A friend of mine is having trouble at his job. A major client that accounts for approximately half of his companyâ€™s cash flow is insolvent. The investors in the business may lose money and he may lose his job.
His situation had me reflect on this idea: How do you take control of your professional path and protect your earning potential?
I used to believe that having a Masters Degree, CPA, and Big 4 experience are mitigating factors to the risk of being unemployed. I no longer believe that. In fact, I would say that each of those things alone would leave me very vulnerable in the following ways:
- Iâ€™m not differentiated enough as there are many others that have the exact same credentials
- I was reliant on a company outside my control to support me and keep me employed
- I am reliant on the government continued enforcement of laws and regulations which require a CPA and certain educational requirements that keep competition out
A degree, CPA, and some experience is your ticket into the game, then you need to be a brilliant player
While I didnâ€™t realize it at the time, my job posed a series of big problems that many of you might face in the coming years:
- Having an online brand was not allowed
- It would take 15-20 years (most likely much longer) before I would accumulate enough money to never work again
- I had to be working in order to earn money
I now believe that getting a job is not necessarily the â€œsafe betâ€. Many people believe in spending 20% of your time on things you love and 80% of your time on your main income producing activity. Just think about a normal workweek, 5 days of work for 2 weeks off.
I say flip it. 20% of your time earning money and the remainder working on things you loves that:
- Make you indispensible to your employer or the marketplace
- Have high growth and high earning potential
Donâ€™t believe it can be done? It can.
In 2014, I will work for a company through Ten Key Heroes
and make more money in a three month period than I did after 9 months of work in 2013. The rest of my year is free to work on whatever I want!
If I spend 80% of my time chasing the BIG THINGS in life, I am 4 times more likely to achieve them and become:
- Financially independent
- Working on my ideal job
You donâ€™t need to be an entrepreneur to be indispensible
. Think about what you bring to the table that nobody else can. Is it your enthusiasm? Drive? Humor? Technical Skills? Whatever it is, hit it hard.
To end here is a quote from the book my friend mentioned on the importance of making your contribution indispensible:
"Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."
â€“ Seth Godin, author of Linchpin