This is a guest post from my friend Forest at Frugal Zeitgeist. He has an interesting story and his journey to self-employment from a dark place.
I would say I am a very hard worker. Not the hardest but I grind along and pick off the tasks on a daily basis. If the hours need to be put in then I do what it takes. I was hard working in my full-time jobs too, but I did go through a lazy patch — and I believe working for myself cured me of the problem.
Nine years ago, I had enough of working for The Man. I wanted to work for myself. I did what any
sensible idiotic 21 year old carrying debt would do: I handed in my notice to my well paid graphic design job and decided to go freelance with absolutely no research. I heard others had done it and that was enough for me.
A few weeks before my job finished something terrible happened. My best friend passed away. A shocking life moment for even the most enlightened and experienced of people and one that has surely shaped the man who is writing this post today. Filled with sorrow, a serious lack of drive, and a lot of questions (mostly starting with “why”), I left my job to pursue the great freelance dream.
The great freelance dream had a rough start. I often sat in front of daytime TV doing nothing and convincing myself that I was going to get off my behind after the weekend (however, this thought usually started on Monday mornings). I could be forgiven. Grief is a serious emotion, but sadly it went on and on. Months went by and I hardly did any work. I perpetuated an excuse: Boo hoo. I was sad. Boo hoo.
As the fireworks brought in the new year, I finally decided to tackle the problem.
Hardship aside, I had become lazy. In full-time employment, I probably would have made it through by doing the minimum and still collecting a paycheck. Many people live this existence. The onset of laziness comes from different elements, including hating your job, losing self-belief, and depression. This may well be you. You probably want to do something about it, but you’ve been too lazy to reach out and press the button to start life again.
In my case the cure for laziness occurred one day as I opened my bank statement and realized that 1) I had spent all my money and 2) more money would not be coming in.
Working for yourself produces the following things:
- A responsibility that cannot be ignored
- A chance to explore and produce what interests you
- The will to work hard
- Control of your own future
- Pride in your work
Success can come in self-employment for even the most hopeless people. A once sloth-like IT guy in an unfulfilling job can transform into a thriving businessman with clients all over town. A supermarket worker may suddenly hit it big on Etsy with a line of handbags and leave a dead end job to work as a self-employed person with renewed purpose.
Needless to say I bucked up my ideas, became pro-active, joined the right agencies and contacted the right people. My freelance career grew. Eventually, however, I fell back into a once-in-a-lifetime full-time position. A few years later, I quit to start working for myself again and stumbled into the world of blogging and working online- a tough life but one that affords me more freedom and happiness than I have ever felt before.
Cure your laziness and start your own business.