Let me get this out of the way: this post is biased. Biased because, well, it’s my blog wherein I share my opinion, and dare I say expertise (I just did), on all manner of things and because I am of the particular persuasion of which I am about to write. So here goes: I haven’t had a job in more than six years and I couldn’t be happier.
While people of this fair nation, from one end of the political spectrum to the other, worry about who will create jobs and who’s fault it is that there are few choice jobs, I am busy building my business each day. When people complain that the economy is so bad that they can’t find meaningful employment, I often suggest that they try working for themselves. Unfortunately, my fine suggestion is met with a litany of reasons as to why it’s impossible, unfeasible, or not an option.
I find it sad that so many are snowed by the idea that a job = security. Security, just like freedom, is relative. To whit: there is no security in collecting a paycheck from one employer. None. And lest you think that a corporation, an entity, has your interests at heart, let me ease your mind. It doesn’t. But you know what? That’s ok. Armed with that knowledge, you have the freedom to make a choice. The choice of whether to be the one who determines your future and the type of work you do, or to relinquish that control to the whims of the employment climate.
As a self-employed person, I create my own economy. I support, in part, the lives of others: my team of talented collaborators and the merchants that I patronize for my business needs. I rest with a bit more assurance that the various payments that I collect from a diverse group of clients is a hedge against the precarious position of working for an employer. Have I lost business over the course of the last six years? Indeed, but there has always been another client or project around the corner. I need not have faith in the market, I have faith in myself, and I’m damn good at what I do. I am fortunate that I have a fine group of colleagues and clients who refer me, who know that me and my team provide solid, creative, and stellar work.
So, is it a little scary at times being free from the corporate clutches? Hell yes! Is scary a bad thing? Hell no! Scary just means that I am aware of my situation, alert to the changing project load landscape, and ever-vigilant to keep the pipeline full. I admit that autonomy and self-determination is not for everyone, but I would much rather go through my life each day awake and present instead of numb by job boredom or clock-watching as I wait for some guy in a suit tell me when I can take my lunch break. I’m too independent and smart for that. And I have a feeling that maybe you are, too.
(Image Credit: Some rights reserved by alancleaver_2000)