Have you heard of the 40:40:40? You work 40 hours a week for 40 years of your life to get 40% of your income for your pension.
When I saw that ratio I got really angry. I mean *bleeping* ANGRY. In my career I have worked many weeks that were over 40 hours. I’ve paid into a pension for a few years too. And yet I have very little to show for it. At the time of writing this I am 37 and in theory I have around another 30 years left of working under the 40:40:40 ratio. Well, doesn’t that just sound like fun!
What on earth can you do to get out of this pay-packet trap? What if, like me, you get made redundant and can’t face going back to an office and working for someone else’s dreams? I took the plunge and went self employed and can honestly say, it’s brilliant. It’s hard work, bloody hard work, but it is also extremely rewarding and lots of fun.
I’m now in complete control of my destiny and my working hours. I’m an entrepreneur! It took me some time to get comfortable saying that. Could this work for you too? Let’s have a look at some of the benefits.
- I work from home – Or anywhere with an internet connection, and sometimes places without one. The internet allows a lot of people to work from thousands (probably millions) of public spaces and sometimes it’s great to work without it, to disconnect and avoid the distractions, but more on that in another blog post.
- I work when I want to – As a lone parent, this is extremely important to me. I work the hours I want to around my son’s requirements and other commitments. I build my business on my terms, no one tells me to be in the office by 9 or that I have to work late. I decide when I go on holiday and how long for and I decide if I want to work “overtime” or not.
- I keep the money I make – Basically, the harder I work, the more I earn. No waiting for someone to recognise my efforts and give me a bonus or a pay rise, how much I earn is directly related to my input into my business. More over, I’m working to build a residual income, something I won’t even have to be actively working on to generate income. AND that income is be willable and can be left to my son.
- Less Stress – Now, if anyone reading this knows my story, you will know that I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety. Not so long ago, the idea of working for myself would have sent my head into a spin, there was no way I could imagine not having a guaranteed pay-check every month. That view is very short sighted. I’m less stressed now because I have direct control over how I earn money and when I earn it.
- Low/No set up cost – Being an entrepreneur whose business is largely based online and working with people, the costs to set up my business are low, I mean REALLY low. I already owned a laptop, I already had a house that had an office in it. I don’t need a shop or staff or stock. Technology means I can connect with my team who are based around the world without having to fly out to them (unless I want to!), and we’re able to keep in touch with each other throughout the day and evening without worrying about time differences.
- Time saved – No commuting time means at least 40 minutes saved in my day. 40 minutes can make a huge difference in a day, that’s a head-clearing 2 mile walk, a meeting with a new business partner or a planning session with a current one. More time to focus on my business means more opportunity to grow it.
- Flexibility – I am able to help my family more with their needs and childcare as I can continue my work whilst helping them. I can meet friends in the day time and work in the evening if I want to, the flexibility and freedom to choose is mine.
All-in-all, I won’t ever look back and think “I wish I’d gone back to an office job” I may however look back and think “I wish I’d done this sooner”.