My grandfather was born in 1931, shortly after the beginning of The Great Depression. Life was hard, jobs were quickly disappearing and putting food on the family dinner table was a daily struggle.
After the long economic recovery from the depression, those who could find employment would hold on to a good job for all of their working years. Most companies offered pensions, which helped ensure a reasonable income (when supplemented by Social Security) through retirement. It was not uncommon for an person to put 40 years into the same employer before entering retirement.
Things have really changed! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person will have 10 jobs before the age 40 (that is a new job every 2.2 years). And pensions… Forget about that. I am not saying there are not jobs out there with pensions but they are a needle in a haystack by comparison to my grandfather’s era.
Some of the job change is to pursue better opportunities, which is a good thing. Some are due to firing/layoffs and some changes are a result of companies closing their doors permanently.
Regardless of the relationship that you have with your employer, if a lay off or business closure is coming down the line you will be completely blindsided. I have heard of hundreds of examples of people showing up to work to find the doors locked and the company closed for good.
So, what would you do if you find yourself in that situation?
Most people say I will just go find another job, which is the logical plan. Some will find employment quicker than others, and some will have to take a job with less pay to expedite getting a check rolling in again. It is not unrealistic to expect a 6 – 18 month ramp up period to get to the same income level that you were prior to losing your job (if you are lucky). Not to mention the stress involved, and the bills that continue pouring in.
For most people in the current economic climate, the question is not if you will ever find yourself unemployed but when.
There is a perceived security in being employed by someone else. When someone besides yourself is in charge of making all of the big decisions you relinquish all control as it relates to your financial future. The preparedness community strives to control or plan for all of life’s potential catastrophes, but employment security is a challenge that is not easily resolved.
That is exactly why my intention is to help educate and mentor as many people as I can to encourage them to start their own business. If things go well, hopefully you can fully supplement or exceed your current income. Worst case scenario, at least you can count on a fraction of your income instead of starting at zero.
Full disclosure, I am an employee and I am also at the mercy of my employer to send me a weekly payroll check. People should have money in savings to help them through and job loss or other personal emergency, but most do not.
So, my wife and I are starting a business to help supplement our income. The goal is to grow the business to exceed my income, and eventually quit my job entirely. We are working on building our CASH savings and actively pay down our debt as quickly as possible to lower our Expense Baseline. If all goes as planned we will be able to run our business from the homestead in Colorado that we are working towards.
I don’t know about you, but if a bullet is coming for me; I want to give myself as much time as I can to dodge it. Owning a business gives you the opportunity to identify slumping sales, a dropping market, etc. and maneuver accordingly. That false sense of security that employment offers does not.
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Thank you for your time and remember, a full set of skills beats a full set of tools any day.