This morning, we’re going to explore what it means to be self-employed in every aspect of your life. We’re not just talking about your job, we’re talking about how entrepreneurship is a way of living, not just a way of making a living.
Today’s inspirational quote is, “think for yourself or others will thank you without thinking OF you.” – Henry David Thoreau.
This is an important quote to set the stage for today’s conversation as we define what it means to be self-employed. Most of this comes back to what it means to think for yourself and have a mind of your own.
In our world, progress has only been made because of individuals who have been willing to challenge the popular beliefs at those times. For example, the reason we know the earth is round and not flat is because someone decided that the majority opinion wasn’t the right one. They were willing to be rejected by society just so they could spread the truth.
Any time you find yourself agreeing with the majority on something, you must take time to make sure you are thinking for yourself and not just going with the crowd to feel accepted. We have an internal survival instinct that makes us want to fit in so we don’t get cast out.
For example, imagine that you’re in a village and outside of that village, there are wolves that could hurt or kill you. As long as you’re within the walls of that village, you’re protected.
But then, you do something to get yourself cast outside the village, and now you’re alone in the woods and vulnerable to the wolves.
There’s a primal fear that if we get rejected by society, ultimately, we won’t survive. However, in our modern society, we don’t have to worry about dying by wolves if we go against the grain. The only worry we have now is that we’ll have fewer friends, and we may even make more enemies.
Conversely, some people have put themselves in danger in order to stand up for what they believe in. Either way, this isn’t the preferred outcome, but it’s certainly worth the risk.
So, what does it mean to be self-employed? The dictionary definition is that you are working for yourself rather than working for an employer. Now, what does it mean to have a self-employed mindset?
We have talked about the benefits of being self-employed in your job and having that type of work structure that gives you more freedom and the ability to increase your income quicker. But in today’s episode, I want to go beyond your job and talk more about how you can be self-employed in every other aspect of your life.
Employers tell you when to show up for work and how to do your job. If you do what they ask, you’re safe. But you must do things their way. Sure, there are some gray areas where employers give you more wiggle room to achieve the goals your own way, but the default is that you must listen to their orders.
A client, on the other hand, sees you as their equal. You’re a true business partner rather than a worker who is helping feed their company.
Outside of work, do you have any employers in your life? This is something you need to think about. Is it the news? Certain politicians? Are government experts telling you what to do at every turn?
OR, are you self-employed? When you live as an entrepreneur, you live it outside of your job, too. Here are some ways you should be living outside of work if you’re self-employed.
First off, entrepreneurs are producers more than they are consumers. They’re always figuring out the next thing to create rather than the next thing to consume. For example, you could spend all your time consuming the news and binge-watching various shows, getting distracted by this and social media.
OR you could be producing something that’s as simple as a garden in your backyard or something related to your business. Any time you’re providing a service for someone, you are producing something.
Entrepreneurs are constantly trying to better other people’s lives through their products and services so that they can take care of their own families. There’s nothing selfish about this. What drives a true entrepreneur is the impact they’re making in the world.
Obviously, self-employed people enjoy the additional money that comes with being an entrepreneur, but the addiction to creation is their main drive.
Next up, it’s important that you do your own research to make educated decisions. You have to look at both sides of every argument before you decide. Sure, you can take other people’s opinions into consideration, but only as part of your research.
True entrepreneurs are scientists. The very definition of science has to do with presenting a theory, and then everyone else refutes that theory and puts it on trial. All of that skepticism is what allows that theory to evolve and become better and better with time.
As an entrepreneur, you’re also constantly developing your skills and your knowledge. Other folks just stop educating themselves after they get their college degree, but not entrepreneurs. Self-employed people are constantly learning new things and developing new skills to increase their income.
You can also do this as an employee to get promoted and really rank up in your position. So don’t get me wrong, employees are great and I’m thankful that they’re out there. But my focus is on building a company where most of my employees are independent contractors, and I want to see how big I can build it solely on that model.
I’m not against employees or employers having employees. I just want to teach others how to have this entrepreneurial mindset and how to keep that mindset in every aspect of their lives.
Now let’s look at self-motivation. As an entrepreneur, you’re not waiting on others to tell you if you’re good or not. You’re very self-aware. You’re writing the vision for your own life and executing it. Sure, you can get help from your crew, like mentors and friends and family members, but overall, you’re creating it.
In movie terms, you’re the writer and director, and everyone else just helps make your vision come alive. But even then, you have to be able to separate all the voices in your head and listen to your true self.
You’ll hear different opinions from many different voices, and it’s important to be able to separate yours from everyone else’s. We’ll have a specific episode on how to do that later on. But the main point is that you need to think about whose voice is whose.
Is this coming from an old 5th grade teacher? Is this my mom speaking for me? Is this opinion based on something the president said, or from historical figures? And so on. It’s important to audit these voices because they all may not be giving you good advice.
You must do this with the voices that are outside of your head as well. If you go to your neighbor for advice about math, but he’s terrible at math, you’re not choosing to listen to the right voice. We’ll talk about this more later in the show, but ultimately, your goal is to oversee the decisions you make both in your personal life and your work life alike.
To recap, the main question here is, how do you become self-employed in every aspect of your life? Put simply, you strive to be the kind of person I’ve described so far. You must audit who these employers are in your life. Who are you letting tell you what to do right now?
YOU need to be in charge of that role. And everyone who’s currently an employer to you needs a role change. Turn them into a partner, not a leader. Ask yourself why you look up to them, because you may find that you don’t even want them as a partner either. However, if you do, right down their new role on a piece of paper. Make sure they’re not your dictator anymore.
You get the final say no matter what opinions come your way, even if you really respect those opinions. While we can’t be an expert on everything, and it’s good to have advice from others, we also need to do our own research and not let others speak for us.
If we don’t take charge of our own beliefs, we may be misled by people who want to hurt us, or by those who mean well but just really don’t know what they’re talking about. This is where intuition comes in. If you’ve let too many people take control of your beliefs, you’ve numbed your intuition, and you can’t follow your gut feelings.
Hopefully today has helped you define what it means to be self-employed in every aspect of your life. As I close up, I’m going to add in some bonus perspective here about what kind of person you should be as an entrepreneur.
You wake up in the morning and get yourself started, and you’re in control of your morning routine. You are managing the people you communicate with, and you control every aspect of your life. This includes your income, your familial relationships, and friendships. You’re always thinking of the next thing to create and looking for opportunities that serve others.
As an entrepreneur, you’re living your life purposefully, managing your own emotions, and you know how to process your own thoughts and emotions. We’ll go over how to manage your own mind later in the show as well, because this is essential in helping you become truly self-employed.
To learn more about the self-employment mindset and how to succeed as an entrepreneur, check out Arrowlight.tv, subscribe to the YouTube channel, and listen to previous episodes on Stitcher or wherever you prefer listening to podcasts. I’m Chad Gravallese, and I look forward to our next early morning conversation.