Taking the Plunge: Choice and Freedom
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I shared a few weeks back about having been offered a job out of the blue. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, go ahead and do so and we’ll wait for you…I promise. 😉
Anyway, the job offer sort of took me by surprise as I wasn’t looking for it nor really wanting it to be quite honest.
The job would’ve basically been doing what I’m doing now with my sites, but for a business. It wasn’t spectacular money, though it was in the form of W-2 income, which can be nice to have as someone running their own business. I’m sure there were other benefits that would’ve come with it such as a retirement plan, paid time off and such. At first blush I was quick to write it off, but after letting it settle for a bit I wasn’t so sure and was faced with a dilemma.
Yes, ultimately, it would’ve meant more money. I like more money and who doesn’t? 🙂 It would’ve also meant I would have had to farm out even more work on my sites and, more importantly, impact us from a business angle. From an outsiders perspective I understand that it might seem foolish to turn down such an offer, especially since it would’ve allowed me to continue to rock the PJ wardrobe of working from home but it would have also meant losing two vitally important things I have come to love since taking the plunge – choice and freedom.
Perspective is Key
As I was going through my pro/con list of considering the offer I kept coming back to the same thing…that two years ago I would’ve jumped at this offer without a second thought. I was miserable as a stock broker and knew in my bones there was something else better out there for me. It really didn’t come down to money (ok…maybe a little of it did), but it largely came down to that I didn’t have the freedom and choice of what I wanted to do. I didn’t have the freedom to decide to work on one thing over another. More importantly, my family was being held back by this lack of freedom and that was something I was no longer willing to accept.
Now that I look back at the past nearly two years of running our business, I have gained perspective. We have dealt with challenges and months where we didn’t know what was coming the next month. We are now in a spot where we are seeing record months and steady growth.
It’s exciting, to say the least.
Even though I still deal with fearing being successful and what comes with that I see that we now have the freedom to choose what we want. We can choose what we want to do. If we want to start offering a new service or go on vacation we can do it. We don’t have to ask anyone if it’s ok to do so; we just do it. The money aside, having that freedom is intoxicating.
Be Prepared for Anything
This job offer showed me something I continue to see as we run our business – to be prepared for anything. Of course, there is a way to prepare yourself for most things financially and you can find a number of ways to do so on this site.
From a small business perspective, it’s the same exact thing. You never know when things are going to come up and you need to be prepared for them so you can make a rational decision. That’s not always easy, but it’s incredibly important to do. The last thing you want is to make an emotional decision on the fly (like I was tempted to do in saying yes to the job offer) and have it impact the trajectory of where you want to go in life. None of us are perfect and we all are guilty of doing this at times, but being prepared calls for being able to bring rationality into a situation.
It’s funny how time can change us. A year ago I would’ve considered this a waste of time. Maybe it was, but I choose to look at it differently. We have made the choice to take the plunge and with that come times where you doubt yourself.
You doubt being able to bring in more business.You doubt being able to save money for things you want/need in the future and you can doubt whether or not you’re making the best choices for your family. Sometimes you need to listen to those doubts, but I’ve learned that more often than not, you need to allow them to push you to grow.
I don’t know that I’d never take another traditional job. That’s too hard to tell and hopefully I have many years ahead of me as a self-employed businessman. What I do know though is that I’ve been ruined for the corporate world. The money may be great, but if it does not allow freedom and the choice to do what I want to do, then it’s simply not for me.
Are you tempted when situations arise out of the blue? What is your ideal job? How do you make big decisions like this?
Photo courtesy of: Josef Grunig
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.