Actually, this post is not for everybody – it’s for some group of courageous guys that have been contemplating leaving their 8-6 work. The red and the blue pill have been placed in front of them and their heart is consciously leaning towards the red pill. I am actually having these disturbing feelings that after you finish reading through this article, you may decide NOT to go with it (funny!). Ok, let’s get to the crux of the matter; a friend who willingly left his job 9 months ago to try out his hands on his self-employed dream , decided to go back to being employed.
The reason he gave for returning; “Friend. it’s not easy out there and I wonder how you do it?” Seriously, I had to ask myself the same question but I quickly realized after listening to his story that there really is no band-aid quick fix formula to the “leave work, go on your own” attitude. Instead, I gathered three distinct questions one should ask oneself before taking this adventurous path in life. This isn’t the Matrix movie; this is real life altering decision that can ruin your marriage, your children, your friendships, and your career if not handled with caution (I hope I have not scared you; well, let’s see):
Before I delve into the questions, I would like to reiterate the fact that freedom is the ultimate purpose for every human heart. We yearn for it; we dream of it; we fight for it; we work for it; we cry for it and the list goes on. BUT we have a definition of freedom that totally is amiss with what true freedom really is. When you hear the word; “freedom”; tell me, what comes to mind? It is the first thing that comes to your mind that paints your world view of the concept of freedom. Please, do not tell me to define it; because I cannot.
What I can tell you is that freedom equates to more responsibility. When, you tell someone that you want to be free, what you are telling the person is that you want to be more responsible. Though, it’s kind of ironical because the word as it is commonly used connotes some sense of irresponsibility: lazying in the beach of Bahamas, experiencing a Chinese massage in your Burj al Arab Suite in Dubai, shooting crap at Macau Island famous cockpit, exploring the coliseum at Rome, rooting for your favorite premiership team at the stadiums in England, etc. (Please, bury these thoughts!)
Freedom can also be conceptualize subjectively; a guy that works 8-5 daily may see freedom as not having to report himself to any boss while an unemployed guy may see freedom as having to work 8-5 daily. Another very funny statement I hear from ladies about to get married is that when they get married, they would be free from their parents. I guess their meaning of freedom is “no external restraint” whatsoever. They (the ladies) fail to understand that the restraint becomes tighter because they are married; definitely, the parents would be more understanding than their husband to the lady’s shortcomings; and with the introduction of children, the lady is definitely in a bind.
Any gig you find yourself without a certain level of restraint is total calamity; freedom thus comes with its restraint and responsibility. After God made Adam and placed him in the Garden; his first assignment was to work while his restraint was based on not eating from a particular tree of “good and evil”. It is noteworthy to remember that freedom comes with certain level of restraint and responsibility; and if you want more freedom, you are seeking for more responsibility and restraint. So before, you leave that job; ask yourself the question; “do I want more responsibility and more restraint?”
This is the first question you need to ask yourself; please, do not be fooled into believing that there is less restraint or less responsibility. If you want to be successful going on your own. you must know the enormous restraint you face; you do not just spend at will or you develop a cash flow problem; your decisions are more scrutinized and analyzed or you end up in your parents house; say bye-bye to family holidays in London or you want your children’s school fees pilling up. Now concerning responsibility: If you are the kind that complain about how tedious and stressful your work is, please don’t bother going on your own; if you are the kind that patiently waits for 5pm, so you can run home, don’t even bother.
Going on your own requires you have more bosses (your customers), your time is totally restricted though you can choose your time to work, you have to make more friends and network to sink your products or service, you have to smile more not because you are required to but you must, you have to solve the issues that confront you because you cannot pass the buck and your level of success is tied to the problems you are solving, your time management must be on point or you would be like the Nigerian artisan group that promise to deliver a service but fail, the sentence “I am sorry” should be in your dictionary because you cannot please everybody, having employees working for you is another issue all together.
I hope I have not scared you yet because there are two other questions I have not mentioned. Well, I have to do something about that in the next post. The Number One question: “do I want more responsibility and more restraint?” If yes! Then wait to answer the next two questions in the posts to come. What can I say dear? Except if you work smart, you can then play hard. Have a wonderful week!