Thursday, February 01, 2007

Employee or employer?

Thanks to TTL for putting up a couple of interesting links. For instance, Steve Pavlina writes about why you should never ever have a job. Basically he says that being employed makes you a slave or a pet, while being self-imployed or a business owner makes you free. Perhaps I am an odd person to argue against that, for am doing very well on my own and I love it. But I am lucky. I know many business owners who work longer hours and earn less than the people they employ. And they have more ulcers as well.
Especially if you work for a small company where the boss is somebody you can talk to, there is something to be said for being employed. Maybe your real interest is rock collecting, and who can earn money on that? Maybe you enjoy your job and your colleagues, and go do your stuff on your own time. I certainly don't regret a minute of the time I spent as an employee, I had fun and I learned a lot.

Basically freedom has very little to do with your physical circumstances. Freedom is in the mind. A millionaire can be a free man or be trapped by his mind, and the same is true for a bum.

There is more I agree with in Steve's articles about a new business, and 10 lessons for entrepreneurs.

Update: He is right, though, about security: I had three jobs which I loved, and all three ended when the employer could no longer afford to keep me.
And now I've been self-employed for ten years (in March), and there has not been one lean month. (Obviously this is a bit exceptional, I'm just presenting the opposite side to the coin here.)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eolake said: I know many business owners who work longer hours and earn less than the people they employ.

In my experience, being an employer is an even worse trap than being employed. I could easily compose a list of "10 reasons you should never employ anyone". There are better and more natural arrangements for working together with other people.

Maybe your real interest is rock collecting, and who can earn money on that?

I thought this was the most profitable hobby of them all! Reportedly there are whole countries whose GNP largely comes from this 'hobby'.

But seriously, I don't believe there is any action from which it would be impossible to earn a living from.

Basically freedom has very little to do with your physical circumstances.

Right, but that wasn't the point. The point was about exchanging your time for money. Most employees will tell you they'd quit doing what they do immediately if they weren't paid for every hour they put in.

If you are not enjoying what you do, and only doing it to maintain your 'physical circumstances', it makes sense to investigate possible ways out of the trap. This requires thinking out of the box. The 'box' is what Steve referred to us being slaves of.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, and without the box seemingly impossible means of living suddenly become feasible. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the next thing I hear about is a man that makes his living by hugging people. Hell, there are people who're employed to do absolutely nothing! Surely there are ways to do exactly the same thing without losing the income.

We're all naturally creative. Perhaps some are perfectly happy working at their jobs, and far be it from me to criticize them. But the vast majority of them aren't, yet they stay either because they've been convinced of their incapability to do anything else, or that there's simply no other way, or they assume the only means to prestige and status are through excellent jobs. (Although I would argue that the motivation is partly to blame in the latter case. It's happiness based on consesus. It has nothing to do with a person's soul condition.)

Whatever you wish, there is a means to make it real if you will abandon your misconceptions and fears and instead allow creativity and love to motivate your actions. That's when magic happens.

Anonymous said...

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the next thing I hear about is a man that makes his living by hugging people.

Well, there was this video, with 9,924,594 views to date. If YouTube's recently announced revenue sharing plan had kicked on a little earlier the guy might be a millionaire by now.

Hell, there are people who're employed to do absolutely nothing! Surely there are ways to do exactly the same thing without losing the income.

I hear there is one guy who puts nudie pictures on the web and lives comfortably off of that! So, clearly there are no limits. :-)

Not to mention mention this guy, who became a millionaire by selling pixels from his home page!

Anonymous said...

i'm thankful i have a job. my LORD JESUS has been good to me.

Anonymous said...

That's when magic happens.

I don't believe in magic but I do believe that if you have a job you love you'll never work a day in your life :)

Anonymous said...

We're all naturally creative.

Yes we are. I have created my perfect dream girl. She's 29, frosted blonde, 120 pounds, 5'9, dresses in high heels and cherry red lipstick and has a heart of gold.
I see her every night in my dreams. She loves me dearly and I love her.
She stays with me because of her devotion and admiration for me and I for her.
She stands next to a white picket fence waiting on me after midnight. We share the night together and we share things that only few others will ever know about.
The only time I ever shed a tear is when the alarm clock goes off.

Anonymous said...

Another black man said: I don't believe in magic but I do believe that if you have a job you love you'll never work a day in your life :)

Congratulations on finding the perfect job for yourself!

Isn't it a bit risky, though. If at some point your employer can no longer pay you, then you have to stop doing what you love?

Anonymous said...

This posting "Employee or employer" has really made me think a lot about being on both sides of the coin.
You really had a very interesting subject here Eolake. I tip my bonnet to you :)

Anonymous said...

The only time I ever shed a tear is when the alarm clock goes off.

I know the feeling :(
I am the Captain of the Lonely Hearts Club :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finding the perfect job for yourself!

Thank you ttl.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I've just made this Update: He is right, though, about security: I had three jobs which I loved, and all three ended when the employer could no longer afford to keep me.
And now I've been self-employed for ten years (in March), and there has not been one lean month. (Obviously this is a bit exceptional, I'm just presenting the opposite side to the coin here.)

Anonymous said...

I sell women's lingerie :0 AKA lace panties, silk bras, teddies, sleek stockings :) dresses, perfume, blouses, earrings, pearls ect.
I love my job :) (No, i'm not gay) Just a happy camper who truly enjoys the ladies :)
I've been doing this for nearly five years and I've yet to work yet ;)
They pay me well and not to boast but I've never been without a date! I've dated several of my returning customers :)
Most like the "selling" appeal I have. Very exciting job to say the least !

Anonymous said...

"I know many business owners who work longer hours and earn less than the people they employ."
If you'd like it the other way round, just come to Lebanon.
"Me golf, you toil. Slavery not dead."

Have you ever worked 100 hours a week for no other apparent reason than the satisfaction of your boss to know you were never resting? I have. It's not very rewarding, to be employed as mere ego fodder for blatantly insecure jerks.

Typical example : a routine report is one day late because many patients came in suddenly at the end of the afternoon, so I get a "head shampoo". The next evening, I tell the doc : "All reports for yesterday and today are finished.
- At long last! Well, better late than never!
- BTW, sir, what do you think of the suggestions I wrote in Mr X's report two days ago?
- What? Oh, I haven't read it! Bye now."
These were remarks and suggestions about a cancer patient who intended to interrupt his chemo. This is the status of a typical employee in my country...

Which might explain in part why 40% of Lebanese youths have already emigrated to Canada or Australia, and have no intention of ever returning. Our rulers are mad. Criminally insane, all of them.

No, hold that question: for 32 years, none of them were democratically elected. How many countries do you konw of, that see their officials vote their self-prorogation for 17 consecutive years? That last "free" election? Held under the law dictated by Syria, and still in place today. Hey, Mister Bush, why doesen't THIS remaining syrian influence bother you?
To ask the question is to answer it... :-P

I hear the beaches of Sydney are very nice this time of year. According to Laurie Jeffery.