Reclaim Your Time and Work For Yourself
Barbara Winter writing on working for yourself…
Imagine running an international art gallery from your home on a tiny island off the Canadian coast, as you work for yourself.
Or sitting out in the woods with your laptop keeping your business running.
Not long ago, those sort of dreams only came in a pipe. Today, they are increasingly becoming reality for a few hardy, intrepid souls.
And you can be one of them. You’ll be an early mover…but hardly the first.
More than a decade ago, trend-spotter Faith Popcorn (yes, really) correctly predicted that more and more folks would move out of corporate confines and start up their own businesses.
And not for the reasons you think.
Of course, plenty of people got downsized in The Great Recession…and lots of the best-paying jobs disappeared. And the tech revolution – and Silicon Valley – gets plenty of ink, as geeks in garages turned into the tycoons of today.
But the truth is, that’s the smallest sliver of people who are reclaiming their time, and starting to work for themselves.
An entirely new class of “worker” is also rising…whether it is to fulfill their dream of renovating old houses…to give up corporate life for more satisfying, dexterous labor…or to do what they’ve always done, but as their own boss.
When Faith first predicted this coming shift, people laughed. The corporate structure of America stood unchanged since the 50s, and the think tanks of the world didn’t see it changing now.
The think tanks – and think pieces – were all wrong. In today’s world, you can make at least as much – and usually more – working for yourself. You don’t need offices, or employees, or even a business card.
All you need is an idea and a goal. And then you, too, can reclaim your time and truly work for yourself, instead of someone else.
So why haven’t more people figured that out? Could it be that they’re unaware that free enterprise is accessible to everyone? Do they believe the myths about risk? Or are they just not paying attention?
While colleges continue to churn out corporate workers, entrepreneurs are creating a different future. With every person who chooses the entrepreneurial life, it gets a little bit easier for all of us who inhabit this creative minority.
Working on your own is becoming less of an oddity. As more of us strike out on our own – and succeed, often wildly – we must defend our choices far less often.
The warnings of naysayers grow faint as we silently recall the Chinese proverb: “The person who says it cannot be done must not interrupt the person already doing it”.
But social acceptance isn’t the only thing working in your favor. And it’s far from the most important. It’s nice, but not the reason more and more folks are choosing to work for themselves.
There’s also an abundance of information and resources that the self-made couldn’t have imagined even a few years back.
Between the connectivity of the internet, the explosion of new marketplaces and fields, and the growing recognition that those who work happiest, work best, entrepreneurs from around the world are getting together and sharing their knowledge and success.
And, of course, technology has opened the door to vast possibilities that never existed before. Like the ability to run your business with nothing more than a laptop and an idea.
It’s thrilling to realize that we are the first people in the history of the world for whom geography is not an obstacle.
It’s never been easier to start up your own business. There’s never been more support.
Despite all the changes that make it easier to get started, those of us who are engaged in our own enterprises are pioneering new definitions of what it means to be an entrepreneur. We’re blazing new trails and others will benefit from the discoveries we’ve made.
In fact, we’re creating a new definition of job security. One that has us happier, wealthier, and with much more time to spend as we wish.
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