For many years now, we have been conditioned to believe we need to get a good education, go to university and get a job with a big global company. We are told time and time again this is the formula for a successful life. Yet, if this was true more people than the estimated 0.08% of the world’s population would earn above $100,000 per year. That means 99.02% earn less, most a lot less than this.
The truth is, if you are relying on just one income, your salary, you are not going to have any kind of financial success unless you are extremely lucky or you are wise enough to know the importance of investing when you begin earning your first salary cheque. Which, let’s be honest, very few twenty-somethings understand or even want to do.
I know success should not be measured in terms of money, but even if we measure success in terms of spending time doing pleasant things with our families and friends when we want to, most people spend more time at their place of work than they do with their family and friends. In Korea, where I now live, most office workers are working on average 10 hours a day, they then have dinner with their colleagues before heading home around 8 or 9pm. Not much time to spend with family and friends here.
The truth is if you think working for a company, earning a regular salary is going to give you the life and lifestyle you have always dreamed of, you are going to be very very disappointed. It will not. If you truly want to have the freedom to spend time with the people you care about, doing the things you love doing, you are going to have to dramatically change your thinking and start to understand that you need to be more opened minded about how and where you earn a living.
The success of books like the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and the growth in entrepreneurship is indicative of the changing attitudes to work. In the past working for a company for a regular salary offered us security. These days that is less true. Automation and AI could take away your job tomorrow. In the past when industries declined, it took many years to happen and gave employees opportunities to retrain and move to other jobs or companies. Today that time no longer exists. The speed of change in technology today is having a very disruptive effect on job security.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Indeed, all these changes have given us so many more opportunities to create a life for ourselves. The internet has given everyone the chance to spread their ideas, showcase their talents and interests. It is a fantastic time to be alive. We no longer need to rely on one salary. The opportunities to increase our income streams are endless. You could create a YouTube channel that can earn you a few extra dollars a month, it is very easy to buy and sell on the stock market, you can create online courses, develop a website to sell your expertise to other individuals who want to learn new skills through Skype or FaceTime. There are so many opportunities to earn additional income. But if you have the office worker mindset, you are not going to be able to take advantage of all these opportunities because you still think in terms of “9 till 5”.
It is time to take a look around us and see the amazing opportunities we all have to create the lifestyle we have always dreamed of. There are of course some basics, things like hard work, a little imagination and the ability to have a vision of what our perfect life would look like. But once you have the basics, the next step is to start trying new things. Start writing a blog, create that YouTube channel you have always wanted to start, begin writing the book you promised you would write one day. Just start now.
The way to create the life you have always dreamed of is to break away from the office worker mindset. You life is worth so much more than a commute to a 9 till 5 office or factory job Monday to Friday followed by a weekend spent feeling tired and worn out stressing about the week to come. You could spend a few hours each week creating content for your blog or YouTube channel. You could learn how to make cushions, smart phone cases or hen coups. Anything that could help you increase you income streams.
And that is what it is all about. Increasing your income streams. using your talents, your experience and your know-how to help other people find the things they are looking for. None of this will happen if you have the office worker mindset though. With that mindset you will spend the best years of your life giving your valuable time to a company that will take everything it can from you, while paying you the least amount it can get away with, before leaving you on the scrap heap of former employees. You deserve better than that and the great thing about life today is you have the power and opportunities to break away from all that.
So open your mind, start thinking about you being your greatest asset and make that asset work for you in as many ways as you can. And always remember, you only have this one life, this one life to make an impact on the world and the people around you. Don’t give up the best part of you to a 9 till 5 job. You, your friends and family deserve so much better.
In the spirit of not having an office worker’s mindset, check out my latest online course on email management. If you hate email and find it a burden, then this course is just for you. With this link there is a 50% discount as well.
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Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more productive and creative.