self-employment

Be Your Own Boss

by mike on September 9, 2010

                   Do you ever find yourself at work saying “If I ran this place, I would…”? Do you dread Monday mornings? Have you ever considered doing something about either of those things? Why not start a business? The thought of that might frighten you. “I like the security of my job” you might say. Have you ever stopped to think just how secure that job is? When you don’t have any (or very little) control of what goes on at the top of your company, how secure is your job? I’m not raising these questions to scare you, just to get you to think. In the final two chapters of “The Millionaire Next Door”, the authors study the careers of the wealthy. In particular, they take a look at self employment. Maybe now is the time for you to consider what you want to be when you grow up!
                   The authors found that many millionaires gain their wealth by working in a profession that serves other wealthy people. I want to make clear that I never encourage people to go into a career just for the money. It rarely works out. If you do something you love and have a heart for serving others, the money will follow. Think about it, if you pour everything you have into your work because you have passion for it, you will be very good at it. If you are very good at it, people will hire you or buy your products. This all adds up to profits for you. It is very hard, however, to do it the other way. If you do something only because you know there are profits in it, there’s no guarantee you will be very good at it. Eventually, you will get bored with it and bored people do not perform at the highest level possible. One multimillionaire the authors interviewed put it best (I’m paraphrasing): “You have to love what you do. You should be excited to get up and go to ‘work’ in the morning”. This man walks the walk as he has accumulated a huge net worth.
                   Even though positions serving the wealthy are likely to produce high incomes, you can always spend more than you make. Your character and how you handle money are much more important factors in predicting wealth than the career you have.
                  Being self-employed, versus working for someone else, is another way to accumulate wealth. Self-employed people are four times more likely to be millionaires than people who work for someone else. That’s right, FOUR TIMES more likely! You may be wondering what type of business you should own that gives you the best chance to accumulate wealth. It really is hard to predict. For example, people who owned dry cleaning businesses in the 1980s were extremely profitable, but not so much in the 1990s. Many affluent people own what the authors call “dull-normal” businesses. These businesses are not exciting, but they make a steady, consistent profit year after year. For example, someone who owns a mattress factory might not be the center of all the talk on the golf course, but he may just be amassing a huge net worth.
                  I encourage you to think about what niche you may fill. What talent do you have that can benefit the rest of us? Consider taking that talent and starting a business doing it. I don’t suggest you quit your job tomorrow and say “I’m starting a business now”. Instead, put together a plan to start transitioning to self-employment. I realize self-employment is not for everyone, but could it be just the thing you needed? Just another question for you to think about.

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