I feel like I have been working all of my life. Now that I think about it, 59% of my living years have been spent working, which is more than half my life!! No wonder I feel the way that I do!! For as long as I can remember, I held on to the belief that working, going to school, and saving would lead to retirement with a nice nest egg. Words can’t express how disappointed I was a few years ago when I realized that I was nowhere near retirement. I’d made progress in some areas related to work and finances, but something still wasn’t quite right. I began to look at those around me in comparison to those I’d read about. I was sincerely troubled by media reports of salary gaps based on gender, net worth data differences grouped by ethnicity, and where I stood in the midst of those reports. During this period of listening to media on economic conditions and reading various articles online, I stumbled across a television program in progress. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that one program had a message that changed my life.TD Jakes, said something that I’d never heard of before as he was teaching his congregation about finances. He mentioned “multiple streams of income” and I knew, right then, that my 9-5 had to go!
In that moment, working for someone else, meaning an employer, was no longer my ultimate goal. My goals needed to include having multiple streams of income in addition to phasing myself out of Corporate America. The solution for me was simple and was one that I couldn’t negotiate. I had to begin another stream of income by starting my own business. Life is uncertain and risk is a part of life, but this is something that I had to try. As I conducted research on becoming an entrepreneur, I started my plan to end my 9-5. Within the plan, I measured some of the benefits of owning a business, which include:
– Being your own boss; deciding what you want for your business and how to make it happen.
– Gaining experience in a variety of disciplines and learning about every aspect of a business.
– An opportunity to make more money and build more retirement value in the process.
– Having control over how your time is spent.
Because I hadn’t always thought of myself as a business owner, I began to look at those who were successful. I contacted local entrepreneurs to schedule meetings so that I could learn from them and I also read about famous business owners. I figured if they could do it, why couldn’t I?? The richest man in the United States of America, Bill Gates, dropped out of Harvard. I am not saying that Mr. Gates did anything wrong and I am not saying that education isn’t important. I am merely suggesting that you and I have more in common with Bill Gates than we probably realize. According to Forbes, his net worth in March of this year was $56 billion and this is a result of him becoming a business owner. I don’t know about you, but I’m leaning more towards Bill Gates’ blueprint instead of my employer’s succession plan for me and being an entrepreneur just might pay off!
More from this contributor:
How to Fireproof Your Career
Career Navigation: Your Very Own GPS
Are You Engaged (At Work)?