Start a business and start cooperating instead of working for a business
I come from a working-class family and grew up in a very small village of a country I sometimes perceive a bit conservative. My wife is from Russia and comes from a small city – as they call it – with a population of 1.2 million people. Her dad is a businessman. Coming from a different culture and a very different family makes our brains wired quite differently when it comes to the imagination of the ideal work-life. It never came into my mind to start a business, but things changed.
About two years ago my wife mentioned for the first time she considers working only part-time after finishing her studies. This was quite a surprise to me and at first, my world just caved in. It was her second degree after finishing studies in Russia. I never even imagined that it might be possible to only work part-time. I dreamed of two full-time income to be finally able to hold money less tight. Where did I want to go with that? Probably, just do the usual: house, debt, family, corporate career, money, and a bit of a fancy lifestyle.
She debated that she might be able to make actually more money when she starts a business and works on her own project. She mentioned the possibility to follow your own dreams and grow financially at the same time. I could not see this back then. Such possibilities simply did not exist in my life.
It’s funny how everything can change only by deliberately taking time to think outside the box
Since then a lot has changed. Quitting my full-time job, going to travel to Southeast Asia, spending some time living in Southeast Asia, listening to many stories from people around the world, having no income for the first time in years, reading tons of books enabled me to see the world (once again) in a different light.
While friends were at home working on their corporate career, making good money (and as a matter of fact spending a lot of the hard-earned money on material things I personally question the need of), I was eating rice and soup for less than one euro – the cheapest food I could find in the touristy Bali. With all the freedom, flexibility, and actual time for myself though, I felt like the wealthiest man alive.
“A nice car and a nice house does not necessarily mean you’re rich or you know how to make money,”Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
At some point, I came across the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. What I learned from that book was not new to me but strengthened my opinion I had built the months before.
The book cover says: “Robert Kiyosaki has challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money. He is an entrepreneur, educator, and investor who believes that each of us has the power to make changes in our lives, take control of our financial future, and live the rich life we deserve. With perspectives on money and investing that often contradict conventional wisdom, Robert has earned an international reputation for straight talk, irreverence, and courage and has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for financial education.”
One dad recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to work for.” The other recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to buy.”Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
With all the new insights I gained from the world outside my box I understood that I want to run my own business as well. It was less about financial opportunities as it was pointed out so many times in the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It was more about getting the opportunity to do what I really want to do, work directly with clients and serve them instead of serving my supervisor, bring direct value to someone, and find tasks that are meaningful and bring fulfillment into my life.
Finance was (and still is) not the motivation. It’s the other way round, the possible loss of a career and finance causes a fear I must conquer. I adapted myself to a quite minimalistic lifestyle. I understood I do not need many material things to feel happy. But I still must be able to survive and should reduce to risk to start at zero at some point.
I am between worlds: at some point, I will start a business and be able to fully understand both worlds
I am not self-employed yet, I am not in a full-time job and I am not intending to look for the next full-time job. For sure there are many advantages in focusing on only one single job. However, I want more diversity. If you run your own business you must be able to take care of everything yourself (at first). I am sure that this will be terrible at some point but it is also exciting. You can learn everything you need. And you can still try to outsource other things at some point in time.
Big corporations are absolutely necessary. There are many complex problems that require the collaboration of many smart people to reach outstanding results. The good news though, it definitely also needs Freethinker, entrepreneurs, startups, small and medium businesses. I am grateful that so many of us are able to choose which path to go. Experiencing different ways of working and ways of living is really pushing me forward. As mentioned in the title, not always it is necessary to directly work for a business, it is also possible to start a business and cooperate with others.
“Remember what I said before: A job is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Most people have only one problem in mind, and it’s short term. It’s the bills at the end of the month, the Tar Baby. Money now runs their lives. Or should I say the fear and ignorance about money. So they do as their parents did, get up every day and go work for money. Not having the time to say, `Is there another way?’ Their emotions now control their thinking, not their heads.”Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki