Taking the leap out of a job into working for yourself is scary.
There’s no doubt about it.
I’ll fully admit that when I did it I’d never been so nervous in my damned life.
I was a grown man with a son, a wife and responsibilities. It as difficult to walk away from the drip feed you have become dependent on.
Like a chicken in a cage, I’d grown accustomed to sucking on a tube and getting my daily nutrition. Then suddenly, the cage was opened and I was dragged out by the neck.
Bye-Bye feeder. Bye-bye cage. Hello FREEDOM.
Learning to work for yourself requires a whole new mindset. You have to unlearn and undo endless habits you’ve acquired ever since you first went to school. I didn’t realize how much the world cripples and tries to keep a man down until I was literally forced to make it on my own.
You know what, though? I’M MAKING IT! This will be the first month since I started working for myself where I go from the red to the green. It’s been a hell of a ride, and without the mental support of my good friends and family telling me I could make it, hell, who knows what would’ve happened.
Yet here I am. So, to celebrate my first profitable month in business for myself I’m going to put together a list post remembering all the things I DON’T miss about working a job.
Are you ready to be free? Soon, I’m going to teach you how. I just felt I had to make it first and walk the walk before teaching anybody else how to do it.
What I Don’t Miss about Working a Job
Waking Up Before I’m Ready – You know when I used to work on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean I would wake up between 4:30am and 5am.
I’m a pretty fit, well put together individual. I don’t drink heavily or eat a terrible diet. About my only vice is 4-5 cups of coffee a day. Yet I woke up every morning like someone waking up after a nuke had hit their city and they’d somehow survived.
Nowadays I don’t have that problem. If I have a sleepless night I just sleep a little later. If I wake up before my alarm I get up sit on my balcony with a coffee and think about what I’m going to achieve that day.
I feel absolutely no need to disturb my natural rhythm. Since I am in Asia and 90% of my clients are in America and Europe I have absolutely no need to rush or disturb myself before I’m good and ready. I have about 8-12 hours before they even wake up. I can do what I want during that time.
I still set a limit on how many hours I’m willing to sleep, but that’s it. I get up slowly and enjoy a cup of coffee brought to me by my beautiful wife, then I play with my son, and catch up on the latest news related to my business. I complete my first business activity before even getting out of bed.
Answering to Simpletons – There’s nothing in this world worse than having to answer to people who are pure and distilled turd brains, but they are above you on the ladder so you have to suck it up and obey them for a paycheck.
I think a lot of the intelligent, truth-seeking men who make up the readership of the Art of Selfhood can relate to this.
It’s hard to swallow your pride and take an order from someone who has either no respect for you because you’re just a number on a business statement to them, or because they are insecure in their position and need to constantly reassert that they are the boss.
I will admit that in my last job I had the pleasure of working under someone who was a gentleman and took the time to train and properly guide his apprentices. Sad to say, however, not all bosses are like this and I have worked for multiple morons in the past.
I no longer have to deal with these people. When I first started out on my own I had to take whatever work I could get from whatever clients would give me it. When you step out on your own you’ll probably have to deal with the same….. for a little while.
Now that I have a great reputation I don’t have to do that anymore and I’ve developed a screening process for vetting and weaning out imbeciles and control freaks. In time, you’ll meet the same standards and will only have to work with people you like and click with.
Even if you do have to deal with the odd difficult person, it’s so much easier when he or she is handing you fat bundles of cash directly instead of it being fed down through some pyramid system with multiple layers of jackasses taking their cut on the way down.
Working for yourself and starting your own business sets you free from these people. That alone is worth quitting your job.
Working in a Cage – There’s nothing worse in this world to me than a loss of freedom. All of my life has been a constant battle to break free from restrictions and limits. I plan to write a full, detailed post on this topic very soon. It’s important and deserves more attention.
Working for someone else always caused me anxiety. The last job I had paid me enough to justify it and I had enough autonomy to help me deal with it (being out at sea while my boss was 2000 miles away). That being said, I still felt restricted, although I was moving into the levels of freedom I had dreamed of by this stage and was no longer disturbed by having to work in a closed off environment.
Nowadays I’m about as free as a bird in the sky. Since I work on the web the only restriction I have left is that I have to be somewhere I can access the internet for an hour or two a day. Since I have no plans of living in Uttar Pradesh, India or the Amazon rainforest, I don’t forsee this being a problem for me anytime soon.
I often change locations multiple times per day. If I feel a little bummed out I move to my balcony and sit in the sun. If it’s too hot I move back inside into my air-conditioned house. If I’m not busy I may not even do any work at all but decide to spend my time hanging out with Junior Freedom instead.
This freedom of movement is one of the best things about working for myself. I don’t have to spend my days in a cubicle or pacing around an engine room. If I feel like going outside, I go outside. If I feel like working from my bed I work from bed. If I feel like taking a minute off to watch Mrs. Freedom twerk that ass, I do so!
This is the meaning of freedom. It’s worth a hundred million bucks to me. Hell, it’s the only thing I ever wanted a hundred million bucks for in the first place.
Waiting for a Paycheck – There are actually three points I want to make about getting paid, but the first is the frequency with which I get my money now.
When I was working for the man, I got paid monthly. Granted, I got paid a lot of money monthly, but I still had to wait around like a little kid for my allowance every month.
When that money came in I would burst with happiness. Making money is a great feeling, and I know you know that. Studies have shown that making money is akin to snorting cocaine. Your brain has the same chemical reaction.
Nowadays I get paid when I complete a job. When it’s done, I get my money. That time-frame ranges from a day to a week, but the way the business works is you get paid by the project, rather than the month.
I still have a period of time where I have to wait for my money to clear. That’s just how it is when doing international business and dealing with banks. It’ll probably always be that way.
The difference is I get to see my money roll in and add up every single day. Some days I look at the daily amount and say, “Really, that’s it?” But more recently I’ve been looking weekly and saying “Damn! Not bad!” I expect this trend to continue.
The second point I want to make about making money for myself is that I no longer feel alienated in my work. I see a direct correlation between my work and my bank account. If I get repeat clients and extra projects it’s because I did a good job, and I get rewarded for that. I exchange something I created myself for cash. That’s a nice feeling.
This has a super motivating effect on a person. Whereas before I would do what I deemed to be pointless, boring tasks and I did not ever see the end result of, nowadays I do something and I see a direct result. I either have a happy client who gives me more work, or a pissed client who says goodbye to me. The latter has not yet occurred, but if it does I will shrug it off, learn from it and move forward.
Human beings are creators. This is what has set us apart from the beasts of the earth. We need to see our creations come to life and earn for us. We need that almost as much as we need oxygen. It is essential for our happiness and when we are missing it we get depressed and feel hopeless.
Lastly, I want to say that when you work for yourself something else changes about ho you earn. There is no longer a ceiling on what you can make in a day, but at the same time, there is no floor beneath you. The stagnant boredom you feel at work is because of the ceiling and the floor. You’re both too secure and too limited. You need to set off a grenade and blow both of these to oblivion before you can fly.
You want te sky to be the limit? Then take off the damned roof! Too scared? OK, stay in your cell. I can’t do this for you!
Building Someone Else’s Kingdom – You know who the king I work for now is? Me. It’s as simple as that.
I am happy to serve my clients because they bring something to my table. I don’t have to work for parasites who are bleeding off of those below them who are creating the real value in the business.
I also get the satisfaction of knowing that I am building something nobody can take away from me. There are still a few limits on what I do and a few small systems I depend on which I will be working to iron out and eliminate, but generally I am building something I will be able to rely on anywhere I go in the world for the rest of my life.
Nobody can fire me. Nobody can tell me I don’t have the qualifications. Nobody can take a piece of what I have earned except business partners I have decided to give something to because they deliver value to me in return.
I am building my own kingdom. I wear the crown. It may be humble for now, but it is growing week by week, month by month. Soon it will be a vast empire. I’m determined to make that happen or die trying. This month alone I got a 300% increase in profits. When is the last time you or I or anyone got that at a job?
As king of your own kingdom, you get to control everything. You control your time, how much you want to work, where you do it, who you do it with and what you do with the money.
I’ve only recently realized it, but I was born to be a king, and that’s why I could never fit in as a slave. Freedom has no price. I have found my path, and I am walking it to the bitter end.
Desire. Decide. Persist.