Month: August 2017

6 Harsh Realities About Self Employment

6 Harsh Realities About Self Employment

Full time self employment. Is that something you want? A lot of people say they do, but they aren’t prepared for what it really means. “Oh I’ll just start a blog and make money.” Oh you will? Right. “Oh I’ll just be a freelancer on oDesk and travel the world!”, “I’ll just set up an affiliate site!”, “I’ll start a drop shipping business” – and plenty more.

People have a lot of grand ideas about self employment and what it means to be self employed, whether it’s virtually or a business based in the real world. The problem is: Not many people have actually done it. Not many people know what it really takes to be self employed for any real length of time. It is a lot of hard work and most people simply aren’t prepared.

Hell, I hold down a part time job just in case I have a shitty month!

Well I don’t want you to be unprepared, so I’ve put together a list of the 7 harsh realities of self employment for you to read over.

1. Full Time Means All The Time

Full time self employment means all the time self employment. “Oh man, it must be great being your own boss! you get all the time off you want or need!” Except that you don’t. At all. The regular 9 to 5 grinders with 9 to 5 jobs think in terms of ‘free time’. The self employed don’t think in terms of free time, they think in terms of work in relation to income generation.

Just the other day I was on the phone with my dad at 6 PM and I had to let him go so I could answer a call from a business contact. I love my dad, and I love talking to him, but I was about to broker a pretty big deal and I needed to line up some support, which necessitated my answering a phone call – even when it meant cutting my dad short.

When you have a job, all of your time is yours unless you employer specifically blocks off some of it. Right? Any time you aren’t scheduled is your own.

When you’re self employed, it’s the opposite. Any time you don’t schedule a break for yourself, you’re working (or, at least, you should be).

2. Self Employed can look a lot like Unemployed

I read somewhere once that the line between self employed and unemployed was very thin. True fact, kids. I’ve had completely unemployed days, where I made no phone calls, where I met with no clients, where I did no real work and where I spent all day in my underwear. I may as well have been unemployed.

I used to think that unemployed days were days where I made zero dollars. That isn’t true! Unemployed days are days where I’ve made zero effort. As long as I’m moving towards money, moving towards a goal, I’m self employed. Anything less and I have no job and I might as well go get me some of that Obamacare.

3. You have to spend money

Starting a blog? Opening a shop or restaurant? I’ve got some bad news for you: There is more money to spend than just your start up costs. Its called marketing, and you have to put some serious dough into it or you won’t be in business for long.

Don’t think you can just start a twitter, and suddenly go viral and make all kinds of money from out of nowhere. It doesn’t work like that. You’ll need to invest money in “PPC”, newspaper or radio ads (depending on your business), and various other types of marketing.

The truth is, if you don’t spend money to drive people to your business, they won’t know its there.

4. You will have to do things you hate

Do you know what CEOs of small enterprises do? They clean toilets. It’s a way of saying they do everything their business needs them to do, even stuff they hate or think is beneath them. I own a website design company and am a programmer with over 10 years of experience. Do you know what my job consists of? What I spend most of my day, every day doing?

If you said “programming”, or “web design”, or “search engine optimization” you would be wrong. I spend a majority of my time cold calling random business owners and pitching them.

It is awful.

Cold calling is its own special type of hell. But if you sell a service, it is going to be your primary method of gaining new clients (at least until you can afford to pay someone to do that for you).

As a self employed person, you’ll find yourself doing all sorts of things that are self employment related that aren’t the job you signed up for.

5. You will cause tension in your family

If you’re married, the first thing you need to do is make sure your wife is on board. If you have children, make sure you have ample savings. The number one thing that is going to bring you tension in your self employment journey is your family. At first they will look at you kind of sideways when you tell them you’ve left your job in pursuit of greener, self-employed pastures.

The default thinking is that you’re lazy. They think this way because they’ve worked for Sam’s Sprockets & Widgets Co., Inc. since the summer of ’37 and dag nabbit, that’s just what you do! The factory was good to pa for 60 years, it’s been good to me for 40, why isn’t it good enough for you?

This mostly fades as time wears on and they realize that six months, a year, two years later you’re still paying your bills on time, and have more money to spare than most of them. But don’t think that’s the only familial tension!

In the beginning you’ll hit lean times a lot. Bills will be tight, who knows when you’re getting paid next: Prepare for some rough dinner conversations with your significant other.

As you get more successful, even your own family will grow to resent your success, instead of being proud of it. Odd, I know.

6. You have to give up a lot

New video game? Better not until you get that rent money secured. New car? Nah, the old beater will do just fine. eBay & amazon will become your best friends as you find yourself looking for deals on things you need and talking yourself out of things you want.

When you first start out your journey of self employment, you will have to get rid of all of the excess in your life. It just makes it easier when you don’t have so many bills. In addition to cutting out all of the things you don’t need (but think you do), you’ll have to stop giving in to the urge to buy things you want.

A good rule of thumb is: If you have to think about the purchase, you don’t need to make the purchase. Try living by that for a month and see how you do.

Is Self Employment Worth it?

Is self employment even worth it, though? Absolutely. There does come a lot of freedom with it, if you can manage all of the above (and plenty of unseen curve balls that will come your way). Being self employed is the most rewarding thing I’ve done. It has allowed me to take up new hobbies, caused me to learn more about myself, become more resolute in my own masculinity, and in the end it has made me a better person.

Also: The money is pretty good.

Just know that it isn’t for everyone, and it is going to be much harder than you think. If you can handle that, then give it a shot! What’s the worst that could happen? You end up needing a day job?

Life will most likely pass you by

Life will most likely pass you by

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

I would like to take a moment to extol the virtues of working (as opposed to sitting still and doing nothing).

We currently live in a “Result Based Culture” and everything we do is focused on is the result, and the not the road leading us there. This causes people to feel entitled because they see others’ results, and want the same results. However, because they never saw the work that went into the result, they want to achieve the same success without the same work.

In a culture like that, how can you possibly expect to get anywhere?

Well, you could whine and complain until what you want is given to you. You could make up your own fictitious victim class, make a Tumblr and write an op-ed for Huff Post to get some traction, and before you know it you’ve got a good entitlement case going.

You could do that, sure.

If you’re a bitch.

But if you’re not a little bitch, your real option is to work hard. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: No matter what is going on with the country, no matter what is going on with regulation, no matter where the war, there will always be a secret formula to making millions of dollars.

There is one proven method that will always make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. Do you want to know what it is?

Hard Work.

Hard work will always put you ahead, always. There never was, is not now, and never will be a time and place where working does not pay off. Especially in America. Especially in the past 50 years. Especially today.

If you put hard work at the core of your life and refuse to take no for an answer you’ll find yourself heading in the direction you want to go.

Most people these days are averse to hard work because they don’t see behind the curtain. Yet. Their worldview is stunted and refusing to grow any further. They see something, and (just like their microwave) they expect to have it NOW!

Well life doesn’t work like that, cupcake. And if you do manage to win the lottery and get it NOW, how long do you expect to keep it without maintenance work? Without investing? Without working hard to keep it?

I knew this guy, he’s a multi-millionaire. Definitely one of the richest men in my city, if not the richest.

People see the life of ease this guy has, and they either say, “Man I wish I could live like that! I bet he doesn’t have any of the problems I do!” or they talk shit about him.

What they don’t see is this guy waking up at four in the morning (I asked) and working his ass off until he falls asleep. What they don’t see is his 7 day work week. The level of control and involvement he has in his financial ventures. The granular control in his business ventures. The hours spent on real estate and investing.

My point is, you don’t get to be who this guy is without paying your dues. And you don’t keep your status without investing the appropriate amount of blood.

If you truly want to be successful and stay successful, you need to learn to work hard. And not just hard, but harder. Harder than the guy next to you, harder than your neighbors, harder than your icons – you have to work harder than everyone else.

You have to fight for what you want, pay for it with your blood and sweat – there is no other way forward.

If you work hard and change the lives of everyone you come in contact with for the better, you’ll find yourself surrounded by wealth and success.

But none of it happens until you stop reading my shitty blog, and go out there and start doing.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America

They Hated Me First

They Hated Me First

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

Jesus Christ

We could say that Jesus was the original self improvement ‘guru’. It’s funny because whenever Jesus performed a miracle, the first thing he did was change a person’s heart or mind – not heal them of an affliction. Countless times in the Bible, Jesus would come across a lame man, or a blind man, or a mute, and he would look at them and they would beg him for healing.

But the first thing Jesus would do wasn’t heal – it was change their hearts, their minds. Instead of picking up the lame man off of the mat, when asked to be healed, Christ looked at the man and said, “Your sins are forgiven.” Now stick with me on this, I know you didn’t come here to be talked to about my faith, but there is a larger point.

Walking was important, sure, but walking wasn’t this man’s problem. This man’s problem, truly, was his mindset. He considered himself less important, less valuable. He was just a beggar. He was dirty, unclean, ugly, filthy – he was not a whole man and shouldn’t be treated as such.

The first thing Jesus did with this man was to make him whole in spirit. To make sure the man had the right mindset about himself. He wasn’t filthy, he wasn’t dirty, he wasn’t half a man. He was a whole man!

The teachers at the time looked at Jesus and all thought evil things of him, saying among themselves, “This man is blaspheming God!” The Pharisees – these ‘teachers‘ of the day – were just average men, and they knew they were. But they wanted everyone to think so highly of them. But then along comes this Jesus guy who is doing things they could never do – forgiving sins, changing hearts and minds, mending the sick and broken – and they get jealous.

So what do they do, in the face of change? They seek to destroy it.

If you’re trying to improve your life, if you’re trying to become a better person, know that there will be people in your family, among your friends, at work, who will simply not understand. There is nothing you can do to make them understand. They will simply hate you. But that is okay! Just remember: They hated Jesus, too, when he started leading by example and achieving greatness. I have family members that don’t like me and I’ve lost quite a few very close friends when I started my self improvement journey.

It is inevitable: They will not like you. Some people will be overt, and call you out for wasting your time or pursuing a pointless endeavor. Some will be more covert, they’ll laugh when you say you have to go to the gym and respond with something like, “OH that’s too much work for me! I’d rather eat cheetos!”

Yeah John, we know. We can tell by looking at you.

Do not let these people change your mind. Put your mind in the right place: You are a whole man who, through force of will and a careful application of effort, will achieve a whole and meaningful life. Your choices will steer you, your thoughts will determine your outcome. Do not let outsiders change your heart.

You’ll have a hard time understanding why people think your new gym membership is stupid. It will seem completely irrational because some people will actually disassociate themselves from you because you’re working out, or reading more! There will be people who, quite literally, hate you.

The reason they hate you? Because they realize that you are becoming a better person. That you’re doing the things they wish they could do. Let the hate roll off you. They have no power over you because they are weak men with weak minds and dark hearts. You are so much more.

So fight on, push through, and achieve your heart’s desires. Reach your goals, shatter them, and move on to greatness. Everyone else can piss off. History doesn’t remember the weak.