A very cool thing happens when you insist on clarity and simplicity in your life; your life starts to become clear and simple.
I wish someone taught me this when I was in the 8th grade; your profession and your business are two separate things, and you must have both. And then I wish they had gone on to explain WHY I would need each.
I find the whole concept of education and schooling a bit whack. Well, I find it completely out of whack, to be honest. You are telling me that I have to spend 16 years, give or take a two, so that I can have a boss I don’t like and a job that I can’t stand? All of that, so I can get a job?
If money is what you need to earn, you do what all big earners do, you get self-employed as early in your life as possible. That in itself in not a guarantee that you will be rich, but consider the alternative; it is a 99% guarantee that you won’t get rich by doing a job. So, do that maths, and you’ll see it’s not algebra.
But why get an education at all?
You get an education because you are interested in your field, and you want to know more. I kid you not, there is nothing more to it. It IS this simple.
You go to University because you want to know more. To learn. That should be your primary mover, your main reason for getting a degree, for going through school, for spending all that money so you can learn something new within your field. And if you do that, chances are you will be mighty good at it, because guess what, you like it and you are doing it anyways. No teacher or parent would need to coax you into studying, because when you are interested in it, you will be doing it on your own. Education and schooling will become an extension of your interest, and that is how you will get really, really good at it. Like I said, it will be just like your profession.
But what about a job?
A job has nothing to do with your education, ask any electrical engineer working in a bank and he will tell you. Jobs are, for some very magical reason I am sure, considered a worthy objective of going through decades of education.
Seriously, when you think about it, you are actually aiming to work for someone else for the rest of your life? “No, but I need the money,” you say. Well, then that has already been settled that to earn more money, you need to be self-employed as early as possible.
You do a job not because you want to earn money, you do a job because you want to apply what you have learnt. Job has a direct relation with your profession, and has NO RELATION with your ability to make money. If you love circuits, then you do belong in a big ass firm with electrical contracts all around the world. You are doing what you are interested in, and that eventually leads to a happier life for you. If you love making movies, you get all Freddie Wong on it and don’t look back – or you can also start a job at Universal studios, whatever. The point remains the same; your job, just like your education, should not have anything to do with earning money.
Self-employed / Businessman / Entrepreneur
“What do you do?”
“I am an entrepreneur…”
“You are unemployed?”
– A scene from The Social Network (2010)
Your business is how you earn your livelihood, it is how you put the proverbial bread on the ever-so-proverbial table.
Your profession is what you love to do. But finding what you love to do is not as easy for some as it is for others. Let us say it another way; your profession is something you’d do for free, or an even better indicator of your profession is something you’d pay to do.
Once you have understood the distinction, then you can also have a profession that serves as your bread-winner/earner. But that is not an ideal situation to aim for. If I am a writer by profession, I would not want my income to be tied to that; I wouldn’t want to write something I don’t want to so I can get paid. My profession should not be tainted with my need for money.
To excel at business, you need to learn the art (and science) of selling. And wudyoubeleedat, that is all there is to it. Life is simple, only if you insist on it.
Seriously, read all there is to read, ask all there is to ask, and you will see – as I did read a lot and ask a lot – that the key to success in being self-employed is understanding how Selling works, and then going out and trying it for yourself. That is all the theory you’d ever need to get on the field and get your hands dirty.
The Money & Time equation
To sustain your lifestyle, to improve your quality of life, to have an education, to be able to afford education for your children, and to have access to so many other things in life, you’d need money.
To feed your creativity, to improve your interaction with everything and everyone around you, to live life fully, to have a deeper appreciation of God, to learn, to discover, to explore, you’d need time.
Money and time have been equated since like ever. Bullshit. There is a time value of money, but no one says it like that, now do they? They have you thinking that if you work hard, and for long hours, success will be yours. Yeah, tell that do the mazdoor who works the hardest to earn less than the foreman, who just sits under the shade and earns more.
This article is not on the relationship between Time & Money, but suffice it to say that I don’t consider the two equal. In the context of business and profession, the two do have some very remarkable similarities (still doesn’t make them interchangeably equal, like most people have you believe). Your business should give you both, time and money, and your profession is allowed to take up both.
Your business should be as automated as possible. Ideally, your business should not need you to survive. The business should serve one and only one purpose; to give you money.
Your profession, taken in the sense that I have just described, is where you will do the spending. You love to do it, so it rarely becomes work. And as a result of your continuity and most importantly, your high level of interest, you become good at it. Really, really good at it.
The cool thing is, you can change the world either with your profession or your business. Or both. God willing.