Be Your Own 1% (part 2)
In last weeks post, I talked about the current recession and how too many people are relying on what has become a fragile state of employment, working for others.
When we work for someone else, we surrender our decision making capability for the illusion of security. The larger the company we work for, the farther removed we become from the decision making process. We move from active participant in forming our future to becoming a simple cog in a machine. Ruled by committees and HR Departments.
The good news is that we can choose to work for ourselves. Even if we are currently working for someone else.
What we do in our off time can either lull us into complacency or it can propel us into freedom.
Frankly, this is something I’ve struggled with for a very long time. My Dad always told me I should work for myself, not for someone else. But then I watched him spend 10, 12, 15 hour a day running his business. I know that he did it to provide us a better standard of living; but at what cost? This is the dichotomy that I must work through. The desire to provide freedom and the ability to choose where and how I earn my living, against the memory that being a business owner kept me from really getting to know my Dad.
Logically I know that it is possible to strike a good balance between working a day job, building a business and keeping my relationship with my family. Emotionally, I struggle with the fear that I will let my focus on building my business squeeze out what time I have away from work and interfere with my family time.
Fortunately, we live in an age when we can build a business that can operate on our time frame. We don’t have to open a store-front, fill the shelves with inventory and either stand behind the cash register ourselves, or try and find someone that we trust to do it for us.
“Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from what you can do.”~ John Wooden
There are numerous ways to utilize the internet to build a business that can work around the clock. One that can generate income while we are sleeping or even while we are working for someone else to pay our bills until our own business grows to the point it can support us.
One benefit of the way that people have connected via the internet is that we are finding more and more people that are like us. Those of us that are out of the norm, that like to do things our way and not mindlessly follow the “in” crowd. We can find and connect with the other members of our “tribe”. As a buisness owner, or solopreneur, we can then effectively meet the needs of our fellow tribe members. Without having to move to where they physically reside, they can become our customers.
As business owners, we can personally market to those around us and have a local influence, as well as market globally and have a global reach.
The great thing about finding your tribe is that you can relate to them naturally. You don’t have to market to the mass of potential customers in the hopes of connecting with just 1 or 2 percent. When you talk directly to your tribe, you already know what resonates with them. What their needs are. How you can help them.
For most of us, the biggest obstacle to working for ourselves, is ourselves. We have been so indoctrinated into the “go to school, get good grades and get a good job” mentatlity that it is difficult to even imagine stepping out of that life. We don’t belive that we have what it takes to make a business successful. The people we know all have jobs. It is the “natural” thing to do.
If you’re like me though, the “natural” thing to do is slowly sucking the life from you. It is stifling your creative spirit. Each day that you go to work in that dull grey cubicle, doing work that doesn’t matter, takes a little bit more of your spirit.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”~ Les Brown
That is why you need to start something for yourself. Take that risk. Make the first step. Take some time to figure out what really makes you come alive. What are you passionate about? What comes naturally to you?
What would you do tomorrow if you didn’t have to go to work and you didn’t have any bills that needed to be paid. What would you do the following week? After you’ve taken the vacations, played on the beach, relaxed all your worries away, what would you do to find meaning in life? Write that down!
Now, sit down in a quiet place. Spend 15 minutes writing down every way you can think of to use what you wrote above, what you are meant to do. How can you use this to provide value to people so that they will pay you for that value?
This is how people not only free themsleves from stifling jobs, it is how they impact the world. There are enough people looking for jobs that any position you vacate will be quickly filled. However, the difference that you can make in the lives of your tribe can only be made by you being who you were meant to be.