I heard something recently that really made me think, and reinforced my feelings about most people.
We spend 40 hours a week in school, to step into a 40 hour a week job, for 40 years of our life, only to retire on about 40% of the income we are used to …
Or, something like that.
Does that even make sense to you?
Those of you who are fitness instructors, and self-employed may be thinking that you escaped that treadmill. You left a “job” and struck out by yourself.
You are living life on your terms.
Sorry to burst your bubble, …
But, there is more to living life on your terms than that.
For many years, I was under the illusion that I was doing just that. Working for myself as a freelance group exercise instructor, yoga teacher, trainer for Les Mills UK and other training providers. If I worked hard and did the hours I had accepted to do, I would get paid, and the rest of the time would be mine to spend for my pleasure.
The reality is this … when I am sick, or injured, or just do not feel like working, I do not get paid.
When I take time off for a holiday, I do not get paid.
And, there are times when I do not get paid on time because the company had a problem with their banking system.
Or, better still, I have a wait for a cheque in the post (which is usually late), which I then have to take to the post office to bank in and wait for it to clear.
What provisions do you have in place for when you are older and need care?
And if you have children, what have you got in place for them when you are gone?
Is that really living life on your terms?
I know you are no doubt doing what you love, so are you truly happy that this is the case? That your cash flow is dependent on external factors?
For many years, this was me too.
And, I realised that it had to stop.
When you are younger and just starting out on the self-employed journey, it is exciting and thoughts of the future tend to be a long way away. Whilst I think most of us believe that we will die … eventually, it is not featured at the forefront of our minds.
As I write this, I am sitting on a plane to Bangkok to visit my parents. I have not seen them in over 6 years and the reason for this is because I was busy working. I had accrued debts from a previous relationship ( .. how on earth did this happen?).
I just could not afford the time out, financially and personally. In my mind, I needed to accept all the work that came my way because I was afraid that if I didn’t, it would affect any future work that would be allocated.
So, something needed to change. I wanted to be able to take time off and not worry about my cashflow, and my career. I wanted to be in charge and truly live life on my terms.
And, I am on my way there.
Now that I get it and am putting the pieces in place, I can see how many self-employed people still have an employee mindset, and will never truly live life the way they want to.
It frustrates me and I really want to help them see that there is another way of thinking, and here are some tips for you:
- If you have not read the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and/or the Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki, read them! It will change how you view your finances and your money mindset.
- Look at what you love doing and what you are doing now. Your experiences are unique to you and is a potential source of abundance. If you have been in the group exercise industry for a long time, like I have, you may be feeling that it is time to make a change and do something different.
- Are you trading your time for money? For example, teaching a BODYBALANCE class for a health club and getting paid £25 for that class is trading your time for money. It is an hourly rate, and therefore no different to if you were an employee. Understanding this is the first mindset shift out of being coin-operated.
- What could you offer alongside what you currently do that will make the shift away from that and towards getting money to work for you?
- What other sources of income do you have? If you are self-employed and you became incapacitated, your income stream could potentially stop. If you are employed, you could lose your job or be made redundant. Life is uncertain, more so today, than ever before. Be open-minded and look at additional sources of income.