One of the most important things I can tell young men about their future and professional success is to understand the difference between a career and a job early on. You need to start building your career as soon as you can and waste as little time as possible on a “job!” A career is something you will do the rest of your life. It can be a physical job, it can be online, it can be anywhere. You may create product, like a writer, designer, or inventor. You might be in the service industry. It could be working as an entertainer. Regardless it’s imperative that you recognize and begin moving towards your career choice as soon as possible.
What a job is really, is a time suck. You trade time, your most important, valuable, and irreplaceable commodity, for a quantity of money that an employer thinks you deserve. That quantity will usually be the minimum amount that employer thinks they can get away with while still insuring you show back up on Monday. Time is your commodity and unfortunately you only have so much of it and you can only work so many hours a day each week. It’s even worse if you’re a salaried employee because no matter how much more time you sacrifice the amount of money you can earn is fixed.
The other issue with jobs is your success and wealth will entirely depend on someone else’s moods, whims, and good graces. Someone else will determine how far you go and increasingly that determination will have little to do with your hard work and competency but on politics, corporate bean counters, and ass-kissing. You could be the hardest working Joe in your company and still get canned if the accountants find a cheaper alternative.
Entrepreneurship is such a buzz word these days because so many people are waking up the knowledge that a job will never make them wealthy, or enable them to pay off debt or achieve financial freedom. That’s not what a job is for, a job is a way for employers to increase their own profits through increased production and service by increasing their physical capability to produce whatever it is they make or do. This increased production comes at a cost, they have to pay wages. However if those wages can be offset by price mark-ups then they make money.
If financial freedom is your real goal then you better understand right now and forever that working for other people will never deliver that. It may be a step along the way, a valuable and often necessary step to getting your foot in the door and earning practical knowledge in your chosen field, but in the end you must set out on your own. The real question is: how many years of your life are you willing to sacrifice towards making other people wealthy, before you decide to start working towards your own dreams and goals?
Right now and thanks to the internet it is easier than ever to strike out on your own and begin your own business enterprise. There are hundreds and thousands of ways to make money online doing what you enjoy. The real entrepreneurs, will forge ahead intelligently and deliver sustainable in demand products. They will become producers instead of consumers. Becoming a producer is the true key to financial independence. The only remaining question then is what will you produce?