Why I Chose The Freelancing Path Amidst A Sea of Doubters and Skeptics
This being my first blog post, I decided that perhaps it might be a good idea to a little chat with on why I have embraced freelancing, turning away from a potentially comfortable life in corporate finance, and whether that kind of a decision might make sense for you?
Sounds good? So gather round, get you cocoa and cookies, and let your good friend Mark tell you a story.
Believe it or not I always wanted to be an investment Banker, I loved finance as a kid and read lots of book on stock and investing and things like that so it seemed to me to be a natural career choice. But after looking into the lifestyle of an I-banker and after getting my first part-time job I found out something really important.
I really hated being an employee under someone else…
This to me seemed like a really important thing that maybe I wish the Canadian public school system would have taught me, but alas, I was not. I never liked having a boss, having to be underneath someone, having to do as I was told, being forced to adhere to a strict schedule at certain times and getting a slap on my wrist if I was late for a few minutes. I hated the emotional cycle of the steryotypical workweek; being ecstatic on Friday and depressed on Sunday night.
It was such a weird way to live, I couldn’t imagine that most people were honestly living their lives like this.
I just found it intolerable.
Which brings my first reason.
A Love of Independence and Freedom
I decide when I work, how many hours I put in a day, what I should be working on, which clients I accept, which projects to work on, as well how much I get paid.
Since all I need is an internet connection, I am totally location independent. I could live in Eastern Europe, or the south-asian sea, visit the shaolin temple, or anywhere else that I want to go. I don’t need to ask my boss for my 2 weeks of vacation time nor do I have to worry about making what little time I have been given as great of an experience as possible.
I’ve seen so many people stress out about planning the perfect vacation, since after all, they only get 2 or 3 weeks a year, so it has to be this perfect experience for them.
How much better is it to be able to spend 6 months of the year travelling all over the world only working on a part-time basis? Unbeatable.
But more importantly, than that…
Not Having A Boss
This one is a biggie. I don’t know why, but I was made to do things my own way. Being underneath someone and following orders just never jived well with me.
I always jokingly like to say that the moment I step onto the work-place my IQ drops 30 points, and while I mean that light-heartedly, in a sense it is true. My full intellectual and creative abilities only open themselves to me when I am fully-free and independent. Working for someone else just is so stifling.
But most importantly, I would say…
Pride of Ownership/Diversification
Look, we live in the internet age. None of our ancestors ever had as much access to life-changing information as we do today. The knowledge and ability to build your own on-line business is at the tool tips of anyone who can read and write, but most people seem to be trapped in a mindset that dates back to the industrial era. No doubt, this comes from the way we are raised as children, with the public school system being a perfect way to breed perfect little employees for the large corporations of tomorrow.
Thing is, times are changing as we all know, with millennial’s and upcoming generations facing no prospect of pensions, little job security, constantly changing careers, the old way of doing things is not going to work anymore.
There is no security in employment, and as Nasim Taleb mentioned in his book “Antifragile”, all it takes is one person making a decision to find us fired and lost our seemingly “secure” job.
The truth is, owning a business or practice for yourself is much more secure than traditional employment, and that is something I fear not too many of us are being taught. One-hundred and fifty years ago 90% of the population was self-employed, now it is 90% that are employed.
And maybe, at the way things are going, we might find 90% of us being umemployed!
Its clear at least to me that staying in the navy doesn’t work, so become a pirate for yourself!
It’s not easy, it takes time. You have to build yourself an adequate vessel first before you can travel the metaphorical oceans of this world and see the experiences it has to offer.
But once you do,
As the famous Dr. Sues book goes,
Oh the places you will go!