By: Brad Manock
Eventually, I would like to be financially free. I am not talking about waiting until I am old either. The current system of getting a job and then becoming financially free only when you are too old to enjoy the freedom seems like a system that shouldn’t have nearly as much appeal as it seems to have to people. In this article I will discuss why people are still attached to the old system of traditional jobs and retirement strategies.
“But a Real Job is Secure, a Business is Not”
My highest value in life is low stress, all of the decisions that I make are measured against that value. Having a “real job” where I would have no control and where I would have to pretend to be extraverted all the time would be an extremely stressful situation. Starting a business for yourself seems like the surest way to have control over your life. This is why I prefer entrepreneurship over having a “real job” if given the option.
Just about everyone I talk to knows someone who started a business and failed. Perhaps they know a guy who tried to start a “business” by selling things on Ebay who ended up with a lot of lost money and a cluttered house. In this situation the thing that is frowned upon is not selling on Ebay, but entrepreneurship and starting businesses in general. This would be kind of like saying “you shouldn’t be a driver, I heard about someone crashing while driving one time.” The individual people starting the business are never considered when considering the odds of a business being started successfully.
I like control, but many people do not like control. If someone attempts to start a business and fails, all of the blame is placed on them, because they are the one with all of the control after all. Traditional employment is not seen as being as risky because if they get fired, that is ok because they didn’t have the control anyways. An employee who gets fired can at least be emotionally soothed by the fact that they did not have control over their situation while an entrepreneur must absorb all of the blame for a failure. Employment and entrepreneurship both have risks, it just doesn’t seem that way to most people. It is a “is the glass half empty or half full” type of issue.
“You Will Lose All of Your Money”
The standard financial plan is to get a job and retire around age 65. People do not seem to be making decisions on becoming financially free before age 65, instead they are making decisions so that they don’t do worse than age 65. People don’t play to won, they play not to lose. Since the idea of starting a business has been so reinforced by people losing all of their money, people cross it off their list of life options.
Businesses used to require a lot of start-up capital. They would require: renting out a building, buying equipment, buying inventory, hiring employees, and only then could you open your doors and see if your gamble would pay off or not. These days I can start a business online for less than $100. Back before the internet existed, if you took a shot and missed the target, your life was over. These days I could fail 10 businesses and be financially better off than someone who failed just once in the past. Entrepreneurs today have the luxury of trial and error. This was not the case in the past. People are still taught that the risk/reward factor in starting a business is leans far more toward the “risk” side than it actually is.
School Teaches People to Be Employees
Good grades don’t really measure how smart a person is, they just measure how good a person is at acting average. School teaches people to “be” a profession. When attending college, people usually pick a job title first and then make educational decisions around their ideal job title. School doesn’t teach people how to be wealthy and happy, they teach people to work in systems owned by other people to make them happy and wealthy. By choosing a job title, all they are choosing is which part of the system they would like to be. Maybe I will never be successful but I feel it is worth trying rather than hitting the cruise control until I hit 65 years old.