John D. Rockefeller supposedly said that he did not want a nation of thinkers. What he wanted was a nation of workers. In looking at the last 100 years I’d have to say that he got what he paid for. We’re educated and trained to be employed by someone else. Entrepreneurship has for generations been the exception, not the norm. Many people, when starting out, find themselves ill-prepared to own or run their own businesses.
This shouldn’t be.
Earlier this year when I learned that my position was being eliminated and was asked to provide a resume and portfolio for consideration for new positions in my department, I took it a step further and decided to develop a web presence and to not simply create a portfolio for that single interview. I created business cards and a website and decided to pursue clients for graphic design and if possible to eliminate the need for employment.
In employment you go for the specified time. You do whatever work is there and for the pay specified. Then you go home. A business is 24/7/365. Now of course no one is on task all the time. But to be successful, your thinking has to change. You’re no longer punching a clock. You’re selling a product to people whom you hope are willing and able to pay for it. You have to decide how much your time is worth to you working for yourself and it has to be more than you were paid working for someone else. You’re responsible for everything: taxes, retirement, all the bills you were already dealing with and more.
I’ve set a rate and I’m probably going to have to raise it. Setting that rate is one of those shifts. My thinking is changing. I’m having to wake up. I’m learning to think like a business owner not someone’s employee.