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Ep.8: Freelancing In a Free Market Economy

Good morning! Today, we’re back to our usual early morning meeting time. It is 3:21 A.M, and in this episode, we’re going to talk about something that shouldn’t be political, but unfortunately, it has been politicized, nonetheless.

We’re not going to talk about party politics here. There won’t be any political surface-level arguments. Instead, we’re going to dive deep into the principles that support happiness. These are the principles of freedom, freelancing, entrepreneurship, capitalism, and a free market economy, and how all of those things work together for our good to promote prosperity.

Today’s inspirational quote is by someone you may recognize. It states, “we who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity, and ultimately human fulfillment are created from the bottom up, not the government down.” – Ronald Reagan.

That’s going to be the theme of today’s episode. We’re talking about some core principles today, and we’re not going to be talking about Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives. Instead, we’re focusing on principals that are important for you as an entrepreneur, a freelance, and a self-employed worker to understand.

Let’s start by defining an entrepreneur and what they do.

An entrepreneur is anyone who creates something that can solve someone else’s problem, offering that solution in exchange for something in return. That solution can be a product, or It can be a service. Typically, you get money in exchange for that product or service because money is our modern medium of exchange.

Money solved a major problem for society a long time ago. That problem was that if you just trade things, you might not have the item or service that the other person needs. If he wants a cow, and he’s offering to build your house, but you don’t have a cow to give him, then you’re not getting his services.

He’ll move onto someone else, and you’ll be at a standstill until you can find someone with carpentry skills who wants something you can offer them. It sounds good in theory, but on a mass scale, it doesn’t work.

As a result, money became a medium of exchange. Everyone now wants and needs money because they can use it to purchase whatever they need and want. We’ll get into some deeper principals surrounding money in a future episode, but for now, I wanted to quickly define its purpose and why it’s important.

It’s a good thing that we have money as part of our society. Try not to think of it in a negative way. If you’re building a small business, you need to have the right perspective towards money. While people can do bad things with money, the money itself is a very neutral item. Ultimately, my money is not what causes problems, it’s the mistakes I may make with it that cause my problems.

The solution that entrepreneurs offer others can be a new invention, a process, a skill, talent, or education that’s packaged into a book, video, or course. There are endless possibilities.

That’s what entrepreneurs do, but how do they think? First and foremost, they think for themselves. They have their own voice, and they decide what to believe. They tend to be nonconforming, and they question everything. Entrepreneurs are not afraid to stand out.

Entrepreneurs stand up for what they believe in, and they’re not afraid of losing friends because of it. They’re constantly developing their skills, gaining new knowledge, and making sure they grow their business.

On top of this, entrepreneurs are students for the rest of their lives. They don’t just go to school, become a student, and then stop being a student. They have foresight into opportunities that may be down the road and they take risks to ensure that they’ll make them happen. Finally, entrepreneurs are not afraid of money.

If you’re a freelancer, or if you’re self-employed, you’re an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs aren’t only people who invent fun products like self-tying shoes.

One thing that all entrepreneurs have in common is that they all need freedom to decide what they want to sell, how they want to sell it, and who they want to sell it to. They have the freedom to start a business in whatever they want that will provide jobs for others and ultimately stimulate the economy.

From Einstein and Tesla to Steve Jobs and every freelance video editor out there, it is entrepreneurs who solve the world’s problems. As a freelancer, you are changing the world. I don’t want you to downplay what you’re doing because you didn’t create some big invention. You’re still solving other people’s problems with your services, and that DOES make a difference in the world.

A problem that has been growing over the past several decades is that employees started to become increasingly expensive, partly because of all the top-down regulations regarding benefits and so forth.

It costs less to hire one 40 per hour week employee than it does to hire two 20 hour per week employees. So, when you have jobs that only take 20 hours a week, they’ll just hire one person and have them do two jobs. The issue here is that most of the time, people will be doing three, four, or five more jobs to fill up those 40 hours.

As a result, their skill set gets more and more diluted over time, therefore, they can not become an expert in any one thing. Ultimately, these employees are providing less. More and more companies have started to turn to freelancers and contractors to take on certain jobs that they used to hire employees to do, for this reason. They realized that by hiring contractors, they were getting better qualified experts on the job, from web programming and graphic design all the way to consulting and marketing positions.

Even if they charge more per hour, contractors and freelancers can actually cost businesses less money. The only thing that these businesses have to pay for when hiring contractors is the actual work that’s getting done. You’re paying for your product. They can pay you more for 5 hours of your work and get a much better result than if they pay a less experienced worker 20 hours for being on the job but not providing an expert service.

Similarly, in 2020, we saw many businesses begin to work their employees from home, closing their offices, and realizing that they can save on office expenses. Plus, they can hire nationally, not just locally, so there’s a much larger talent pool.

Let’s switch gears a bit really quickly. Children are not being taught entrepreneurship. Instead, in public school, they’re being taught a very specific career path. As a result, they’re learning particular basic subjects that ultimately aren’t super important. There’s a lot of fluff in the public school system.

Kids are taught to go to college, get a degree, and work for a big corporation, and these corporations are partnered with the government. Small business is a huge threat to an ever-expanding government. We won’t get into too many details about what’s going on with that right now, but overall, many large corporations are partnering with the government to create monopolies and threaten the free market.

The government can then have more control to expand its power, which is called “crony capitalism.” It’s not TRUE capitalism because the government is involved in partnering with these businesses and is regulating these businesses, telling them what to produce, and how to produce it. On top of that, the government is helping to subsidize some of the business’s costs.

Ultimately, their goal is to squash the competition so that the government can have more control. They can control a certain industry if they succeed in doing this. Anyway, in the typical school system education, you’re not learning financial advice. You’re not learning how to build wealth or how to start a business, and you’re definitely not learning entrepreneurship.

You’re not even learning important life skills that you’ll actually need in this world, which are more important than most of the subjects you’re actually learning in school. Specialization has been knocked out of the typical school system. I understand that as a kid, you need to experience different subjects to figure out more of what you like, sure, but kids need more diverse options than what they’re getting.

I think math is really important, but they’ve changed how they’re teaching it. English is certainly super important. We won’t even get into how they’re teaching history and how it’s filtered and manipulated. Science is great too, but ultimately, kids are not being taught how to thrive outside the school building when they’re adults.

I had to learn everything business-related myself. Money management, personal finances, and even household management, communication skills, and so much more. If you’re going to have a class for children, you better have a communication class with basic and advanced interpersonal skill lessons. I had to learn all that myself.

And my lack of communication skills really held me back. I never knew how to learn listening and talking skills so that I could have effective discussions with people. Another reason why my wife and I homeschool is because we want our children to actually learn these things that are so important for their life’s success. I won’t get too deep into this, but overall, I wanted to explain entrepreneurship and how and why the big government threatens it.

You can’t have a small business and a big government. You just can’t thrive. Many politicians, on both sides, left and right, do not want small businesses to thrive for this reason. When you choose to freelance, you’re choosing to protect your freedom to be an entrepreneur. You are showing people that the world of small business can be much larger than we think. It’s not just about starting a mom-and-pop shop down the road to sell something.

For entrepreneurs to fully function and not be limited in their ability to solve the problems they’re trying to solve, they need to live in a free-market economy. So, what is a free-market economy?

Well, any economy is a network of people who produce, distribute, and use goods and services. A free-market economy is a society where people are able to decide for themselves what they want to sell, what to buy, how much to charge, who to sell it to and even who to trade with. People must voluntarily decide to cooperate with one another, or they don’t get what they want.

As a result, these people can’t be mean to each other. Additionally, they don’t have the government forcing them to operate in a certain way. The government isn’t telling them what business to start and how to run their business.

Some countries do not have the option to freelance. Their governments control who sells what, the prices, and the distribution. Many define that as socialism.

I’m not getting into party politics here; I’m just talking about principals. You need to be able to separate these principals from specific parties. When we get too caught up in surface politics, we miss the principles, and we start to avoid learning about the things that we need to learn about.

Moving forward, the problem with the government controlling the production and distribution of goods and services is that when there isn’t competition, there also isn’t anything driving down costs. As a result, things stop becoming affordable. Further, there’s nothing motivating innovation to keep creating BETTER products and services, which we’ll get more into in a second.

First, I want to define capitalism. You tend to have polar opposites. Socialism is when the government controls the economy, so what is capitalism? It is where private ownership controls business and capital within an economy. They control the means by which things are produced and distributed.

When you own something, you get to decide what to do with it. When you own a house, you get to decide what paint to use, and what to install. Whereas, when you rent, you have to ask permission from the landlord to do certain things with that property. If you don’t own property, you don’t get the freedoms to do what you want with it. The same is true for businesses.

There are many people who are led to believe that capitalism only makes business owners on the top rich because they get to share in all the profits and everyone else gets squashed. There’s a lot of growing belief in negativity towards capitalism, especially recently, and it's starting to surge where people in college are taught that capitalism is bad.

They’re flipping the definition to tell people that essentially capitalism is a form of slavery, and that businesses owners are the slave owners, and the slaves are all the workers. But in capitalism, everyone has the opportunity to build wealth either by starting businesses themselves or investing and improving their skills in order to get promoted.

Many companies even allow their employees to have shares in profit. Year-end bonuses are an example of this. Overall, we’ll get more into myths about capitalism, but I wanted to expand the definition a little bit more. Ultimately, capitalism relies on competition so that the best products and services can succeed.

This makes innovation possible. It allows businesses and people to create better and better products and services so that they can compete for consumer’s money. If one government entity controls the means of production of goods and services, there doesn’t get to be any competition, which means you’ll end up with crappy products and services.

Yes, the rich get richer in capitalism, but guess what? The poor get richer too, whereas when you don’t have capitalism and the government controls everything, everyone just stays poor. Everyone stays under a certain ceiling where they cannot continue to build their standard of living.

In capitalism, you have the freedom to learn about how to build wealth and how to pursue that for yourself. And if you don’t want to, then you don’t have to. The word “freelancer” has the word “free” in it for a reason.

You’re free to set your own schedule, free to choose what to charge, and free to increase your income at a much faster rate. You’re free from an employer telling you how to do everything and what your pay is. Most importantly, you’re free from a government entity telling you what your job is supposed to be. You’re even free to be as productive as you want to be, which means you’re free to earn as much money as you want to earn!

That said, let’s talk about the corruption in capitalism. Of course, there is corruption in capitalism, because capitalism involves people, and there are corrupt people who are imperfect.

Let’s say a business or business owner is corrupt and they don’t care about helping people. They care more about money than they do about solving a problem in a true free-market economy, in true capitalism where the government stays out of it.

These businesses do not survive. They instantly get regulated, and they do far less damage to people. If one company is corrupt, only those employees and those buying the services get taken advantage of. However, if an entire government is corrupt and then in control of everything, everyone is screwed.

People may argue that businesses with large amounts of money are immune to regulations and being sued and everything else. But that’s because of monopolies. These exist because the government got involved, giving these big industries and companies too much influence and control because the government is on their side.

This happens because there are certain industries of things that we need and just have to have in order to survive. We're already at that point where the government is too involved in our economy, but a true monopoly that occurs without the government's involvement is actually very rare because at some point, somebody else will come up with a competitive product or service and they will compete, and it will create more options and freedoms.

In order to properly regulate corruption within capitalism, people must retain the power to their own freedoms. That’s the beauty of a free-market economy. You can go find a job somewhere else if your employer is corrupt. People won’t want to work for them, and eventually, the company will crumble.

As a believer in Jesus, I was taught to help the poor and the needy. But Jesus never said that the government needs to take your money and give it to the poor and needy. Instead, He said it’s up to the individual to choose and have charity for others. Of course, many people will choose not to do this, but when the majority of people are given an opportunity to help people, they certainly will.

Too much of that extra money is taken in the form of excessive taxation, and then, people no longer have that money to give to others. They’ll get criticized that they’re not giving enough, but the truth is that they don’t have any extra to give.

Why is all this relevant to you as a freelancer? Being self-employed is the very foundation and beginning of choosing to use the free-market economy’s freedom. You’re able to have and run a business for very little cost. It’s a very great form of getting into business because you’re offering your talents as a service. Your business expenses are your internet and your computer, and that’s it. You may pay for some online tools to run your business too, but overall, you have low operating costs. You’re really just offering your time.

As a result, it takes a very small investment upfront to start this type of business. It’s much easier to get started building your own businesses now than it was before we had the internet. But even this is threatened by people who want control, and who don’t want you to succeed.

But the truth is that there is room for everyone to live comfortably and to find success. In a free-market economy, you have to improve your skills and your education in order to make more money, in order to survive and thrive. You have the incentive to improve yourself in order to raise your standard of living. It’s in our DNA to keep improving. A society that promotes progression is essential.

I love knowing that I can control my income. If it’s low, then that’s on me. I don’t have to wait for an employer or the government to decide to raise my income. Instead, I raise my own rate by improving my skill. It’s about the value you’re providing, not how much time you’re spending or how much sweat you put into it.

There will also be times when you put a lot of effort into developing a new skill that you can sell. That’s the beauty of it. In summary, for freelancers to exist, they must be part of the free-market economy. You have the freedom to choose what you want to do as your job, and how you want to do it.

It’s a win-win for everyone. Even those who have disadvantages, either physically or mentally in society, those people get taken care of by good charitable people who have extra time and extra money to devote to these causes.

Self-employment isn’t just for people who are in between jobs. Even people who work for large companies don’t realize that their jobs wouldn’t exist if someone hadn’t taken the plunge, taking that risk to start that business.

I want to close with one more loop regarding the charity aspect of all this. In my own experience, at one point in the process of building my own business, I was $20,000 in credit card debt and I couldn’t afford to pay my bills.

We had to get help from my family and my church. In the end, we needed some welfare. We needed help from the outside to give us a boost to get unstuck. But I created a financial plan for how I was going to use this situation to turn it around and get us out of this financial situation. I told those who helped me about this plan, and that I would be self-reliant and turn the gift of charity into momentum that allowed me to provide for myself.

This sort of thing also motivates people to want to help because they see that you have a solid plan. You’re not going to be reliant on their help again and again, and you WANT to get back on your own two feet.

In short, charity is important. But you need to trust that the free-market society in capitalism when capitalism is TRUE and not corrupt, will be enough for those who need it.

One more thing I forgot to mention is that going back to our Ronald Reagan quote, problems in society have been resolved first with the individual second. It’s resolved from the bottom up. When you try to go from the top town, you resolve problems through the government first, which causes more problems. I’m not saying the government has no role in solving any problem, but it should always start from the individual first, and go up from there. This is what protects our rights and makes sure we’re not being trampled on.

Like most things I talk about, the conversation here is just getting started. Hopefully, this got you thinking about things a bit differently, and you’ll be more confident being a freelancer in this small business army. I also hope that this conversation got you to realize the freedoms you’re fighting for as a freelancer and entrepreneur.

Let’s end this conversation for today. If you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel, make sure to do that, and check us out on all the podcast platforms. I hope you have a wonderful day and that you take this information and apply it to your daily life.

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