have ever experienced. I was free for the first time in my life and even though I was scared of the unknown, I knew it was going to be okay. It was about time that I started living for me, so I created my second business: a marketing and web development consultancy specializing in helping small businesses.
Meanwhile, I knew that creating a learning platform for entrepreneurs like you was the only way I was going to be able to reach the mass-scale audience that needed to be reached. Far few people had easy access to this knowledge that I had spent years aggressively accumulating, which meant that most of them would have to go through the same lengthy learning curve that I did if they wanted to succeed. I wanted to shorten that learning curve for others and help people free themselves of those heavy burdens we’re all too familiar with. With that, ONtrepreneur Academy was born. Taking the same principles that my consultancy still uses to this day and helping others apply them to their own business ideas, I am able to truly help others achieve the freedom that I have discovered by monetizing what they are passionate about.
It’s time for a change
Do you ever wonder why “lucky” people seem to have everything go their way and unlucky people never seem to catch a break? Although I believe the power of intention plays a huge role (I’ll save that for a post later on down the road), the core element to this phenomenon is momentum. Those who have positive things going on in their lives continue to breed positivity and those who seem down on their luck, well—keep drawing the short straw in life. The reason behind that and why their luck doesn’t change is because it isn’t supposed to. Until something acts upon that momentum, i.e. change in attitude and behavior, it will continue on its current path. Take this quote (translated from it’s original Latin form) originating from Galileo and popularized by Sir Isaac Newton that has applications in the entrepreneurial world as well as anywhere in our lives that change is needed:
Law I: Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed.
Sir Isaac Newton
Translated into language we have all heard and may remember from high school physics class, an object in motion, stays in motion and an object at rest, stays at rest—until acted on by an external force. Think about how that law applies to changes in your life. Are you doing anything about the things you don’t like or want to change? Or do you find that it’s just easier to complain and not do anything about it at all? Most successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they take action. I challenge you to take action in your own life and in making positive changes toward a life you love. Start your momentum with a small win; take a task that you have been putting off and know will move you closer to your goals. You may be surprised at how easy it is to maintain that momentum once you get going.
The biggest hurdles I believe people run into that hold them back from their passions, is not knowing where to start and/or being reluctant to pull the trigger on success. It’s the fear of the unknown that keeps actions (and positive changes) at bay. Most people will never get the things they want in life because they are afraid of letting go of the comforts that they’ve grown accustomed to. Making that first step is scary, because we’re all programmed to be weary of the unknown—it’s a survival mechanism that has worked well in keeping our species going for centuries. But what separates us from the animal kingdom in that regard? Absolutely nothing. Growth and evolution as a species and as a human being comes from pushing our limits, but we won’t get very far without taking that first step. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not here for mere survival. In terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I want to move beyond that foundation and actually experience some of those things that make us whole—the things that make us human. We live through experiences and we experience through change. Keep in mind that this isn’t just careers we’re talking about. I’m talking about relationships, personal development, fitness, and anywhere else in our lives we want to see growth.
Bottom line is, if you can relate to my story in any way and want to make a change for yourself, understand that you CAN have the life you want if you are willing to take the necessary steps. We all want good lives for our families and ourselves, but unless we change that which is not working, we’re setting ourselves up for failure and frustration. I’ll leave you with my favorite quote that I want you to apply to your own world. Dig deep and think about how your actions (or inactions) and momentum may be influencing your life, your career and your happiness. Most of all, think about the results that you want in life and what you have done (and are doing) to get them:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this series as much as I have enjoyed writing it and I appreciate you letting me share my story. If you are ready to take action and make positive changes in your life, we would love to help you. Our courses at ONtrepreneur Academy are designed for people like you who are sick of feeling tied to their jobs and want to take action in creating a life they love.
Thank you for taking the time to read our post. Feel free to contact us at support [at] ONtrepreneurAcademy.com with any questions.[UPDATE] Our flagship course, Launch Blueprint 2.0 is here! 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.