Photo by Andres Rueda
Many of us would love to work for ourselves but such a step is unlikely, if not entirely impossible. The problem with working for ourselves isn’t that we cannot do it, it is that our perspective on what it means to be our own boss is slightly skewed. What if I told you that you could work for yourself without even quitting your job?
That is exactly what I am going to tell you! You can work for yourself without even quitting your job! How? It is all about modifying your perspective on what it means to work for yourself. When we think of working for ourselves, we think about working from home in our underwear or creating a passive income so that we can lounge on the beach while we make bank.
Dreams are nice, but for most people what I described above will only ever be a dream. Not because it is impossible but because there are limiting factors in our lives (mostly self-imposed, but that is for another time). Most of us will never realize such a reality, yet, we can still work for ourselves every single day of our lives.
What does it mean, then, to work for yourself if not to become an entrepreneur? Again, it is all about perspective. We need to ask ourselves only one simple question:
“Who do I work for?”
Once we answer this question honestly we can begin to ask ourselves how to change.
Most people will answer this question with the name of the company which employs them and while this is not entirely false, I would say that it is not a good answer. The company that signs your paycheck simply provides you with a source of income and benefits. You trade your time and energy in exchange for monetary reimbursement but is that really the same as working for them?
Maybe you are confused, and you should be. We have been raised to believe that because we are employed by a company we work for them. This is just not true. The relationship is simply an arrangement between two parties which mutually benefit from one another.
Working for someone really depends on where that money is going, rather than how you earn it. Exchange of services for monetary reimbursement might equate to work but “doing work” and “working for” are not synonymous. So, ask yourself again,
“Who do I work for?”
Now that we are able to see that though we are employed by a company and they pay us for our services, we are not working for them. Beyond an exchange of services, the relationship ceases. The answer depends on where your money goes. Who are you paying?
Is your paycheck going to Visa, Fanny Mae and countless other corporations which you are indebted to? This is who you work for. These companies are your boss. And all this time you have been venting your frustrations about the wrong people!
It is time to fire your bosses and begin working for yourself.
It can start today. Create a budget, spend less than you earn and live within your means. Adopt a lifestyle of frugality and begin paying down your debts as fast as possible and stop adding new debt to the pile. Reign in your spending habits and stop buying stuff you don’t need.
Adopting these few simple principles can allow you to begin working for yourself sooner than you might think and from this point on, you can walk into work knowing that you are working for yourself, that you are your own boss and that your relationship with your employer is simply an exchange of services.
There is great power in working for yourself. You have control over your destiny. You no longer need to rely on your employer to provide a paycheck. You have the freedom to seek other opportunities.
The day you become debt-free is the day when “ME!” becomes the answer to the question, “Who do I work for?”