I am the captain of my soul; I am the master of my fate. –William Henley
Whether you are a full-time homemaker and mother, employee in a small office, a Fortune 500 executive, or a retired individual, you are self-employed. Let me explain.
Everyone needs money to survive in this world. The only way most of us have for providing our basic human needs of food, clothing, and shelter, is to purchase them. Therefore, we all must have a way of coming up with that money, whatever that method might be. A full-time wife and mother trades a salary of her own for that of her husband’s so that she can rear her children in accordance with the family’s values. A retired individual trades savings in the bank for a lifestyle she’s comfortable living. An “employee,” no matter the size company for which she works, trades her time and a little piece of herself each day for a paycheck.
Most of the time, people confuse the term, “self-employed” with “entrepreneur.” The two are similar concepts – if you’re an entrepreneur you’re definitely self-employed - but there is a distinct difference between these two terms. Entrepreneurs are people who start and manage their own business. They assume all of the risk and responsibility of performing a task or providing a service to their client. Entrepreneurs may work by themselves or have thousands of people working for them. While not everyone has the personality, intellect, or stamina to be an entrepreneur, everyone is self-employed.
In the past, say as little as 10 years ago, self-employed also meant someone who owns their own business – they work for themselves, answering to no one. Most people who have their own business will tell you they answer to everyone – every client, at least. Over the past decade, both the corporate and small business worlds have been in such financial turmoil, no one can expect to retire from the same company in which they start their career. They might not even retire in the same field. The world has changed a lot and business has changed right along with it – naturally. This means that you have to put yourself out there as your own product. You are constantly selling and marketing yourself. Every interaction you have with your employer’s client, vendor, or co-worker, shows who you are and what you’re capable of. Because of this, we are all self-employed.
Okay, maybe not everyone is self-employed. I mean, there are people out there who just go to work, punch a time clock, put in their 8 or so hours, and go home. I guess that’s fine if that’s all you aspire to. But if you’re looking for more out of life, start thinking of yourself as self-employed; it will make dramatic changes in every area of your life. You’ll make more money, have more leisure time, enjoy greater respect everywhere you go, and most importantly, feel better about yourself. So how does someone who has a job and answers to someone else start thinking of herself as self-employed? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Start accepting complete responsibility for everything you are right now and everything you will ever become. You are who and what you are right now because of decisions you made in the past. Here’s the good news; you can start making decisions today that will cause you to be a different, maybe better, person tomorrow, next week, next month, and even further into the future.
- Stop making excuses and blaming others for your problems. Even if someone else is to blame, do you really think that person is going to fix the problem for you if he created it for you in the first place? If it’s a problem for you, it’s your problem, and therefore, your responsibility to fix it. If for some reason you can’t fix it, forget about it. Let it go. Those really are your only two options.
- Stop complaining about things in your life you are unhappy about. Get into action and do something about the situation so that can be happy about it. Find a way to make it work, or just decide to stop letting it bother you. You’ll be surprised at how easy this really is once you try it.
- Work your job like it’s your business. In reality, it is. If you mess up or simply fail to care, you could very easily be fired. Employees are replaceable, business “owners” are not.
- Put your best foot forward every single day. You never know if that new co-worker, vendor, or client is going to be your next boss, or an investor in your own start-up company. If you show, on a consistent basis, that you are professional, energetic, honest, and hard-working, everyone will notice.
- Put yourself in charge – of yourself. If you work for someone else, it’s easy to put all of the responsibility on that person or company. But if you take command of your own job, own it, and make everything about it better, you’ll soon be given more responsibility. More responsibility will give you even more opportunities to shine and therefore, more opportunities. The more opportunities you have, the more valuable you are to yourself, another employer, and your current employer.
- Make things happen. Just like setting your own personal goals and creating a plan to make them happen, you can do the same for your company. Whatever the vision and goals of the company, find out what you can do to get the company closer to that vision and start doing it today. Your efforts will be noticed.
If you can’t take ownership of the job you have, find another one. Think about it, if you’re miserable, you’re probably making everyone around you miserable as well.
Thanks for reading today, please feel free to comment.
This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on November 6, 2006