Money Talk With Slater

Making Money Across the Board


Benefits for working for yourself

There are always a lot of limitations when working for someone and you expect a pay at the end of the month or after the agreed period. In fact, you have sold your time to your employer, eight or whatever number of hours you are working for your employer, and all you can do is engage only in the activities laid out on your job description.

The pay is always not enough, as most of employers pay just enough to cover your opportunity cost. That is, they pay just enough for you not to change jobs keeping you away from greener pastures.  You may have observed that most of the employed are in two jobs or more, or have other side projects parallel to their nine to five jobs.

In fact generation Y no longer put up with an employer for more than 3 years. Unlike their parents who stayed with one employer for their entire adulthood, and their reward was climbing the corporate ladder and a handsome retirement package. Their chances of being wealthy were really slim.  But this is no longer the picture in our current economy.  The recession saw most employees laid off with nothing much to keep them afloat for more than two months. Most left with their mere savings. That’s when being an entrepreneur, or a freelancer, or a contractor became fashionable. I have listed down the advantages of working for yourself, but the list is longer. What I love most is that:

  1. It’s really rewarding

Nothing is more rewarding than getting paid for work well done. Being sure that the better the quality or the more the input the greater the output. Unlike when working for someone, where rewards are not related to your input but to the contract you signed. The best your employer can do after working hard and achieving beyond average, is give you a good recommendation or good performance in job appraisal.  Here your hard work and burning of mid-night candle is rewarded by increased cash flow and recognition in your industry. There is a direct relationship between your hard work and success

  1. Flexibility of working hours

Being self-employed you have a chance to decide when to work. If you prefer early morning hours you can work from 4.00 am to 10.00 am and decide to indulge in other activities the others hours. No one dictates when to clock in and when to leave the office. The only control you have is that which you set for yourself and what the client wants. If you sleep late at night and spend your afternoons basking in the sun, no one cares. With this kind of system you can work when you are best motivated to. You can easily plan your schedule and accommodate all important stuff in the 24hrs that you have in one given day.

  1. Ability to run multiple projects at the same time

For there is no fixed working hours, self-employment gives you the ability to work on more than one project at a time. You can wake up early in the morning and deal with one project. At mid-day go supervise another project and in the afternoon go back to your office and do another task and still allocate time to go to your son football game. The backlog will be compensated by working late at night.

That’s the reason freelancers are able to make a lot with the same 24 hrs as employed masses. When they learn the art of delegating and using their time to the maximum. Their time is always occupied by multiple projects and they are never dull. Unlike in employment where your activities are dictated by your job description and relationship with your supervisor.

  1. A character builder

Self-employment comes with a lot of challenges. Before a small business becomes stable, you have to deal with bad debts, build customer confidence in your brand, and experience negative cash flows amidst other challenges. This makes you learn to be disciplined, plan your expenditure, be patient and sharpen you people skills. Also the requirement that you wear many hats, that is, be a marketer, debt collector, accountant and secretary of your business makes you an all-round person.

My friend started an IT firm and it made him read a lot of books on how to run a business, labour rules and regulations, be attentive on tax matters and a lot of other things. Even if his business collapsed within three years, he is not the same guy he was when he started that business. He now has more respect for all small business owners. He is street smart and has more avenues of making money than before. He has developed a thick skin for risk and has more avenues for raising capital.

He learnt more about himself than he ever learned while in employment. All the experience he got while trying to put one foot in front of the other, made him learn what he is good in and what he is pathetic in. He learned what he can do with his free time and above all what he is worth. Now if he falls back into employment he clearly understand his opportunity cost. That is, the highest he can make on his own, is the lowest he can agree to be paid in employment.

  1. Job security

With competition increasing every day, job security is an illusion to those who are employed. You can be working in a big corporation and you are good in what you do. All of a sudden a you recent graduate comes with a better way of doing your job. Or your boss messes up with the company financials and within two months the company is bankrupt.

That gives you another reason to start up you own enterprise. The market forces will always keep you on your toes. If you keep up with the change, you will always have a client.  The more you are on your own, the more goodwill you generate and the better job security you have.  Referrals from clients you impressed will always be coming in, and nothing can beat that in terms of job security. All it requires is you being good at what you do and keep up with the changes in the industry.

  1. Freedom

I woke up on a Monday morning with a terrible tooth ache and I called my supervisor to inform him that I couldn’t make it. To my surprise, my supervisor demanded that I check in before midday and with evidence from the doctor that I was treated. That was all I needed to start up my own side job. It dawned on me that I had no freedom to do as I please. I existed just to serve my master, and nothing mattered apart from my master’s needs.

Now I have a family, and I can’t imagine asking for permission to attend a special event or even take my daughter to the doctor. All I do now is delegate my duties and go be with my family, or wake up early and attend to my pressing duties, and join my family later when they need me. This is a pack that you can only enjoy when self-employed.

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