“If you are only doing what you are getting paid for, and doing it no better than the average employee, then your pay is most likely right where it should be.”
– Bo Bennett
Are you a stay at home office drone?
Most people try to make working from home into their end goal. They are idiots.
But it’s okay because I was an idiot too.
When you make “location independence” your only goal you forget to set your sights any further.
Pretty soon you start to drift into a routine. Wake up, eat breakfast, start working, eat lunch, get back to work, log out for the evening, eat dinner, go to sleep, repeat.
That sounds a lot like a regular 9-to-5 job, doesn’t it?
If you aren’t careful you can end up enslaved to “The Man” all over again. The only difference is that you get to toil away in your sweatpants instead of some khakis.
Signs that you are a stay at home office drone
The only way that you can escape working for someone else is by realizing that you’re still an employee. This is something that took me a long time to figure out and most people never realize it. I like freelancing, but there are some serious limitations to it. While it pays well, you’re still just trading your time and creativity to make someone else rich.
Here are the tells to help you determine whether or not you are an actual entrepreneur. If you answer yes to any of these, you’re still just an employee.
You have a boss who tells you what to do
One time I worked for a client who would email me every half an hour with a countdown to the deadline of his project. “18 hours and 30 minutes left…”
If somebody is always breathing down your neck you aren’t in charge of anything.
There’s a limit on how much you can earn
I spent less than an hour a day, over the course of a month, making Amazon For A Penny. It hasn’t been touched since then. Despite this I’ll make a couple hundred bucks from it this year.
This isn’t awesome and I’m not going to retire from my earnings, but the money is virtually free. I’m even planning on using some of the profits towards buying a new theme for this site.
When you work for someone else you don’t get free money. They control how much you are paid. Barring a few employers, a lot of clients are tightwads. I’ve even had people disappear without ever paying a dime.
Being the boss you get exactly what you put in. This week I’ve been logging serious hours into my site. The result? Traffic has already doubled compared to what I usually get. And we’re only halfway through the week.
With great responsibility comes great power. Being in charge of everything kind of sucks. It is also incredibly rewarding. Seeing your vision grow is a lot more fun than writing articles about doughnut shops.
Additionally there is no ceiling on your potential. When you sign a contract for $16 an hour you make $16 an hour. When you craft your own content you can earn whatever you’re willing to work for.
Your free time isn’t actually free
Earlier in this post I mentioned a client who always gave me “the countdown.” That guy sucked. Not just because he was irritating, but because he reminded me that my time wasn’t my own.
Whenever I was away from my computer someone would inevitably want to talk. When I’d go out to dinner or visit a friend my inbox would slowly fill up with messages.
When I had a regular job I had more down time than I did as a freelance writer. Once Friday afternoon rolled around the boss was gone. With article writing you have to be on call almost all the time.
Who do you want to be?
Next time you’re working on a project ask yourself this simple question: “How will my actions benefit me a year from now?” When you work for someone else the answer is, usually, that they won’t. Getting $30 to write an article about hemorrhoid cream has no longevity. Unless you invested in some stocks or won the lottery with that money, there are no further returns.
If you can write successful eBooks and make compelling blogs for other people, why couldn’t you do so on your own? This is something that I never really thought of until recently, but it’s an excellent question.
If you can sit down and write a post that makes someone else money, there’s no reason that you couldn’t take those same talents and use them to invest in yourself.