Many of us were told growing up to: Get good grades then get a good job with a good company.
Doing this would ensure that you had a stable income for life and a nice pension when you retired.
But somewhere along the way, that became a fairy tale. At some point while we were following the Yellow Brick Road to our Happily Ever After, someone changed the rules of the game. So we began to move from job to job hoping to make a little more money and find that elusive financial security.
Most of us have not found that financial security and we won’t as long as we keep looking at the world as an employee. As an employee, you are paid a wage in exchange for hours of your time. You can find a way to be paid more per hour or you can work more hours. But there is an upper limit to how much money you can make as an employee.
Since the old way of finding financial security no longer works, we have to change the way we think. We need to stop thinking like employees.
If you’ve been an employee all your life, how do you start thinking like an entrepreneur?
When I decided I needed to take more control of my financial future, I started a business out of a hobby in my spare time. I had a business that was slowly gaining customers and making some money but I soon realized I hadn’t really stopped thinking like an employee. I had created a business where I made one thing to sell to one person at a time. I was still trading my hours for dollars.
I needed to find a way to change dollars for hours into dollars for knowledge. This was a concept that took me a while to understand. All my life I have been paid to do specific tasks. How did one go about getting paid for knowledge?
My breakthrough came when I discovered books. Not reading them but writing them. Writing a good book takes time. But that time only needs to be spent once. After the first person buys the book, it is still there for the next person to buy. Unlike the hobby-turned-business where I made one product to sell to one person, this business model was one where I made one product and sold it to many people.
Change up Your Thinking
This was a huge mindset change for me. I had found a way to get paid that wasn’t limited by the number of hours I could work. I was finally thinking like an entrepreneur.
Writing books may not be the business model you are interested in. The idea of being paid for knowledge is still very valid to finding financial security. If your business model involves making a single product to sell to a single customer, find a way to be the manager of the production rather than being the producer of it. If you can find someone else to create the product that you manage, market and sell, then you are being paid for your knowledge.
Because once you have figured out how to have someone else be your assembly line for production, you have removed the upper limit on how much money you can make. You are no longer limited to how much product you personally can make. If you can sell more products, then you can hire more people to make them. In a product based business, this is the difference between thinking like an entrepreneur and thinking like an employee.
If you have a coaching business, is your income limited by how many clients you can personally coach in a week? You may be thinking more like an employee of your business than you realize. Is there a way you can break your income stream free of how many hours you work? Many coaches get into creating books, courses and workshops for this reason.
Most every type of business has some way of paying you for your knowledge rather than your hours. This doesn’t mean that you need to stop creating product or coaching individuals if you enjoy doing that. But it does mean that you need to spend some of your time doing other things that allow you and your product to reach more people. Figuring out how to do this in your business is what will allow you to reach for that elusive financial security.
My book writing and publishing business is still in the early start-up phase. Even at this early stage, it is making a small, steady income. I don’t work any less. I may actually be working more. If I took my income and divided it by the number of hours I’m putting into the business, my hourly rate is pitifully low.
That is another part of the mindset change. I am not looking at what I’m doing as a job with an hourly rate. What I’m doing is investing in learning how to run my business. Once I learn how to effectively market books, my ultimate business goal is to be a publisher of other people’s books as well as my own. This again breaks the upper limit of how much money I can make from how many books I can write myself. I am investing my time in my business and in my future.
If we want financial security both now and in the future, we need to stop thinking like employees and start thinking like entrepreneurs. Yes, this is hard. It doesn’t happen overnight. And yes, it can be emotionally and financially draining. And yes, you may not get it right the first time.
When you do finally change your mindset, you’ll see that you have many more possibilities to control your own financial future than you ever thought possible before.
Have you figured out how to break your income stream free from how much you can physically produce yourself? If you have, I’d love to hear how you did it in the comments below.
Ann Tucker is a Baby Boomer, Artist, Author and Entrepreneur. She believes that book creation is about taking the ideas, knowledge and wisdom rolling around in your head, and turning them into a book that, thanks to the internet, people are willing to buy. Ann writes books about various topics ranging from how to read sheet music to
cooking gluten-free foods. Check them out here, writing under her own name at spanielhillpublishing.com. She also writes fiction under the pen name, Mia Jasper, at miajasper.com