One of the scariest things I ever did was quit my first (and only) “real” job so I could begin my own brand of creative work in the world.

I became – gasp! – self-employed.

I was warned of the risks. I was told I’d lose my benefits. I was told it’s “hard out there” working for yourself.

It’s funny that the assumption so many people base one of their biggest life choices on is that “working for yourself is risky.”  Now – after 16 years of making a living on my own terms – I believe the exact opposite!

So, here are seven of my favorite reasons to NOT have a job.

1. Having a job is way too risky.

When you have a job, someone can take away your income just by uttering two words: “You’re fired.”  This is happening more and more as companies crumble in the face of global changes in commerce.

If you ask me, there’s nothing secure about that.

When you create your own business, and a client or customer moves on – then guess what?  You get to say, “Next!”

2. No Bonus Pay for Messing Up

When you mess up at your job, you get punished, maybe even a pay-cut. Then you have to run around “making nice” to the people who might lay you off or promote someone else who’s younger and “hungry.” (Hungry for what? More time at the office?)

When one of my clients faces challenges in her business, I cheer. She’s getting paid to learn!  Every mistake teaches her more about how to succeed.

Instead of getting an MBA – she’s getting a TBF. (Trial by Fire! 🙂 )  TBF’s can really pay-off!

3. Your Ceiling isn’t Adjustable.

Often, I sit down with clients and show them multiple places they can generate income in their business within the next few months.  Their eyes light up as they realize that the possibilities are endless.  They stop thinking in terms of “hours for dollars,” and start thinking of passive income.  (Hey, why not get paid while you sleep?)

In a job, you can’t adjust your income based on the value you provide. Instead you have to ask for a raise.  Not fun.

4. Pantyhose.

As I write this, I’m working.

I’m wearing a Tarheels baseball cap, a t-shirt, and jeans. I’ve got my feet propped up on the deck railing as birds sing at the feeder.

When I had a job, there was a dress code. And rules about what you could have on your desk. There was limited time for lunch, and no time for creativity.  And don’t even get me started on pantyhose!

5. Your money doesn’t go as far.

Did you know that employee income is the most heavily taxed income in the U.S.?   As an employee, almost half your salary will go to taxes.  You get to spend what’s left on living expenses.

One of my first self-employed discoveries was that my money went MUCH further – because I could invest in myself or get equipment and supplies with pre-tax income.  Any good accountant will help you make your dollars expand in your own business.

6. Focusing on your Weaknesses.

Have you ever heard of a “360?”

That’s when your co-workers and supervisors (and anyone else who wants to chip in) analyze your job performance. You learn all about your weaknesses – and you get a review outlining the ways you need to work on them. Often, people leave these “360” reviews in tears.

In the world of the solo-preneur, we don’t mess with our weaknesses. The motto is Strengthen your Strengths. Hire your Weaknesses. In other words, as you become aware of your weaknesses, you don’t waste your precious energy fixing them.

7. Negative Environment.

Many office environments don’t encourage creative thinking or positive energy. Instead, there’s lots of negativity among employees who feel powerless.

In your own business, you set the tone, and you choose who enters your environment. You become deeply personally responsible for every aspect of your life.

This is often more uncomfortable than sitting back and blaming “The Man,” but it will absolutely free you.

—–

There has NEVER been a better time to have a business.  The world is now at your fingertips.  If you are self-employed and find that you’re not where you want to be – don’t blame yourself. The “job” paradigm can be a tough one to break. (I’ve been there!)

If you want some step-by-step guidance for turning your passion into a profitable business – then join me on my upcoming free Training Call. I’m going to reveal all my best-kept secrets for doubling your income and experiencing the true freedom that comes with being a Value-Providing-Money-Generating machine! Click here to join me!

23 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Will

    Thanks, love this article. I think with the power of the internet and technology in general, value creation coming from individuals is totally possible. The question is; is it a job if you’re doing it for fun but still making money?

  • Jennifer

    I’d rather have a tooth pulled than be an employee for the rest of my life. It might be painful for a couple of weeks with missing teeth but it’d be painful for decades in a job I hated! ha ha

  • Jacqueline Boss

    I completely agree! So many people are scared of actually living life, I wish they could just understand how much better life would be if they were never employed by someone else. It took me awhile to get over the fact that society was just pressing me to get a job when I didn’t want one, but with each day that passes it seems like living a life of traveling and taking fun classes like dance and cooking, etc, will not only be easy to do but impossible to not do. I wrote a post like yours just yesterday (actually i just started an entire blog on the topic), its got a lot of the same ideas, but I’m glad someone else is also helping to getting the point across.

  • Anne

    Hi Christine,
    Great post as always 🙂
    I too am wondering what comes next for me and this reminds me of some of those reasons to look beyond a work place that’s already created for me!
    I would also say, while what you write is true in many, many cases, there are also lots of companies and ‘real’ jobs that DO focus first on their employees and on their employees’ work environment, facilitating a creative space for the people who work there. And…. if you’re afraid of risk (or competition) in any environment you’re more likely to find yourself on the receiving end of an unpleasant day and a small paycheck. So while some of us are in ‘real’ jobs, the biggest difference (in your day as well as for those around you) is still the grace and courage to show up and be you, no matter where you work and what you do….at least that seems to be true for me!
    Thanks Christine – more to think about every single time I read your posts….

  • Mary Joy @Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace

    Thank you so much for this post! (tears of appreciation) My husband has really been struggling with the decision of whether he should get a “real job” or continue to pursue his dream. We are struggling financially but are making it. He kept trying to find something but has been miserable. This past week he came to me and told me that he just couldn’t go back to working for someone else…he really needed to work for himself. My heart soared and I told him so…he looked at me incredulously…”you are happy?” I smiled and said..”Baby I just want you to be happy…when you are happy everything will work itself out.” Thank you for writing this and reminding all of us that we aren’t crazy to have the desire to work for ourselves…we are actually where we should be. 🙂

    God will make a way!!! I believe it with all my heart!

    I am working on growing my blog to a place where I can help with a small income to help out as well. I really appreciate your encouragement!

    Thank you for being a voice

  • paraluman

    hi christine,

    i have no words to thank you. reading your post was like talking to my higher self. im really scared christine to venture into the unknown, but then again the call is getting louder and louder and every turn i take, my higher self is talking to me in blogs, articles, movies, friends…etc….im going mad! but deep inside im liking it….cant wait to be on the call and learn more with you…a million thanks!

  • Christine Kane

    Glad – Read Vicky’s posting just above yours! They compliment each other perfectly! The one thing i would advise is to ask yourself if you really need money to begin this dream. is there a way to do it (even imperfectly) with little or no money? And the other thing is that when thinking in terms of a job – think about it as being a piece of creating your dream – something to support and build that. (Instead of calling it a “JOB.” ick.) Thanks for your kind words – and I will just keep watching to see what you create!

  • Glad Doggett

    I love this post. It confirms all my self talk and my beliefs about what I want and need.

    But ….

    What I find most difficult is where to start. I need money to launch my dream, yet none is coming in to allow me to spend what I need to start. It’s the proverbial chicken or the egg routine.

    I am trying to find a “bridge job” — something to bring in coin while I try to figure out how to start my thing. The problem is, I am resisting the finding a job process – every. bit. of. it.

    My mind and conscience know I need to bring in money at this point in my life because I have responsibilities and a husband I adore who is counting on me … Yet … yet … my heart, gut and soul know that I DO NOT WANT to go back to working for someone else. I don’t know where to start and what to do.

    So — what’s a confused, conflicted, wanna-be solopreneur to do in need of cash flow now to do?

    As always, I love the work you put out in the world Christine! thank you!

  • Vicky

    Christine, thank you for an inspiring look at being your own boss vs corporate life! It takes nerves of steel, some say, but it can be so worth it. I was in the ‘corporate’ world for a good 10+ years. Unlike many, it was a jeans wearing, fun loving music biz environment, so I really enjoyed myself for a long time. UNTIL about the time 360′ evaluations were introduced, alongside takeovers by ever larger corporations and increasingly mundane paperwork. Urgh! It got really spirit crushing to see a creative industry I loved (and the people involved) becoming increasingly centralised, standardised and stifled. Only AFTER quitting, have I been able to realise my long-held dream of moving from the city to the seaside (literally on the harbour), in surprisingly quick time. The most lucrative part of my old career has become a work-from-home freelance venture PLUS there have been surprises like travelled to truly stunning places with another side of ‘work’, celebrating music and other creative passions in a much more honest way and virtually NEVER having to ‘call in’ sick. Staying positive and inspired even when times seem tight is really important and not always easy but even without the old pay packet, I’m still richer in almost every way. Oh and as often has been said here, worring about the ‘how’ would have prevented action. Looking back, I couldn’t have imagined how everything would come to pass when I took those first steps to quit and sell up…. If you’re still thinking about your next move, good luck, wherever the road takes you.

  • Christine Kane

    Stephanie – that’s so FUNNY that you talk about giving all those clothes away. My first year of touring as a musician – I not only made twice what i made in a “real job” – but i didn’t need all those crazy clothes – so my expenses were way down. Also – i lost about 10 pounds cuz i was eating better and i was finally feeling happy and creative!

    Joe – the hardest thing for people at first is that they don’t have someone to answer to. so, self management/time management is a big deal. this is why i still SWEAR by coaching!

    thanks everyone for great additional comments!

  • Stephanie

    This is good timing for me too! Last year I quit my “stable, safe” 9-5 job on a leap of faith, and moved from OK to CA to be with my dream girl & to be self-employed (a long-time dream of mine). Of course, life isn’t always “dreamy” and the day-to-day of building a business is hard, but overall… I feel like I AM “living the dream.” While it’s a little scary to be without a steady paycheck, I finally feel like I have agency in my life, and I DEFINITELY don’t miss wearing those stupid clothes! (After moving here, I donated the whole wardrobe of dress clothing… and it’s just as well since I’ve lost 65 lbs and everything was huge on me. 😉

  • Marie

    Thank you – such great timing for me too. I’m just about ready to give up on my office job due to the lack of control, focus on negativity and weakness, and the spoken desire to see all of us hungry for more time and the office. Egads – that’s so totally unhealthy and abnormal.

  • Joe Griffith

    WOW!! Christine I think you hit a home run.

    I guess some people feel they need accountability via a j.o.b….but I believe everyone should take charge of there own destiny. I’ve been self employed for most of my adult life and luv it!! Tried working for some else once and only lasted about 6 months.

    Great post and thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa @ Grandma’s Briefs

    I applaud this post! I have never been as happy as I’ve been since being laid off — and becoming unemployed, er, able to forge my own way, my own road — a year and a half ago. I worked for a corporately owned newspaper, in a “creative” position (writer/editor) that allowed no room for creativity. All the points of your post applied and morale was horrible. Thank you for confirming I’m doing the right thing by NOT settling for another office job and doing what I love.

  • Sue Sullivan

    I love what Paul wrote in his comment. I’m transitioning into self-employment, and the morning time is the best time for me to work on my business. I have my freshest energy and then it’s done before I head off to my job! By the way, I picked the most awesome job that’s developing the skills I want for my future business. So nothing is wasted.

    Christine, thanks so much for another shot on inspiration!

  • Kathleen Krucoff

    Hi Christine!

    I always find great value in your blog posts and this one truly resonates with me. It could not have come at a better time in my life. I’m looking forward to the training call next week too. Thank you!

    Kathleen

  • Christine Kane

    Lisa, Diar A. & Rita – I love knowing that you’re out there making it work! And take it from one who has been at ALL levels in the self-employment life – and has been doing REALLY well for the past 4 years or so … you really CAN make it work in a huge way. it’s a constant commitment to your own growth and learning. (And yea, you’ll always have those days when you think: “Well, dang. Wouldn’t it just be easier to get a paycheck?” :-))

    Paul – here’s the cool thing: You get up in the morning and spend time with YOU and being creative. That’s amazing. That first space of the day needs to be all you. And it will lead to more and more openings. I believe that. Keep me posted!

  • Paul

    I’m going through an impasse right now. But I’ve discovered that’s o.k. While It’s difficult to be in this dark place, the life-affirming energy here is reminding me one more time to move towards what I need to be doing to live a fulfilled life. I know in my heart (and have always known but suppressed) that I should work for myself. The discomfort is nudging me towards the correct path. Signs are starting to appear (yet again). One of my best friends gifted me with “Getting Unstuck,” by Timothy Butler last weekend. It’s a sign. And here you are — your column today is a phenomenal sign, a reminder of exactly the reasons I don’t “fit” in that world..
    You are exactly on the mark with every comment on the work environment. I have what would be considered a phenomenal job in the corporate world. Yet the constant focus on performance, feedback, “opportunities” — the current buzzword for weaknesses, and working within constraints have killed my creativity and clouded my hope. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not depressed. Just not in a “good” place. And instead of fighting or ignoring it, I’m learning to live with that in order to gain insight.
    If you’re reading this column and you’re early in your corporate career, yet hear that calling, heed Christine’s words carefully. Trust me it doesn’t get easier as the years go by. While you can make the shift at any age, the deepening addiction to the “false security” makes it much more attractive to stifle your inherent abilities and your calling.
    And, don’t get ME started on the pantyhose. LOL Well personally I prefer to get up and before the shower and shave, do my most creative and productive work in my sweats and t-shirt while enjoying the sun coming up over the lake – a vast change from the suit and noose, not to mention the commute to my corporate cell.
    Christine, once again, I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for knowing just what to say at just the right time. I am so looking forward to the call next week.

  • Rita

    Love it, love it, love it. You accomplished the very difficult task of articulating the fact that having a job working for someone else is riskier than being your own boss. There’s too much in the media that feeds the false idea that starting your own business is for the naive or “overly free-spirited” (read: “irresponsible hippie that needs a reality-check”).

    Plus, what better way to be in tune with the abundance the universe is waiting to give you than to be the very provider/expresser of it yourself TO yourself?

  • Diar A.

    Oh, wow. I don’t know what to say. Some people have been telling me how stupid I was for quitting my first and real job. But having read your lovely-written article, I know I must stop pitying myself.

    I have been working for myself as well as a freelance writer. It takes time to reach ‘the top’, but so far I’m enjoying this ‘struggle’ 🙂

    Thank you for the beautiful writing, Christine 🙂

  • Lisa

    I couldn’t agree with you more. After having had jobs and being laid off in the past, I realized I no longer wanted to give up so much power to an employer who could at any moment change my financial situation at a drop of a hat. Although being self-employed has it’s challenges and isn’t for the faint of heart, during recent economic times, I have been grateful that my future is determined my me. It’s liberating and empowering to be able to manifest your own dreams and future.
    What an inspiring entry 🙂

Leave a Reply to Rita
Cancel Reply