As someone who has decided to start their own business, I am met with constant criticisms from people in my life that just don’t understand things the way I do. These are the early days and I’m not making a great amount of money. Whenever I tell my mother about a small success I’ve had or a sale of a few dollars, she cynically asks me if I found that money on the sidewalk, as if my entire business was nothing more than looking for stray quarters that people drop on their way to work. My friend assumes that this is a passing phase and that I’ll soon regain my sanity and get a job. People are always giving me tips on some job they saw in a newspaper or on craigslist.
It’s frustrating and disheartening. It feels like the people in my life that I trust the most are betraying me and trying to pull me down.
So, why don’t I just get a job? The answer is two-fold:
First, the economy sucks. With the real unemployment rate around 17.5%, now is a very stupid time to go out looking for a job unless you are absolutely desperate. I have a masters degree in architecture, which makes me too “over educated” to get a job in any other field. With most of the major architecture firms laying off about half of their staff, my odds of actually landing a job in my field are even slimmer.
There are barely any jobs out there in architecture these days. The few job that there are are bombarded with so many resumes that the competition makes it almost an exercise in futility. Even if I could get a job, all it would mean is that I’m willing to do the most amount of work possible for the least amount of money. Not exactly the optimal position to be in. Why try to win a battle in a losing war?
Secondly, working for a living is a waste of time. Yes, you heard that right. If you’re here on my blog, you probably already believe this to some degree. Take me, making a few hundred dollars a month and any one of my friends out there with a full-time job making $40,000/year ($3,333/month), and it looks like I’m coming in the loser. But if both of us stopped working, I’d still be making a few hundred dollars every month, while their earnings immediately go to $0. Starts to change the way you think about things.
Add to that the fact that there really is no ceiling on how much I can make on my own. I can keep working and keep growing my income into the six- or seven-figure range if I keep at it long enough. While my full-time friend is stuck earning a solid $40k on salary if he works 40 hours this week or 80 hours. The only time he can get that bumped up is by crossing his fingers and praying that once a year, his boss will give him a one or two thousand dollar raise.
So, even though I’m not really making “big money” yet, I still think I’m in a better situation. I can keep my dignity by running my own business. I don’t have to go out and sell myself all over town the the lowest bidder in this dismal economy and I don’t have to trade my time for money.
So keep laughing at me. The joke is on you. You ask me if my money comes from finding nickles on the sidewalk, but you wake up at 4AM to “survive” another day and come home tired only to piss away your free time in front of the TV. You think I’m insane when you rent out your mind and body to someone else who can instantly decide to kick you to the curb and leave you with nothing. I’m out here creating my own opportunity, and I’m out here creating my own assets. One day I’ll be living the life and you’ll be left wondering how I did it still zoning out in front of the TV and renting your mind. See you then.