Work for yourself

Have you ever thought of working for yourself but do not have the courage?  You will always make more money working for yourself than a company. The purpose of this post is twofold; one, to appeal to your emotions on why you need to start your own company and the second, is a logical argument with help from Adam Smith.

My plea to you to abandon being a careerist and work for yourself

I have years of experience working for the ‘best companies in the world’ in Europe and America. Sarcasm intended, as every company you work to tell you they are the best and the greatest by the way. Further, every corporate warrior will tell you they have a great resume and tell you about their accomplishments. Yawn. Working for a company is no honor, no expression of creativity, but it is what most people do. Just consider, for a moment being an entrepreneur.

I now work for myself. Take my word for it self employment is eons better. A company is mostly a waste of time, except for some skills you can acquire and apply for your own business. This is even if you are high up the corporate ladder.

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. –Henry David Thoreau

My key advice to you is to plan your escape from working now and plan to work for yourself. Read my lips, to this now start today. Be an entrepreneur. This is where real innovation comes from and economic contribution comes from. I believe like the Economist Schumpeter, that the entrepreneur is the hero.

I have even known some people to use company time to start planning their escape.  I do not like this approach unless it is warranted like you know the ax will fall on you, so what is the point.  Use your own ethics to guide you, based on your situation.

However, consider this your company is taking the best years of your life from you. Think about your family, you are responsible for taking care of them, no one else. This is why I recommend you consider alternative career options than just working for some company.  Consider or even meditate on the following image. Print it out and carry it with you for a few days in your front pocket. While you are in a team meeting, take it out and look at it.  Reflect on it, until you realize the matrix is no place for you.

working for yourself
The ladies above are not working for themselves, and neither are you. Your cube is no different than these lady’s place of work. Where are they now?

The problem with not working for yourself

It would be great to show up at work at 9 am in the morning and at 5 pm go home. It is the dream. A low-stress job that is rewarding and people really appreciate you and pay you for it. Self-actualization in corporate America. You do this until you are ready to retire and you have a wonderful easy life and fulling life.

Reality check on working for a company – It might have been possible in the 1950s when the world was recovering from WWII and the other half had communism, but not in a global market place today with free movement of labor and capital. If you are a corporate warrior you will sacrifice your life or marriage. In a work when you try company route – game over man.

Being in management for many years I know how the worker gets screwed. After working nights and weekends you will get a review and your 3% raise. I was in charge of the budget and that is what I could give people. When it came time to downsize people of all ages lost their job. If any of those guys working for me had their own firms or worked for themselves, they would be rich right now. I could not do it anymore for personal and ethical reasons mostly. It was all fake, people who made money where not the people who were the producers.

Go ahead work long hours in corporate America. You can do it but what a price you will pay. No one in today’s economy can work 9 am to 5 pm and get provide for your family in every sense of the word.  If you can, let me know. In fact, I would rather not work than sacrifice my family life.

Adam Smith and the logic of self-employment

Do not take my word for it, let us look at what Adam Smith says about working for yourself vs. working for a company. Adam Smith on working for a company:

As soon as land becomes private property, the landlord demands a share of almost all the produce which the labourer can either raise or collect from it.

The owner of the company will take most of your productive effort and creativity. Is this fair? Yes, if you do not have the courage to try something on your own, resign yourself to working for a master (company).

Why people do not choose self-employment

Here is an Adam Smith quote to put it in perspective and why people work for a company rather than being an entrepreneur.

It seldom happens that the person who tills the ground has wherewithal to maintain himself till he reaps the harvest. His maintenance is generally advanced to him from the stock of a master, the farmer who employs him, and who would have no interest to employ him, unless he was to share in the produce of his labour, or unless his stock was to be replaced to him with a profit. This profit makes a second deduction from the produce of the labour which is employed upon land.

What does this mean to you? Basically, people need to live and therefore, can not afford to live on anything until their productive efforts start to pay.  Furthermore simply, the company will take away your productive work, but allow you something to live on. It means you get paid less than are worth, basically.

Work for yourself

Adam Smith continues to write:

It sometimes happens, indeed, that a single independent workman has stock sufficient both to purchase the materials of his work, and to maintain himself till it be completed. He is both master and workman, and enjoys the whole produce of his own labour, or the whole value which it adds to the materials upon which it is bestowed.

This is the guy you want to be. The person who works for yourself or owns a process. This way you can enjoy all the fruits of your work.

You can make money working for yourself.

My main idea is you are worth a lot more than you are getting paid now if you are working for a company long-term. What is my proof? There is no way I can quantify this for you if you have not tried. If you want more ideas on how to make money or going in business for yourself, consider what I write in this article on why the rich have money by working for themselves.

The solution is to work on your own:

  • While you have your day job, start using it to think about other ways to make money. Here is a resource you might consider for self-employment, it has a good FAQ section.
  • If you are bored and have nothing to do at work,  print things out about working for yourself and read them in your cube. Cover it with other work, so if your boss walks buy it looks like you are working. Does this sound bad? It is up to you.
  • I had a rule, I would never surf the Internet or talk on the phone or do anything but work, while I was at work. In the end, it did not matter, work is a lot about corporate politics. It is up to you, but you have to look out for yourself and your family before you work for your bosses bonus in my opinion.
  • Start to think of ways to work for yourself today and in a year or two you might have a plan and start putting it in place.

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