Let’s stop for a moment and consider the “traditional” mindset and roadmap for a safe and secure livelihood. It starts by pursuing some form of higher education with a decidedly practical element to it. This is schooling that is directly related to particular career. After that, you might land an (unpaid) apprenticeship or an internship somewhere to gain some experience. Then, you’ll get that entry-level job and start working your way up the ranks to increase your salary and work toward owning a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and your 2.5 children.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that career path. What I am saying is you shouldn’t assume taking that path is inherently safe and secure, even if the bi-weekly paycheck seems pretty stable. In order to afford that higher education, you’ll likely need to take out a student loan. During your apprenticeship or internship, you won’t be earning regular full-time pay (if anything at all). Once you get your entry-level position, there’s no guarantee you’ll work your way up. And even if you do, you could get laid off tomorrow through no fault of your own. It’s not safe, even if you might think it is.
Meanwhile, you could still be bogged down with student debt, you could struggle to get your foot in the door with the company where you want to work, and in the unfortunate situation where you lose your job (even if it’s not your fault), you have to throw yourself back out into that increasingly competitive job market.
Now, let’s switch our attention over to running your own online business and making money on the Internet. I’m talking in generalities here, so you might be an independent web developer, a freelance writer, a graphic artist, an affiliate marketer, a website owner or whatever else.
For the vast majority of online businesses, the barrier to entry is a lot lower. When you are your own boss, you don’t necessarily need a college diploma or some other piece of paper proving you can do what you want to do. (It doesn’t hurt, but it’s not required.) You don’t need to “apply” for a job, because you’re creating one for yourself. And you don’t have to worry about being laid off, because you’re probably not going to fire yourself.
“But what about the money?”
See, and here’s the thing: it’s all a matter of perspective. The traditional mindset will tell you that receiving exactly the same amount of money every two weeks from your employer is safe. It’s stable. It’s predictable. The dot com mindset, if you want to call it that, will tell you that a bi-weekly paycheck isn’t what you really want. If you work extra hard for a couple of weeks, shouldn’t you be rewarded accordingly? And as much as it might hurt, if you let your performance slide, shouldn’t you be punished accordingly too? It’s how you keep yourself in check.
Making money online and working for yourself is a very different exercise. Speaking from my own experience as a freelance writer, I don’t have to worry about having my income suddenly drop to zero. A regular employee could lose his job and stop earning entirely. I could lose a client or two, but I still have my other clients bringing in money. I can hedge my bets that way. The same can be said about affiliate marketers or anything else. You may start by concentrating, but you will have the opportunity to diversify. Both of these get you closer to success.
Oh, and that point about watching your income decrease when your performance suffers? That can be nullified (or at least minimized) by your online money-making ventures too, thanks to the glorious power of passive income. Even when you’re not actively working, your online business is working for you.
And that sure sounds a lot more stable than working for the man and trading hours for dollars, don’t you think?