Being self-employed is so much fun. It’s also the most terrifying thing ever.
It’s the only way to go if you want your best day ever and your worst day ever to happen once a week and on the SAME DAY.
After The Wife and I both made the leap to full time self-employment I noticed an interesting worry develop.
It always feels like we are about to go over a cliff.
We keep walking towards it, but the cliff never arrives. Every time I look up to check on it, it’s another mile out ahead of us. It moves!
It’s like the rainbow effect. If you walk towards it, it gets further away.
(Reminds me of the time as a kid when my family sat on the front steps looking at a rainbow. My brother took a few steps towards the rainbow and I got mad because he was “chasing it away”.)
Every week we take another step towards this financial cliff and every week the cliff moves another week out.
When I was employed and receiving a regular paycheck, I never noticed this cliff off in the distance that I was walking towards (and that would move away with each new paycheck.)
It was the illusion of a guaranteed paycheck that hid the cliff from site and mind. But it was there.
This illusion created a false sense of security and comfort. My paycheck was “guaranteed.” No need to think about it or reason to worry.
These days I am always aware of the cliff.
It’s there. It’s real. It was always there, I just see it and feel it now.
So if the cliff has always been there, what’s different about it now?
Now it’s completely up to us to avoid going over it. (Run out of money.)
The cliff gets closer, I can see inside the canyon, it’s a long way down, it’s gonna hurt!
Worrying won’t help. Time to get off your ass and make something happen!
Maybe there’s another way…?
Is there a guarantee I can create as a self-employed person that will replace the old guarantee from an employer?
Even if there is, it’s just another illusion. The cliff will be there no matter how many tricks I try to play on my mind.
But do I want another guarantee? That’s the real question.
I’m glad I’m aware of the cliff. It keeps the reality of the situation in the front (or at least the back) of my mind every day. Imagine being unaware of the cliff, the only way to find out about it would be to fall off. Knowing the cliff, it’s location, it’s meaning is a good thing.
The reality is this: It is completely up to us to make our paycheck happen each month. There is no such thing as going to the office for 50 hours, doing 10 hours of actual work and getting paid for a full week… not when you are self-employed.
With a traditional job, why worry if your paycheck for next week or next month is going to come. It probably will.
When you are self-employed there are all kinds of reasons to worry about next month. Next month might as well not exist! (Until you create it.)
In a way, it’s very similar to being employed. Show up, do your work, get your paycheck and don’t worry about it. It would be silly for an employee who showed up all week to worry if they are getting a paycheck or not. 99.99999% of the time you will. Can you imagine worrying every single month about something that has that high of a guarantee? That would be crazy!
Being self employed is similar. Show up, do the (right) work, get your paycheck and don’t worry about it. If your paycheck as a self employed person was 99.99999% guaranteed, why worry?!
The risks (and rewards) are much, much higher being self-employed. About 95% of the risks, worries, and rewards don’t even exist for the typical employee.
But one thing is for sure…
If you show up and do what needs to be done, you can bet on having a paycheck next month.
Where’s the worry?
P.S. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being an employee. There are tons of great things about working a 9-5 and most of them have to do with not being self employed.