I’m at a crossroads with the Self Employed Movement.
I don’t exactly know what the point is anymore.
The Self Employed Movement was started about half a year ago right after I finally got my degree, quit my job to take an internship, decided not to do that internship, and I wound up returning to the position I was previously at.
I was pissed. I was livid. I was depressed. Really depressed.
I felt like the last 8 years was a complete waste. I felt like I had no future.
I was jaded. My “golden ticket,” which was my degree, was worthless.
I sacrificed a lot for that damn thing. And for what?
To end up in the exact same place I was at before I graduated?
I figured I wasn’t the only one who ended up in this predicament. That’s why I thought I’d start this blog and try to start a movement where those who have done what they were told and have been done wrong by the system would say “screw the system.” They would do this by creating their own businesses or at least take how they make their money into their own hands and not be at the mercy of some out-of-touch corporate recruiter.
Selfishly, this would be the way I could eventually make a living, either through freelance writing or figuring out a way to make an income from the blog through consulting, subscriptions, or creating some kind of product.
Recent college grads were who I thought I’d really connect with but that wasn’t the case. Along the way, I’ve met people of all ages and all walks of life who are fed up with the way they make a living.
That’s really not much of a surprise since finding out I’m a part of the 70%.
* * *
Throughout my journey so far, the Self Employed Movement has been labeled as a Personal Finance blog.
That’s not a really a bad thing but I feel like that’s selling the movement short.
Sure, personal finance is a part of it, but it’s more so the idea of taking responsibility of your life and how you make your money. By doing so, we’ll all hopefully be more fulfilled with how we make our money and our lives in general.
I’ve heard of all kinds of fancy phrases along the way; mainly “early retirement” and “financial independence.”
These are valiant goals and I hold those who are pursuing them in the highest regard but it’s just not for me.
I can’t do it.
I can’t exactly relate to those who I’ve come across with their pursuit. They’re a little older than me, are making much more money than me, and are able to stay at a job that they don’t necessarily enjoy during the foreseeable future. I’ll make myself sick if I have to stay where I’m at long-term.
The main strategy of early retirement is to stay at a high paying job for as long as possible, spend as little as possible, and save and invest the difference.
If they’re able to stick it out then I’m truly impressed and I’m proud of them. It takes great determination and effort to be so disciplined.
But I don’t have a really high income and I’m not able to save a shit ton. I’m also not looking for a promotion anytime soon so there’s no way to eventually earn more money in my career.
That’s where trying to make a living the self-employed way comes into play.
Financial independence is also another awesome goal to have but that also includes saving a lot. Again, I can’t stand my job for much longer.
To me, the point isn’t to live in the rat race for years and then live the life you want. A big thanks to Tim Ferriss and the 4 Hour Work Week for helping me realize this.
The deferred lifestyle isn’t for me. I’ve tried it and it’s stressing me out.
The point is to live the life I want and to have a business where I can sustain that lifestyle. The point is to live an adventure.
To try something new.
To travel to places I’ve never been.
Sacrificing just 5 more years won’t cut it. Happiness and fulfillment is the goal and I’m trying to achieve those by being a small business. Actually by becoming a small business of one.
Like Jay Z once said, “I’m not a business man. I’m the business, man.”
Another goal that I’m pursuing is that of “convergence” which I first learned about in Chris Guillebeau’s book, The Art of Non Conformity.
I never heard of the term before, but I had an “ah ha” moment as soon as I came across it. Convergence is the “state of being where everything in our lives is in alignment.”
To quote Chris Guillebeau:
We have good relationships with family and close friends, we’re excited about work, we’re in good health, we do more or less what we want to every day, and we know we’re making a difference in the world. In short, we find ourselves full of gratitude and regularly challenged in an active, abundant life.
That is exactly what I want. That is the point of the Self Employed Movement.
To be fulfilled in all aspects of my life.
* * *
It took 6 months of preparation to get to this point, (and 1 trip to the Emergency Room) but I’m mentally ready to take a couple serious stabs at becoming self employed.
I gave myself a deadline. (December 31st, 2016)
I’m scared, nervous, excited, liberated, proud, embarrassed, happy all at once.
Will I make it?
Who knows but that’s not the point. The point is that I’m trying.
And I hope that will inspire you to do the same.
I’m tired of going through the motions and sleepwalking through life. I’m tired of feeling like I’m just living to pay bills. I’m tired of playing by other people’s rules.
If this average guy with an average life and pay check can break free of the rat race in a year, then why can’t you? My net worth sucks but my desire doesn’t. Your bank account doesn’t define you.
By documenting my journey to convergence through self-employment, I hope you become inspired to take a leap yourself.
I hope that I can help you prepare for that.
You’ll never be totally ready so don’t wait for perfect timing.
You just gotta do it.
Stop wasting your life doing shit you hate. There’s another way. And it’s just on the other side of putting in the effort and time.
There’s tons of people out there who are trying to sell you the dream. They want you to think they’re “overnight successes” and they’re going to show you how to do the same….for only $19.95.
But you don’t need that. You don’t need them.
Everyone wants the glory but not the backstory.
That’s what you’ll get here.
You’ll see the highs and lows as they happen. You’ll see just how difficult it is to become an “overnight success.” You’ll also see why it’s so worth it.
That’s how it was when I tried out for professional soccer teams.
Everyone wanted to do what I was doing but when I offered to have them train with me they didn’t follow through.
They didn’t see the 6 days a week at the gym and/or playing soccer.
They didn’t see me go to work at 8, come home at 5, eat, go to the gym, and go running on the beach until midnight.
They just wanted the end result; but that’s not how it works.
That’s not how any of this works.
I hope my struggles and triumphs will help you realize this.
So what’s the point?
And inspiring you to do the same.