Blog | Entrepreneurship

Financial freedom has nothing to do with “job security.”

Do you have a safe, secure job? Many people used to think so, but are now realizing that the idea of a “secure” job is more illusion than reality.

play cashflow now

Job security is a thing of the past.

10 years ago, a study done by Simply Hired reported that 33% of college graduates listed “job security” as their top priority. Tied for second were “salary,” and “healthcare or other benefits” at 23%. Last, were “culture” and “size.”

Of course, these numbers came at no surprise. Growing up, our teachers and parents repeatedly told us to go to college and then get a job, because that’s how we could ensure a secure future. And who were we to argue? They all followed that path and so did the generation before them. It seemed like the smart thing to do. But what exactly is job security? The answer is: an illusion.

A secure future means entrepreneurship, not employment.

At some point, it dawns on every employee (probably while slaving away at their desk well past dinner one evening), that they aren’t in charge. When you work for a company, you simply aren’t in the driver’s seat. You work the hours they assign. You get a raise or a promotion when they allow it to happen. You get access only to the resources they provide. You get stuck with the team they hire. You get vacation time when they approve it. And you could get fired or laid off with no notice.

Hmmm, looking at it from that point of view makes you really think twice about the so-called job security you’re “lucky” to have as an employee. Why would you let a money-hungry company determine your value, your worth and your future?

Taking a less traveled path

Sure, you could job hop around like millennials do — in 2019, CareerBuilder noted that employers expected 45% of their newly hired college graduates to stay with the company for less than two years — in order to move up the food chain of a corporation faster. But what happens when they outsource your job overseas? Or have a bad quarter and layoff half your department and stick you with twice the workload? Or they decide that you didn’t earn your bonus this year because you missed one of your 14 goals? Or the economy takes a nosedive and you can’t land another job because of the law of supply and demand? The list of possibilities goes on and on, because there are myriad variables that prevent you from controlling your own destiny when you choose the path of “job security” via employment. Control, especially when working for an employer, is simply an illusion.

Another option

So what’s your other option? Starting your own business.

Okay, that may sound a bit intimidating. Maybe in the beginning, that means starting a side gig. Sure, there are still plenty of variables to figure out and it’s not like you can control everything — but the sky’s the limit when it comes to your earning potential, and you’ll be in the driver’s seat of your own career for a change. Giving up a 9 to 5 gig could actually give you more job security than you’ve ever experienced in your life!

Unless born out of necessity, starting a business overnight doesn’t happen for most people (I must add that starting one out of necessity isn’t a bad way to go about it!). In fact, most people start building a side business while maintaining their full-time jobs, and then eventually reach the magical “tipping point,” where they can’t take on more side work unless they quit their job and remove the safety net of a steady paycheck and benefits. The good news is, it’s easier than ever to become an entrepreneur. For a little inspiration, check out these five side hustle ideas.

Knowing the difference

So why does being your own employer change the narrative? Just refer to our Cashflow quadrant, below:

To be financially free, you must move to the right side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant.

  • Employee - As an employee, you exchange your time and your effort for income. If you’re not working, you’re not getting paid. Your security is 100% at the hands of your employer, no matter what you contribute.

  • Self-Employed - While being self-employed, you work for yourself, and may eventually see a result of the time and effort that you put into your work. Flexibility and freedom are still not necessarily attainable here. Where as an employee you “have” a job, as a self-employed person, you simply “own” a job.

  • Business Owner - As a business owner, you’ll have a business that generates passive income. You will see a direct result of your time and effort, and your income doesn’t rely on active work. Here, you also have the ability to determine the fate of your future. Here, you may even have people working hard for you to generate an income!

  • Investor- finally, as an investor, the only thing working is your money. You’re on a golf course. Enjoy that.

For the sake of this blog, however, we’re really comparing being an employee to being a business owner. Now when you think about “job security,” do you really think you have any of it while working for your boss?

Create your own job security

With self-employment, you can diversify your client base in a way that provides the job security you need to sleep well each night — if you happen to lose a client, you still have others that will keep the money rolling in while you look for a replacement.

Entrepreneurship offers a virtually unlimited income potential, because you can drum up more business if you need more money. You also set your own prices, which means you can charge what your time and expertise are worth in the market.

Once your business is booming, you can cherry pick which clients you want to work with and avoid the ones who are difficult or don’t pay you on time — you’ll never again be in a position where you have to endure something that frustrates you because you control the direction of your business.

Rely solely on yourself

If we’ve learned anything in the last few years, it’s that anything can happen… thanks, Covid. That’s why relying on others as a sole source of income can be detrimental to any illusion of “security” you think you have with being a 9 to 5 employee.

I totally understand why many Americans have been suckered into the “work hard for them and retire” mentality. But it’s important to note that most retirement programs are set up with the mindset that you’ll retire poor… so when it comes to your journey to financial freedom, remember that you are the architect of your life and need to be in control. Your success depends upon figuring out what you want and how you are going to get there in a way that fits your values, spirit, interest, and passion.

The secret is to invest in yourself.

Financial Freedom is all about you!

To realize your reward of financial freedom, you need to figure out what you really want deep down in your heart and soul, set goals and then take action to make it happen. This is not easy. As E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

Today, you cannot rely on anyone but yourself for security and to live the life you want to live… so make it happen. Set specific goals, get the financial education you need and take action on what you learn.

Now, you may very well be met with some opposition when you start down the path toward entrepreneurship. Your friends or family might question whether or not you are making the right decision and worry that you’re giving up the intangible “job security” everyone is always worried about. Politely ask them, “What is ‘job security’ anyways?” and listen carefully to their response — no doubt, they will list off things that contribute to a false sense of security, like a salary, benefits, and bonuses. But you know the truth, and that’s what will set you apart and help you achieve the financial independence we all crave.

Women, It’s Rising Time! There is much more to life than the traditional, American dream. Think big, take control of your life and start your journey to financial freedom today.

Original publish date: May 15, 2009

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