Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Break The Chains of Employment

Perhaps the most compelling reason for working for yourself is that it pays better. As a wage slave, a significant portion of what you "earn" is taken by your employer. That's why they employ you, after all. They make money by doing nothing.

In the beginning, independent income is risky and difficult. The allure of the paycheck is its (illusory) dependability. Every two weeks, you get that check. Most folks seem to like that routine, even though it enslaves them to boredom, tedium, and 40 hour a week imprisonment.

Its much better to go your own way. To be sure, in the beginning its tough-- you've got no income so you must continue with a wage slave job while at the same time doing your new independent vocation.

Its been a tough six months for me as I've done this. I become frustrated because my wage-slave job takes so much of my time and energy... making it tough to do everything I want to do for my website.

And yet, the thing has slowly grown. I've reached the important milestone where the site covers my basic, rock-bottom living expenses.

And while its not much, if I calculate that income on an hourly basis-- I find the site is paying me 2-3 times more per hour of work than any job I've ever had.

This is important-- because it shows that as my micro-business grows I can get a reasonable income without being a slave. When the time comes to do it "full-time"... I'll be able to leave wage-slavery for good... and devote a very reasonable 12-20 hours a week to the micro-business. Of course, as my own boss... vacations, rest days, road trips, sabbaticals, summers off, and the like are mine to choose whenever I want them.

The bottom line is this-- though it seems risky, and though it can be difficult during the first year or so... the best way to economic freedom and self-reliance is through micro-preneurship. Start your own tiny business. Do it now. Work on it a little, part time, for a year or two. Grow that seed and you will one day be able to break the shackles of wage-slavery for good.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Progress Update

The website continues to grow, allowing me to save money. That's important- because I'm eager to get on the road again. My goal is to hit the road before the end of this year. By that time, I'm hoping my website will be making enough money to cover my day to day travel and living expenses.

One thing you should know about doing your own micro-business-- there will be a lot of competition. It seems that every day, there is a new English teaching website or podcast. If I wanted to build a big successful business in a traditional way, this would be very stressful.

But being a hobopoet is a big advantage. My needs are small. I don't need to get rich. I don't need to build a huge company. I don't need (or want) employees. If my micro-business brings in 2000 a month, I'm set. At a 1000 a month, I can still live very well in Thailand or a similar country.

The hobopoet lifestyle has removed much of the pressure that entrepreneurs face. While most people who start their own business do so for the freedom, most that I have known end up as slaves to their business.

For example, I remember a guy named "John" in South Carolina. I worked at his new smoothie store when I first moved there. He had just opened. In the beginning, he was a lot of fun. He loved having his own business-- finally free from his corporate career.

But in the months that followed, he became increasingly stressed. To start his little store, he had to take out a big loan. He had rent to pay. He had to pay for a big inventory of products. He had to pay for advertising.

The result-- he was under tremendous pressure to make money. The fun attitude disappeared and he became more and more of a scrooge. However much he focused on money, he still couldn't make the business profitable. He became bitter and exhausted. After two years, the business failed, leaving him with a pile of debts. He returned to a corporate job.

When you look beyond the hope and hype, you find this is the normal situation for most entrepreneurs.

But not for hobopoet micropreneurs. While we may never grow rich (and don't want to), we can more easily enjoy the benefits of having our own vocation. Since we don't have huge expenses, we don't need to take out loans. Since we don't have big loans, we are under no pressure to make big bucks fast. Since we don't have that pressure, we can relax and enjoy the freedom and creativity of working for ourselves only.

We don't have to compromise our principles, or become slaves to our own businesses. We don't have to compete aggressively with bigger and richer companies. We can do what we want, how we want to do it. We can enjoy the process and the lifestyle.

Its unfortunate that so many people are caught in the spectacle of greed and riches. If they simplified their lives and reduced their material needs, they could easily find the freedom and ease they long for.

It doesn't matter whether you are an artist, an entrepreneur, or a discontented wage slave-- radical simplification of your life is the key to freedom, ease, and autonomy.