Are you ready to work for yourself? Maybe you shouldn’t

employee of the monthSitting in Charing Cross Hospital (which is actually in Hammersmith, funnily enough). Upstairs at the Cafe.

My wife had a breast cancer operation last year and is admitted to surgery to tie up some loose ends (metaphorically, that is).

If this email reaches you than it all went OK  🙂

Broadband is terrible in these places. Trying to connect with Vodafone and O2 dongles, both as useless as each other.  How do these clowns spend their billions?

So the trusted Word Doc is fired up, and I am writing again.

Driving through London rush hour on the way to Hammersmith, seeing all the salary men in dark suits and somber expressions, a picture of despair, took me to the dark ages of when I worked for someone else.

For 20 years I worked as an employee (if you’re thinking of buying the domain www.20yearsaslave.com don’t bother – I already own it).

For 18 of them 20 years I wanted to leave, but didn’t.

Why did I hang around?  Other than the good salary….

Fear of the unknown.  Not knowing what to do. Inertia. You name it, I was there.

For 10 of those 20 years I did something on the side.  I wanted to leave a legacy.  I wanted people to know me, and talk about me. I didn’t want to die like a nobody.

In case you wonder, I was in telecom sales management. I earned around $150,000 a year.

In that time I wrote 2 books, started a vending machine business, dabbled in MLM, tried Internet Marketing, bet on any sport you can imagine (Tennis and Golf made me some money),  spread bet on FX, sold wills and distributed lottery software. I made a success of none of them.

I was stuck because the older you get, the harder it is to leave your job

With children come obligations. Mortgage. Private schools. Expensive habits. A life style the family is accustomed to. Try to tell your wife there is no holiday this year.

Then a breakthrough. For the last 3 years of my employed life I arrived home, went to bed at 8 pm, woke up at midnight and worked through the night, before heading back to work.

This was the start of my online business, which is now generating over a $1 million a year.

I aged visibly during that time (but I discovered that working out like a Trojan reverses the signs of aging).

My brain felt like mush, a constant jet lagged sensation (no cure for that one. Kids – don’t try this at home. It’s BAD for you).

Eventually I cut through the crap that was holding me back.

This piece is for you dear reader if you’re not sure about whether to work for yourself. It’s my two cents worth. Do with it as you will, I am sure you will be successful whichever direction you choose.

1.       Looking back, one of the biggest regrets I have is for not leaving earlier.

I am happier now than I ever have been. I do the things that matter, the sort of things you wanna do before you pop your clogs. Like taking your kids to school, or working out when you want, reading books, that kind of thing.

2. I still work long hours, but that’s because I want to. I could have just as easily worked 2-3 hours a day, tops, and earn the same. It’s called “having employees”.  Magic.

3.  There is much fear associated with being self-employed. The pay cheques are uncertain. There is no one to tell you what to do. It’s a big, hairy, uncertain road ahead.

It’s also a different mindset altogether, a different approach to money, which finds its way to you through forces that are larger than corporates paying a check.

Capitalism is made of greed, fear and people looking to beat their demons, It’s a much greater force than any perceived certainty.  It sounds like a cliché, but when you find how to add value, you can quit your job tomorrow. I just do something faster, cheaper and better than others and there’s is enough value for 10 life times.

My 2 cents worth?  As the Nike ad says, “Just do it”.

You will never look back.  I just know it.

To your success.

Dan Ashendorf

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