27 September 2011, by A. Cedilla
- You possess a skill — or more likely a particular set of skills — that came easily to you and you’ve refined your control of it after long, focused practice. It’s a skill-set people will pay you to exercise on their behalf. You can do something very well, and people will pay you enough to make a living wage. Using your skill-set in alignment with your goals, you found the sweet spot where your strengths and other people’s needs meet, and you’re busy making sure you get to stay there and have a good time working it out.
- Life is too short to pass thing up for fear of what might happen, you reason, so why not choose to see what happens next by making the leap? Whatever you do, time will pass anyway, so might as well do things your way instead of waiting for someone to make your life for you.
- You don’t quite fit anywhere else, and corporate culture gives you hives, literally. You found that out the hard way.
- From everything you’ve experienced, you learned that there’s no security out there except for what you make yourself. (Yahoo Finance link)
Face it, there has to be something that keeps you going at work, work that in its most thankless and frazzling moments can leave you wishing you were back in kindergarten, where all you had to think about was what color crayon to use, and whether it was nap-time yet — and if there were cookies after.
In its best moments, however, you realize that it’s all of you working in alignment to make something happen — your knowledge, your skill, your mastery and your choices — and while people are paying you for it, you get to live life on your own terms.
The autonomy of running your own life can be rattling, especially when you’ve been used to looking for someone to show how things are done, or getting consensus before making a move.
Freedom can be nerve-wracking. There’s so much to decide, and you’re the linchpin. One one side, it’s as scary as hell, but when you peel the anxiety away, it’s exhilarating. It’s hard, it can be boring, but it’s yours. You get to choose.
Running a business may just mean being able to do the work few people you know do, or work that you don’t realize exists — have you ever seen Mike Rowe‘s “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel? — or realize is vital. You think differently, see things differently, and are willing to follow through on a nagging clue.
Or sometimes you just live into it.
- Surprising 6 figure salaries (CNN Money) – Life coaching for teens? Truck hauler? Porta-potty rental business? These are just a few jobs that make big money.
Entrepreneur, free-lancer..what’s the difference?
A freelancer signs up for short-term projects for other people. Entrepreneurs work for their business, and make their business work for them. In both cases, you still work for money – so it’s an exchange of services or products, only in one you get rid of the middleman (or the supervisor) and go directly to who ever is hiring, and in the other, you elected to hire yourself for the position.
- Mastering the new freelance economy (Yahoo Finance)
You can’t look to your business to supply you with everything you want. It’s a thing you choose to make money and provide a valuable service. It can’t give you a well-lived, vibrantly healthy life, that you have to do other stuff to get, so you structure your life to support your best choices.
Running your own business and living on your own works on the same principles of self-determination – your time is your own, your choices decide where you go and what you’ll do next, what you handle or decide not to, all according to your energy levels and priorities. The kicker?
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”
In this case, Freud doesn’t apply to you. You accept the trade-offs and when you get the hang of things, at times you may act the role of a one man band — but then you utilize outsourcing to offload the lesser responsibilities and free yourself up to focus on where you are the most effective, whether it’s creating a new product, refining the current one, promoting it, or laying the groundwork for sustainable growth.
You build your own support system, incorporating relationships, lifestyle choices and various techniques to deal with the big stuff, the small stuff, and all the stress that comes with it.
There are two practices you can employ to establish a long-lasting, stable run:
- Examine what the good business are doing, and get the process that pushed them to commit to their businesses. Don’t get their ideas, ideas lie on the ground, there are so many of them — it’s the mind-set that can see beyond the idea to its practical application and navigate all the steps and pitfalls in between, that gets you to success. Examine, assess, put into action, refine.
- Examine what the complaints are about similar businesses with less-than-stellar reputations. Don’t just read about the complaints, try to get at the context: what is happening at the back-end that contributed to the situation that gave rise to the complaints? Is it the process, the procedures, the product or the people? Hopefully, in the end you get information that tells you what to not to follow when it applies to business practices.
- The Art of Hassle Map Thinking (ChangeThis) – Adrian J. Slywotzky with Karl Weber
Boiling these two methods down leave one result: Imitation won’t cut it — examine in detail how successful companies think (get the “why” behind their best practices) and try to watch out if you’re doing things that will lead to problems down the road. Decision making can be anxiety inducing particularly if you’re used to follow pre-set parameters, i.e coloring inside the lines.
On the communication and technological field, it’s like the Wild West came back and now you have to carve out your own frontier amid changing landscapes, economic uncertainties and shifting borders.
And you? “You pays your money and you takes your choice.” Scary, unsettling and uncertain, yes, but that’s what you chose. That’s how you wanted it, that’s how you’re making it, and that’s how you honor your own goals.
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