Should Solopreneurs Get "Real" Jobs?

Photo Credit: Deepak Malhotra, Stock Xchng
I work a lot. I work on weekends. I work at night. I work on holidays. But, you know what? I don't mind because I work for myself. Ok, sure, other people pay me and expect certain things in return. But, I decide who I work for and what my schedule is. I'm a solopreneur.

This wasn't a decide I made. Like many others, it's something that came about due to circumstance. In my case, my life change was prompted by a layoff. On April Fool's Day, no less.

But since then, I have reshaped my life. I work from home (frequently with a dog on my lap) and I love the work that I do. Every project I accept is something that interests me and am excited to do. I never dread the work day ahead. I love the life I've created for myself.

However, my mom still asks me when I'm going to get a "real" job. I'm quick to tell her I have a real job, but to her that's not the case. She thinks a benefits package makes a job real. I think being happy and earning enough to pay the bills is real enough for me. 

Is the idea of a "real" job generational? Is it something that more traditional people expect? Or is it just the norm? The reality is, most folks do have "real" jobs. I had a real job all my life. And you know where I ended up? Laid off.

Folks seem to think a real job gives you security. I don't think that anymore. I create my own security. With a real job you put all you eggs in one basket. One basket that has complete control over you. One basket that can decide you're unnecessary, obsolete, or too expensive. One basket that can throw your whole world into complete chaos. Instead, I now put a few eggs over there, and some here, and a couple over yonder.

The new world order is changing. More people are working for themselves, out of their homes or coffee shops. Co-working spaces are becoming more common. Tech tools make online collaboration a cinch--whether you're in the cube down the hall or across the globe.

Is a real job for you? Maybe. Maybe not. But don't let someone else make that decision for you.

No more "awesome" in the new year


In recent years, the words cool, neat, and great have been replaced. The new king of the hill these days is awesome. I hate that. Because, truth be told, very few things in life are truly awesome. Overusing that word diminishes its meaning.
  • Your burger is awesome? No, afraid not. Want to know what's really awesome? The Grand Canyon.
  • Think your friend meeting you for drinks is awesome. Nope. Try the Sistine Chapel
  • Sorry, your new jacket isn't awesome. But, you know what is? The universe. 
As a lover of words, I don't readily embrace slang. And, yes, I know saying "awesome" when you don't have to wait in line at the market is perfectly acceptable these days. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Think about it. Awesome means something that inspires awe. Is getting a parking place near the front of the mall really awe inspiring? I just don't think it is. However, the pyramids in Egypt are. So is Stonehenge.

The next time you think something is impressive or exciting. Why not say it's impressive or exciting? Believe it or not, not everything is awesome. But the things that are? Wow, they're pretty incredible.

Can cats improve your business model?

We all have a direction that we want to go in life and in business. However, despite our goals, the world around us is changing every day. If we don't change with it, we won't succeed. It's that simple.

Consumer trends shape the business decisions we make. What was hot yesterday may not even be a blip on the radar in three months. Do you listen to what the world is saying? Do you watch trends? Are you giving your customers, your clients, or boss what they want--or what they need?

The next time you start to write a new, business proposal or embark upon a new project, ask yourself if you're creating for today or the future. Are you incorporating the latest stats, trends, and research? Are you being progressive or complacent? And, most importantly, can you have more cattitude? 
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