This is a great article from Karim Boubker, originally published on karimboubker.com on January 25 this year. Its a great perspective on working for yourself. I hope you enjoy it too. Thank you Karim
January 25, 2015
Last year I wrote an article titled ‘Ten Reasons Why You Should Work For Yourself’.
It was one of my most popular articles, getting over 6,000 views on Medium in a short period of time and a ton of shares on different social media platforms.
This was during a time when I had just quit my job due to a complete lack of meaning and purpose, something that many people can relate to – and since then a lot has changed. I still work for myself – but my perspective is a little different.
First of all, I don’t believe that getting a job is necessarily a bad thing anymore.
Everyone has bills to pay, and hard work is a respectable trait.
The thing I have come to realise is that I mostly have a problem with the lack of freedom that comes with the job – being tied down to a very specific place.
I want to live a free range life, and having a job really doesn’t allow that.
Sure – not having a monthly income is scary and there is no guarantee of making enough money to support yourself and family, but what’s the point of living a life where you spend your days sitting in an office doing work that doesn’t matter?
I want to live.
To pursue the things that make my heart beat faster.
The things that get me excited at night and motivate me to push all boundaries.
I want to be free.
To have the luxury of exploring my passions and doing more of the things I love.
It’s not an easy thing to do.
And yes, it involves big risk and a lot of uncertainty.
But still – it is possible and do-able in every single way.
And because of that, I decided to write ten more reasons why you should quit your job and work for yourself instead. Whether or not you decide to do so is up to you.
Here we go.
1 – You’ll get excited about life again:
Whenever i’m in a rut, feeling down and seemingly unable to break free from my inner demons – coming up with ideas to test is always the things that gets me excited the most, and this is something that you just can’t do if you have a job.
Want to start a Youtube channel where you review books every week? Build a software company for designers? Or maybe you just want to paint all day?
Not having a job would give you the freedom to try all of these ideas.
And you’ll find that your excitement for life will be at an all-time high.
2 – You’ll understand the true value of a dollar:
Working for yourself is really difficult, especially when you’re just starting out – and because of this, every dollar matters. Eating out, going on vacation or buying small luxuries is money that you should be putting back into your business.
And when you learn how to start making money from nothing but your own ideas and skills, you’ll really start to appreciate every single dollar you make.
This is a good thing because:
A – You’ll stop spending money on useless things that don’t matter.
B – It’ll teach you to start saving up – the real key to riches.
3 – You’ll become more empathetic towards people:
Because at some point you’ll realise just how lucky you are to be able to make a living working for yourself, and that sense of gratitude will shine through all that you do.
A happy person is a blessing, and when you are content with the work that you do – it’s easier to be at peace with yourself… and as a result, the people you meet daily.
4 – You’ll have more respect for doers & makers:
It’s not until you work for yourself that you realise just how hard it is.
From my own experience, most people believe that they have the next big idea on their hands, but it’s not until they start working on it do they realise just how hard it is to get people to give a damn about you or your product.
Getting people to care about your business is really hard work, and being in this position will give you a new found respect for the people who overcame this obstacle.
Why is this important?
Because it will humble you.
And humility will make you more aware of the realities of doing business, will keep you grounded and help you focus more on the things that really matter.
In other words, it’ll help you go from being all talk to being all action.
5 – You’ll question how things work
When I first started corporate work I thought that there was only one way to live life. I thought that you had to get a job, work hard and maybe get promoted.
It’s not until I went at it on my own did I realise that there are no rules out there.
That every single rule imposed on us is made by other men no smarter than you.
And this made me question everything!
There’s no such thing as a set way of doing things, and working for yourself will give you the opportunity to really explore and understand this concept more deeply.
As an example, I am currently partner at a clothing label.
The normal way of doing business in this industry is to have a bunch of products on your website or in retail and to get enough traffic so people can buy your stuff.
Since we realised that most of the sales come from our email list – we decided to change the business strategy to one where we focus exclusively on building our email list even if we don’t make any sales the first time around (long term thinking).
And instead of creating a set amount of products we decided to take pre-orders for our product launches in order to be able to sell to anyone who wants to buy our product (instead of just supplying the amount we used to make).
This way we get to sell more (since we’re not limiting our products to a certain quantity), don’t have to keep extra stock (that might not sell) and whenever we want to create a new product the production cost is already paid for (pre-order magic).
Working for yourself will allow you to question how things work as well as to make improvements on old models that might not necessarily work for what you do.
6 – You’ll start to depend on yourself more
When you work for yourself there really is no one else you can depend on.
Everything is on you.
And even if there are other partners, mentors and helpers along the way – the fact is that you alone are in charge (and will be the blame) of everything that happens within your business whether you like it or not. This is a huge responsibility.
One that will equip you to rely more on your own instincts rather than having a superior you need to clear things with before moving forward with your decisions.
And learning to depend on yourself will propel you into becoming one of the few people who have what it takes to get things done with or without anyones help.
7 – You’ll know who your real friends are
Especially if financial success happens later rather than sooner.
We all know the type.
They come to you when you have prestige or success, but when you’re struggling or going through a time where things seem bleak they are completely out of sight.
And working for yourself will help you filter out your real friends from the fake.
Because let’s be honest here, it will take a long time before you see any real financial success – and until then only your true friends will be the ones standing by your side.
Why is this important?
Because chances are your friends will be with you for a long time to come – and it’s best to be surrounded by the right people with your best intentions at heart.
8 – You’ll be in control of your own path
One of my readers mentioned in a comment that the reason why she loves working for herself is because it allows her to be in control of her own destiny. And I agree.
Because when you work for someone else, you are very easily replaceable.
And it can happen at any time, with or without your consent.
The moment they find a cheaper, faster and more efficient way to do your job (yay robots) you’ll be out of there. And then you’ll be left with nothing. Nada. Ouch.
I believe that it’s better to invest your time in building many different assets (businesses, relationships, investments) so that if one fails you’ll have many other to fall back on. This way you get to be the one who is in control of your life.
9 – You’ll become a lot smarter
I often get told that working for yourself isn’t a smart thing to do.
That it’s better to work for someone else – get experience, then work for yourself.
And my answer is almost always the same.
The best way to learn how to start a business is to try and run a business.
Sure, experience working with someone else might help with some things – but the truth is that when you’re working for an organisation you are not gaining the type of skills necessary to work for yourself or run a business. Far from it actually.
Working for someone else means that you’ll have a very specific job, a thing that you’ll end up doing every single day for the next however many years you’re there.
Working for yourself means that you’ll have to do everything for the first few years, from accounting to marketing to sales to distribution and so on… and there’s no better way to learn how to do all of these things than to just start as early as you can.
You’ll become smarter and more knowledgeable in terms of how things work.
10 – You’ll no longer conform or be comfortable
And that’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
If you were to go out and ask a group of people why they go to work every morning, chances are – the majority would admit they do it because everyone else does it.
There’s no logic behind it.
Many studies have proven that working less hours can prove to be a lot more productive for business – but yet go to work and don’t even question why we do what we do or why we have to work eight hours a day instead of two or four.
This is conforming – when you just accept things as they are.
These systems have been built for us by fat men with deep corporate pockets, but we weren’t built to dedicate our lives to companies. That’s a man-made concept.
We were built to live.
To praise God and live out our true purpose in life.
To help our fellow humans and do good.
To nourish, support and play an active role in our community.
But conformity leads to comfort.
And too much comfort can paralyse you from ever taking any action.
During one of my jobs at a fancy marketing agency I overheard one of my colleagues talking about how he was thinking of doing his own thing – but he quickly countered that statement with this: ‘but I’m British – we’re just too comfortable’.
How very sad.
A bright young man letting conformity control his fate.
No matter who you are – black, white, jew, muslim, asian… if you’re reading this please don’t let stereotypes mislead you into believing that you can’t achieve.
There are no rules out there and you can do anything you want to do.
Break free from the conformity, work hard and embrace patience.
No one said you have to be a success overnight.
One day at a time soldier, one step at a time.
And start marching to the beat of your greatest dreams and desires.