Globalization, standardization, emerging markets, downsizing, job loss, layoffs, unemployment – all sound familiar? Your job is changing and it is not in your favor by any means.
What I mean is that the world we live in today is not the same world our parents grew up in, not in America at least. Back then, people worked blue collar manufacturing jobs, spent 20 to 30 years working hard and enjoyed a decent life in retirement while collecting pension from the companies they dedicated a big chunk of their life to.
Work, as we understand the word is changing rapidly today. Just look around you, everyone is doing the same thing. Everyone is going to school, paying up thousands of dollars (often in debt), getting a degree and then getting a 9 to 5 job where they will have to work 30+ years to plan a very average retirement at best (inflation and rising healthcare has killed us). By the way, many people die with debt to their name.
If they are lucky, somewhere in between they will plan in buying a house, saving for retirement and college tuition for kids. Is that the kind of life you really want? It almost seems to me that people are living to work, and not working to live. Many people just hate their jobs, and they work because they have to, not because they want to.
The next thing you know, they are trapped in a cage where they might have the illusion of freedom, but don’t really have the flexibility to take time off or to do what they truly enjoy doing. How many times have you heard the excuse “oh I can’t, I have to work”. Everyone wakes up at dawn, gets in their cars and moves in a herd to office. Clock strikes 12 and the herd eats. Clock strikes 5 and the herd goes home together. Wow?
Why do folks HAVE TO work? Because if they don’t, they will not be able to pay for their mortgage payment, their car payment, their credit card bills, etc. So how is all that freedom? Sounds like a very stressful life of legal slavery. A slave to materiality, a slave to the JOB. A slave to life itself? I’ve used the word “they” a lot – but am I talking about us – You and I?
The word “work”, as we know it, is being revolutionized by the growing popularity of the Internet. Because of some “have beens and done that” examples, many are realizing that there is more opportunity today to start a business that provides the freedom and flexibility that they are looking for. I am sure you are? Others leverage the web into profitable freelancing careers.
The technological advances that have been made have made it easier than anytime in the past to establish a business online at a minimal cost. Online businesses reach more people globally, are open all the time and require less of your time as they mature and get established on the Internet. I am making money as I write this, and will continue to as I have dinner, sleep and then wake up again tomorrow morning.
The best part of doing business online? It allows you to do what you are truly interested in. Whether you start your own gig, or begin to freelance, you can choose what to do. You can pursue your true passion. Aside from feeding someone through the computer screen (someday that will become possible as well), there is a way to monetize almost anything on the Internet today.
So what can be better than working less, enjoying what you do a lot more and making good money while building a long term asset at the same time? Successful entrepreneurs have repeatedly said that when you love what you do and enjoy every moment of it, it seems like you have never worked a day. Work becomes pleasure at that point.
So while the world is in constant chaos, recessions and depressions, my businesses have been thriving in good times and bad. Why? Because I run websites that I enjoy working on, have an extremely low cost structure and as a result are highly profitable. The best part is that I get to do all of it from home or anywhere else with internet connection. I can travel the world and work from a beach, or a coffee shop in a brand new place I don’t have a clue about.
If you look at my website, you might initially scratch your head wondering how in heaven I am able to do all that. I am not a programmer, my websites are very basic and simple at best, and there seems to be nothing special about them. But I encourage you to spend some time on each and you will hopefully realize how and why I am making so much money from them.
Some time back, I decided to take some subject matters that I am passionate about and created websites around those topics. They key here is the education that I took time to learn beforehand, which enabled me to create a simple website in a way that generates gobs of traffic and therefore revenues.
If this is something you would like to do at some point, I suggest that you put down your ideas on paper, or the computer monitor in this case, and keep it visible (fridge?). If you are passionate and serious enough, there is almost no way you can fail at this. Trust me. You will enjoy the journey tremendously, and not to mention the financial rewards and the added benefits down the road such as freedom, flexibility and finding purpose in the word ”work”.
Chances are you didn’t see the world changing in the way it has changed today did you? You are not the one to blame, or at least not the only one. The way we work in general has changed. Think about it, when our parents were establishing a family, it was not necessary for both husband and wife to work. Today, not only are husband and wife working, but they also now need an extra stream of income (or multiple streams) to support a family despite a stable job. Have you looked into how much baby sitting costs these days?
Many jobs simply don’t pay that much. Others pay well, but don’t have stability or security. Anything can happen at any time. Just look at all the job losses during the 2008 global recession. How many families were ruined? How many parents committed suicide after killing their own children because they didn’t know how else they were going to survive? This all is very sad – but there are options out there to avoid disaster endings. What is more sad is that people don’t exercise those options in preparation for the future.
Add to those facts that students today are coming out of school with more debt than ever before (my sister had six figures in debt), and are always worried about bills. I can’t tell you how many times I hear conversations at bars and restaurants around the stress of paying bills, car payments, mortgage payments, debt, etc. It is just a very bad atmosphere all together. Inflation, rising health care costs, growing budget deficits, depleting social security and government aid programs, the weakening dollar, the volatile and unstable stock market, almost record high real unemployment numbers . . . need I add more?
Everyone seems to be one job loss away from destruction. Again, there are options out there!
The good news is that you CAN bring change to your life. If you don’t need it today, perhaps you can start preparing for the future? It all starts with your decision to live a more conscious and financially disciplined lifestyle. Take a step back and think about what you really need financially to live the life you think will bring you happiness, contentment and satisfaction. Trust me, it’s much less than you think if you are honest with yourself. Work on creating as big a gap as possible between your income and your expenses.
Realization is key here, because when you realize and acknowledge the facts, you can then decide on a plan to meet those needs. Do you really need as much as you are making? Are you making enough at work? Are you happy in your job? Should you be considering doing something else instead? Should you be working part time to earn extra money? Or is it a combination of a few of these?
After performing this exercise, if you come to realize that you are working a job that you despise, and that you can easily do something that you truly enjoy doing and meet your needs (because you don’t need as much as you thought you did), then you can start contemplating your options. Similarly, if you aren’t making enough, then perhaps it is time to get off the couch and explore some side gigs?
Start thinking carefully and discover what your true aspirations are that have gotten lost in the fast rat race that you have been running. What do you truly enjoy and are passionate about? What would you be doing today if you were rich and retired? You can still achieve those dreams, you just have to take an approach that is slightly different from what you have been used to, and I hope to provide some ideas for you to think about along the way throughout this blog.
Once you are ready to move forward, you have to ask what you specifically have to do to achieve your goals? I’d say educate yourself about what you want to do. Become more conscious and aware of the subject matter. At the same time, learn some basic Finance and become more financially savvy. I don’t mean become an investment banker or a CPA, but research and read enough to understand the basic financial management concepts and what it takes to earn, preserve and grow your wealth. Trust me, it is not rocket science. It just takes some desire and action on your part.
Once you have established that foundation, you are then ready to take on bigger and better things. For example, you can go out there and start a website about what you are passionate about most. That is what I did and here I am today teaching you how to do the same. Alternatively, you may decide to become a freelancer and work on your own terms. The options are there for you.
Everyone chooses to do something different to find that satisfaction and flexibility they need in life. The best way in my opinion, which has worked for me and many others, is by leveraging the Internet and related technologies to automate income generating systems that run on cruise control once established. You are going to work hard anyway, so why simply trade your time for dollars? Why not invest your time and build something that will feed you for years to come?
You will see that most of my discussions are focused around entrepreneurship and websites and how to leverage technology to reach financial heights like no other. DO NOT WORRY – YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW PROGRAMMING TO SUCCEED. If you don’t know yet, I was a business major and had no programming education. Even to this day, I use drag and drop, point and click software to design my websites. It’s just as if you were drawing on paper. I am sure you can draw?
If you have something you are very passionate about, know a lot about or want to learn about, building a simple informational website around your expertise like I have done in several subjects may be the solution to a happier, more satisfying and content lifestyle, all while making a good living at work. Your efforts will someday position you to say good bye to your day job if you chose to do so. Again, the key take away here is having OPTIONS and a safety blanket.
And if you are already happy where you are, trust me, I am very happy for you simply because I don’t meet many people like you. But if you are not, then I urge you to ask yourself one thing: “Why are you doing it if you are not having fun?” It is a fact that 8 in 10 people do not like their jobs. Of those 8, I bet a majority hate what they do.
Do something you really like doing, then find someone to pay you for it. Trust me, it’s not very hard if you stick to proven methods and follow through with persistence and determination. So where do you stand today in the grander scheme of things? What are your general thoughts?Previous: My Goals for the Extra Money Blog are Your Goals Too