The Self-Employment Solution--Part 1

Instead of bemoaning all that’s going wrong with our nation in recent events, I’ve chosen to try and help our readers fight back against all of this economic and political uncertainty. Over the next few days I’ll be posting a multi-part article series which will address specific ways that you can become more independent financially through effective entrepreneurism. It is my firm belief that since our nation was first formally organized, there’s never been another time in our history in which it was more critical for us to be independent in our efforts to financially support ourselves. At the very least, I believe that each of us MUST have an alternative source of income in our household that is not tied to someone else’s opinion of our value and worth. Nor should our income be solely tied to the integrity, morals, and just plain business sense of someone else.  

 

Most “preppers” understand the importance of having “back-ups to back-ups”. The fundamental premise of being prepared is eliminating vulnerabilities. The expression “two is one and one is none” comes to mind.  Though most persons who are pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle would never dream of relying on the government for help amidst a crisis, there are plenty of preppers who hold government jobs and mistakenly believe that there’s no employment sector that’s more stable and secure. Clearly that’s not panning out to be accurate amidst recent turn of events, but seriously, when one is working for an employer that’s already trillions of dollars in debt and has a recidivist history of showing no fiscal restraint or even exercising common sense when it comes to business, can any other result truly be expected?

 

Most people dismiss the concept of being self-employed because they feel it’s too risky; they aren’t confident that they can rely on their own abilities to put food on the table. But such thinking is absolutely ridiculous when you realize that every single job out there exists because someone else was willing to rely on their own abilities to provide for their family!  If you really think about it, relying on a complete stranger to run a business in such a way that you can rely on a paycheck is ludicrous gamble, isn’t it?  When we don’t value ourselves enough to put stock in ourselves and our abilities to provide for ourselves, why do we think that some detached corporate suit is going to properly value us and our abilities? Why are we willing to entrust our entire future retirement to the integrity and morals of someone else?  How has that worked out for the decades of faithful loyalty given by the tens of thousands who have lost their jobs recently only to discover that the company they worked for has been using the retirement fund as their own personal piggy bank?! There’s a reason why we don’t often hear of a business owner who puts the needs of their employees above their own. We don’t, because any business person who’s worth their salt knows that that’s a recipe for disaster! They HAVE to put themselves and the success of their business first, because if they don’t, then they have failed to recognize the whole purpose of running a business in the first place!  A sizeable portion of Americans are believed to be one paycheck away from homelessness, and yet they are willing to entrust the safety and security of themselves and their family to the actions of others. Now how much sense does that make in light of all that uncertainty going on in the world?

 

Some of you may have never entertained the thought of being self-employed—fearful that you don’t have what it takes to rely solely on your talents and skills. Some of you are already are self-employed but find it challenging to support yourself sufficiently, on it. My hope is that through this series you will start to see things differently as I provide you with examples of what’s really possible out there for ANYONE to create an independent stream of income. More importantly, these possibilities exist in such a way that there’s NO excuse for a person NOT to generate an independent source of income.

 

One of the things that I have a hard time hearing is when someone says that they can’t prepare sufficiently because “I’m poor” or “I can’t afford anything.”  I literally have a physical reaction in my gut when I hear or read those words because I know that such a declaration is more indicative of a lack of understanding how to live self-sufficiently more so than it is reflective or one’s bank account. That may sound strange to you at first, but think about it. How is the thought process of “I can’t do something because of circumstances that are completely out of my control” compatible with the foundational premise of being self-sufficient? How does the mindset of “I can’t because I’m poor” differ from someone buying into the whole notion that they will have no control over what happens to them in the event of an EMP, national economic collapse, pandemic, or any other scenario that compels a person to prepare now in an effort to better ensure their comfort, safety and security in a crisis scenario??  

 

Something else I need to add while I’m on the topic of making such defeatist expressions: Mentally buying into the belief of “I can’t because…(insert excuse here)…only serves to convince the brain that it’s met a dead-end in its problem solving. Our brains are always trying to “solve for X”, so to speak.  When we present our minds with a problem, our fabulous little brains persist in solving the problem. It may take seconds, hours, or days, but the brain will continue to work on it. If you’ve ever had an idea just pop into your head when you didn’t expect it, that’s exactly what has happened. Your computer finally came up with a potential solution to a problem that you’ve presented to it. Interesting to note is that when we put our minds into a learning experience, it’s not only storing what we’re learning, but it’s actually more capable of solving the other “unsolved mysteries” that it may have in its backlog. This is why it’s very helpful to continually strive to learn and put ourselves in regular learning environments whether it’s attending classes, conducting research, or reading books.  When we engage that part of our mind, we help strengthen the problem solving ability of our mind.  (There’s been more than one occasion in which I’ve had an idea or solved a problem in the midst of a class or seminar I was taking that had nothing to do with the topic being taught.) However, when we make the declaration or give way to the belief of “I’ve solved for X and the answer is ‘it’s impossible’” then our brain accepts that puzzle as a dead-end scenario and thus will no longer work to solve the problem. But, if we persist in encouraging our minds to figure out a solution, then we are MUCH more likely to find a solution.  So, next time you catch yourself saying “I can’t because...” it would be wise to rethink that declaration into a determination to come up with a solution. In other words, instead of saying “I can’t get prepared because I’m broke”, turn the statement of fact into an effort to “solve for X” by saying “I need to figure out a way to make this happen in spite of my present circumstances.” Moving on…

 

I fully realize that things look pretty grim out there to many of us. Suffocating from student loan debt only to find ourselves working a minimum wage job or having searched for even a minimum wage job for two years will no doubt be pretty convincing to a person that it’s impossible to turn things around. But I’m going to give you LOADS of examples, and even specific suggestions over the next few articles, on how you can start taking back some control in your Financial Preparedness efforts.

 

Lest you think me full of unrealistic Pollyanna optimism might I remind you that I’ve been self-employed ever since I was 12 years old.  The fact that I was one of five children being raised by a single mother who barely made enough each month to give us a roof over our heads didn’t deter me from having the funds I needed for a prom dress, or activities with friends. Though I graduated from high school with high honors, in the top 1% of my class, I never took my education further because I knew that I wanted to pursue commissioned based sales jobs. I’ve always been able to earn sufficiently for my needs throughout my adult life, based on my ability to be successfully self-employed and have the luxury of determining what my income will be based on my efforts. Stephen Covey calls this “The Law of the Harvest”, meaning you reap what you sow. Even when I technically had an “employer”,  it’s always come with a commission-based income so that I could decide what my paychecks would be. Once a slave has enjoyed the fruits of freedom, they would never willingly go back to the oppressive chains of bondage and that’s exactly how I feel today about any notion to take on a traditional “J-O-B” just because the earnings might require more work amidst this financial crisis. I have faith that this firm belief will be contagious to many of you too.

 

Years ago I married Prince Charming who came completely house-broken AND was earning a cushy 6 figure income as a specialized expert in IT security. The fact that he was my best friend and I loved to be around him was only part of the reason why I tried to convince him to quit his job and join me a world of “Law of the Harvest” income generating.  But I’ll never forget the day that he came home with his head and shoulders drooping as he informed me that he had been laid off from his job.  He thought my excitement upon hearing the news a bit odd, of course, but given that he was one of the top paid in his field and the IT industry was taking a hit all over the area, he had to consign himself to the slim chance that he would be able to find a comparable position somewhere else. As such, I knew that the timing couldn’t be better for me to convince him that being self-employed was ALL it was cracked up to be, and then some. Here we are more than a decade later of being wholly self-sufficient in earning what we need; working together 24/7 and STILL liking each other even. *grin* Granted, it’s not been without its challenges and even downright failures—but the obstacles we’ve encountered have only been temporary and have served us well as learning experiences.

 

I’m not saying that everyone should quit their day job, job, so to speak, but after I give you some specific examples of everyday, average people who are supporting their families solely on their abilities to work for themselves, and provide you some guidelines that you can use to determine what some options might be right for you, I hope that you’ll see the wisdom in ensuring that all of your eggs aren’t in one basket. I hope that you’ll be encouraged to move forward on that idea you’ve had all these years, or be willing to take a chance on YOU! I firmly believe that no one is more motivated to feed their family than YOU. And again I submit to you that there has never been a more critical time for as much financial independence as possible as NOW!

 

So join me back here tomorrow as we get started on what YOU can do to make a change to either create an additional income stream for your household, or improve the one you’ve already got in the works. I guarantee you that you’ll learn something new, and perhaps even be surprised at what is possible in spite of the economic strife of today.  

 

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Comments

I am so glad to see this

I am so glad to see this article. I have been working on becoming my own boss for the past 8 months. I set Jan. as my resignation from my current job. So excited to venture on my own. But I also have the financial security of a retirement income from a previous job so it is not as scary as it might have once been.

I will be raising GMO-free, pasture-raised chickens for meat and eggs as well as selling the feed from my 5 acre ranch. Have about half of the infrastructure and equipment purchased. Still lots to get and put in place before I can actually buy chicks by next spring though. (Not to mention taking a class on chicken processing).

This is a great article! I

This is a great article! I am currently working in the "work for yourself" area. We personally have decided to go one at a time. I want to build up my business. My husband helps me build up my business as we go along. I am also the social one. He also works in the IT department. I have been able to talk to people I know and get him a couple jobs on the side! It has been a lot more work than just a normal job but, it is proving to be well worth it. Every extra job he picks up and everytime, I have a happy customer -brings us one step closer to having the true American Dream!

It really sucks that the ones

It really sucks that the ones that are the cause of all this mess are still getting paid as if nothing is going on while so many more have fallen victim to their stupidness. I wish you all the best of luck.

I can relate to this topic.

I can relate to this topic. I worked in finance for 16 years. I have always had a paying job since I was 14 years old. I have not ever been unemployed for longer than it took my family to pack up and move across the country from the East Coast to Arizona. Prior to being laid off of work at the end of May 2009. I worked no matter what the pay was. I put myself through college at night and worked hard all day. I sacrificed my social life to earn a degree in Business Management. Only to have a career that I could have honestly done with out putting myself in debt by $32,000.00. That I had to pay off once I graduated college. Frustrated by that is one way to look at it. However, I never gave up. I began my prepping passion to become self sufficient when I was laid off of work. My spouse is wonderful, but not on total board with this whole idea of self reliance. It has been a challenge. We have the means to be further along in my quest, yet my wonderful half is not ready to pull the trigger if you will. He has come around slowly and I see the seeds of my conversations with him sprouting. I have had to fund my preps on what my budget is for household needs. Which means I have had to become pretty creative to get some of my preps. Shop at second hand stores, garage sales, ask people if I could take their pallets away for them. If I can find it free, I do. If I can find quality for a good deal, I make it work. I have even used some of my skills I have learned, to make crafts and sell them to friends. I even bartered my skills to have a friend teach me her skill.

The barter aspect of life shows you, you never know what you can get when you have something someone else needs or wants. My neighbor is going to teach me to sew, because I always help her when she needs help. She is older and her husband passed away. I make sure to go over and see her and take her a dinner hear and there. Just because, not for any other reason than just because. I saw she sewed and I mentioned I was just trying to learn. Her face lite up and she said she would love to teach me. That is what she did for a living. She taught sewing. Picture the famous "Happy Dance" when she told me that. I offered to pay her and she told me, nope just keep and eye on my house like you always have. That is all she asks for.

My point is, you are correct in saying "don't limit yourself with the curse of doubt." From the movie with Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins, "what one man can do so can another." That line has rung in my head since I saw that movie. I say it to my kids all the time. Why, because it is true. If someone else can plant a garden so can you. If someone else can learn to program a computer so can you. If you are just coming to the life of self reliance, take it from me, a newbe, don't give up and don't make excuses. You can do this and once you take the first leap of faith, you will never regret it. I sure haven't.

Wow! Great article.

Wow! Great article. Divorced in May, laid off in July & I've been able to start some businesses on bare bones and slowly build things up. I wasn't waiting on anyone to hire me. I hired myself!

What great timing! My

What great timing! My husband and I have been concerned about the economy for a while. We are always thinking of ways to earn money from home. We have a ten acre farm and we are working on ways to generate income from it. I look forward to following your series and getting some great encouragement and ideas from it.

Tina

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