Why We Seek Security Versus Freedom
|January 25, 2012||Posted by Roshawn Watson under Uncategorized|
By: Roshawn Watson
The traditional path of going to school, getting good grades, and obtaining a nice secure job is all too familiar. It is hard to be at odds with a path that has lifted millions out of poverty and provided sustenance for their needs. Moreover, not everyone is best suited to become full-time entrepreneurs. The challenge is not to demonize traditional employment but rather to have an honest discussion of the perils of focusing on job security instead of financial freedom. Here are three reasons why we seek job security instead of freedom.
We Seek Job Security Instead of Freedom Because We Lack Role Models
The most important single influence in the life of a person is another person who is worthy of emulation- Paul D. Shafer
The examples set before us serve as powerful influences of our behavior. All many of us know is how to make linear income with traditional jobs because that’s all that we have seen modeled. With linear income, you work and get paid once. Many can get by with this strategy, but the challenge arises when you can’t work (such as with a job layoff or sickness) or want to expand your income. I suspect when faced with this scenario, the proteges of successful businesspeople respond differently from most people.
Incidentally, that was the case for actress and producer Tori Spelling. After getting a relative pittance from her late father’s estate, she decided she was going to create for her family the lifestyle she had become accustom to. For example, she wanted to purchase their dream home, but it was out of their budget. Her husband said they needed to find a more affordable home, but Tori’s response was certainly a product of watching her late father create wealth. She said, “I’ll start a business….I’ll start several if I have to, but I want this house.” Did you catch that? She didn’t say “let me call my contacts so that I can find a job,” borrow more money, or shrink her vision to accommodate their budget. Her response to financial lack was to create systems that siphoned wealth into their hands.
We Seek Job Security Instead of Freedom Because Of Fear
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil. – Aristotle
Fear is another reason why we seek job security rather than freedom. Fear is believing in the ability of something to harm you. That’s important because often our fears are much worst than reality. We sometimes give up on dreams because of the fear of falling flat on our faces. I remember about 13 years ago, I told an authority figure what my plans were, and he laughed. However, after a few short years, he was no longer laughing. His inability to see me excelling in that area and his fear of my failure were immaterial. What was important was that I was willing to stretch myself into unfamiliar territory and dared to achieve my dream anyway.
Likewise, I encourage you to strategically step out of your comfort zones and prove the naysayers wrong. Sure, this will require faith and courage, but faith and courage are necessary to fulfill great dreams, high goals, and strong passions anyway . Often, our worst concerns are never even realized, and if they are, we will survive and emerge stronger. By eliminating (or at least controlling) our fears, there will be more opportunities to obtain freedom because we have already dealt with one of the biggest thieves of success: fear.
A coward dies a thousand deaths. A soldier dies but once
We Seek Job Security Instead of Freedom Because We Feel Trapped
Man is the only kind of varmint (that) sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it. John Steinbeck
Another big stumbling block in pursuing freedom is being trapped (or at least our perception of being trapped). Here are some startling examples of how we become financially trapped:
- We have a culture of debt. The government even gives you tax breaks for being in mortgage debt. Currently, the average US household debt to income ratio is about 1:1, meaning we collectively borrow just about as much as we take in. Many people must have jobs to service their debts in addition to meeting their daily needs. Moreover, since student indebtedness exceeds credit card balances, these loans represent additional financial burdens plaguing even some of the most highly educated and productive professionals.
- Of course, there are also tax concerns as well. We’re taxed when we earn, save, spend, and invest. Many of the tax laws do not work in favor of traditional employees, and taxes typically represent our largest household expenditure. Being ignorant of the tax laws could mean that you are ignoring more tax-advantaged sources of income and other tax benefits that could help you escape the rat race more quickly.
- Lifestyle inflation is another culprit. The McMansion may be nice, but freedom is much better. Be mindful that conspicuous consumption and significant wealth building are often diametrically opposed, particularly in the beginning. You should fulfill your dreams, but just don’t go broke trying to do so.
The point is there are many factors that can cause us to feel trapped seeking job security. Often, our own choices are substantially, and perhaps unknowingly, impacting our plights. Merely attempting to change our circumstances, such as obtaining new jobs, while ignoring the underlying contributions our own decisions have on our bondage is futile because we’ll inevitably end up in similar predicaments.
For freedom, an expansion of our thinking is typically needful. For example, you don’t have to leave your job to become a skillful investor; many people can successful analyze investments, deals and transactions in their spare time. You can likewise be an accomplished business owner without leaving your job. Leverage your education, skill sets, and network to serve additional people. For example, consider creating and/or selling a product, becoming a speaker in your chosen area of interest, or freelancing. The biggest resource for most business owners during the start-up phase is typically personal capital anyway. Entrepreneur Daniel Lapin argues that employees need not be wage slaves. What a powerful revelation!
In summation, there is nothing wrong with using a job as a means to fulfill your life’s vocation and to provide for your family. However, focusing on job security is dangerous because in these tumultuous business and economic climates, your only security is your ability to produce. Strategically adding other sources of cash flow to your household income can decrease your risks, allow you to explore untapped gifts and passions, and accelerate your financial goals. Don’t settle for the tenuous promise of job security. Seek your freedom today.
Do You Have The Courage To Be Wealthy?
Goals Are NEVER Enough: 3 Reasons You MUST Cultivate Your Desires
4 Reasons You Should Set Unrealistically High Goals
My Big, Fat Trashy Home: The Fall of the McMansion
Tori Spelling – Unsung Financial Hero?
Copyright 2012, Roshawn Watson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.