“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.
As regular readers know, my chosen route to earning money is to be an owner of a small company, and to work for a variety of larger companies when they need help on projects they cannot resource internally. Occasionally I make even more money through doing that work directly, but it takes more time to sell it, so the rates are less racy than they might first appear.
Anyway, depending on your lens on such matters, I either have no boss or fucking loads of bosses. Generally, I tend towards viewing it as the former, partly due to my Polly Anna nature.
But it has come to my attention lately that my employment status brings a distinct and important psychological advantage. And that advantage is that:
EVERY SINGLE WORK-RELATED SITUATION I FACE IS ONE I HAVE ACTIVELY CHOSEN TO FACE
This is brilliant because it removes any temptation to complain or to feel sorry for myself.
I have to be honest, not all of the jobs I do are 100% fun. Sometimes I find myself at a provincial train station a little bit later than I’d like it to be, on my way home from a piece of work that might not have challenged and delighted me as much as I might. But then I realise that I am there because I chose to be. I don’t have to be there, and I’m there because I’m getting paid. If I really don’t want to be there next week or month, I get to say no-thank you. The truth is that had I faced exactly the same situation in the context of being employed, I would not be able to kick in this thought process. This is because somebody would have sent me there. I would have been placed on that project by a boss, project manager or administrator of some form or other, and I am largely powerless to say no next time. By being employed we enjoy fewer freedoms in exchange for a bit more certainty. True, the employee gets the choose whether or not they are employed, but that’s a more macro choice than the ‘in the moment – what is my evaluation of being here at this provincial train station at this time of night?’. In my case, it goes something like – ‘I wouldn’t choose to be here. If I wasn’t here I wouldn’t be getting paid. If I don’t think the pay is worth being here, I can choose to say no next time’. Funnily enough that kind of thinking lightens my mood significantly!
Basically, what I’m saying is this: If you think it might be a good idea to go self-employed, and you have some skills people want to buy, then it’s worth a try. The benefits are several, multiple and run quite deep. We may not be free from the hamster wheel of exchanging time for money, but we have more freedom to choose which hamster when we get to run in, and when to run fast and slow. That freedom is priceless. believe me.
As discussed here, I have paid down the repayment element of the mortgage and in the process brought my LTV ratio down very low. I potentially dropped a goollie by signing up the other mortgage parts to good deals, but ones with limited ability to pay down the principle. On reflection I might have preferred to have the option of chucking spare money at the mortgage, but I need to keep perspective and recognise that the true fight is to ensure I a) earn spare money b) don’t waste it. The nuts and bolts after that are important, but not the hard part.
Anyway, not a great deal to report. We seem to be standing still / heading downwards in the markets but I’m still earning well so will neither go hungry nor get to hang up my suit in the short term.
My recession-related fears are prompting me to pile up some cash, and I’m grateful that this route is an option for me.
I’ve had a good run at running and have kept a good weight. I’m focusing not only on weight and judging the degree to which I look lean and feel energetic. I could do more, but am happy with the progress, rather than seeking perfection.
I am yet to fulfil my objective of getting into a bit of weight training, but overall feel in good shape and have not been ill / poorly sick for ages – for me that’s a good barometer.
As the pre-amble suggests, I am definitely doing well at work while enjoying the autonomy. I’ve got some truly fantastic opportunities bubbling away and am grateful to be in demand. There re, however, times when I feel like doing something a bit different and need to address those thoughts. The truth is that I have to exploit my skills, network and reputation in my current field as its a profitable thing to do. I also need to listen to these little internal nags because they are there for a reason. I don’t know the answer but for now, I’m curious.
Thanks for reading, my friends. Enjoy and drop me a line if you have any questions.