Reinventing Yourself

It is easy to fall into a pattern. You get up, take a bath, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. Maybe things vary slightly from day to day but by and large one day looks a lot like any other.

There is nothing wrong with living that way but sometimes, you get to an age where you start to think about how many more of those days there are going to be. You consider the things that you have meant to do in your life and haven’t done yet.

Suddenly, the daily routine isn’t good enough any more. The job may start to lose some of its luster. You have to figure out how you can afford to make this change, especially if you’ve grown accustomed to a nice comfortable salary.

Chances are, the thing it is that you want to do with the rest of your life may not pay quite as much as your current job. For one thing, you probably would have to start as a junior level worker in your new profession. Or you might have to develop a whole new skill set, like how to operate as a freelancer or a small (read single person) business.

If you’re like I am, you didn’t pay too much attention to the business end of the deal. You concentrated on producing the product or service that your employer paid you to produce.

What you are contemplating is cutting out the middle man. Instead of making product for someone else to sell, you are making product to sell directly to the customer. If you want to stop and watch a TV show, that’s your prerogative. But that is not going to make you any money.

It’s a whole different mind set. Some people thrive in that environment. Others are like little lost babes, looking for someone to set goals for them and tell them what to do.

How do you find out if you are cut out to be a sole proprietor or a freelancer? Well, it’s probably a good idea to try it out first. Your employer may have a clause in your terms of employment that restricts you from engaging in certain types of business activities without their prior approval. Be sure that you honor any such agreement.

If your employer will allow it, give the new business a try. Take a week or two of vacation and see if you even like doing the think that you are proposing. See if you are good at it. See if there is a market for it. See if you make money.

If so, maybe take a leave of absence to see if the business is going to work out. Or, if your an old guy like me, go ahead and pull the trigger and retire. If you’ve got sufficient savings and a pension, you can afford to struggle a little bit before you find your ideal job. But most important, be sure to have fun.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.