Over the weekend, an email from my mentor Jon landed in my inbox and it got me thinking about traps. In particular, how many people are trapped in cages of their own making – or who believe they’re trapped but can’t see the way out, even though it’s there.
I remember being in such a trap, not so very long ago.
Jon was talking about an old fella in a beauty spot car park selling duck eggs: the entrepreneurial spirit in action. He was probably doing it to make a bob or two supplementing his meager pension.
He had decided to stop waiting for other people to make the world a better place and sort it out for himself, via the medium of duck eggs. A route of which I thoroughly approve.
As Jon says:
“Thing is, making money isn’t actually that hard. Most people are mired in a trap of their own making, the “employment trap”, where (they believe) their income is limited by the salary they’re paid. This is a self-made and self-imposed incarceration.”
This is true. I’m sure there are people out there who disagree with me, but frankly I couldn’t care. Because although you can’t always choose what happens to you, you can choose how to react to it and how to deal with it.
Whenever I hear somebody complaining that they don’t have enough money or they hate their job, I sympathise then ask, “What are you going to do to change that?” Mostly, the reply I receive is a baffled expression and a swift change of topic.
I don’t even think it’s that people are lazy; aside from inherent human laziness, I don’t believe that’s the case. I think people simply don’t realise what they’re capable of achieving if they just get on with it. We get into bad habits very easily, and one bad habit is believing that money can only be made by having a J.O.B… consequently, when we feel trapped, we believe we’re trapped for good.
Of course, we’re not.
You don’t even have to quit a job to improve your lot; you can grasp the entrepreneurial nettle like the duck-egg man and do something else on the side. Most people won’t, though.
The balance in life needs to shift so that not doing something about it becomes more painful than doing something about it. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that.
That goes for business owners, too. You can’t wait around for things to change; they probably won’t. You need to do the changing, and it doesn’t have to be as tough as you think. The hardest part is getting started.
So, you’re reading these emails because you want to change something in your business or your life. How’s it going? Have you made that change yet? Are you the duck-egg man?
Maybe it’s not quite painful enough yet. That’s cool, I’ll be here when it is painful enough.
But if you’re fed up of the feast and famine, of low-quality clients and customers, and of not having the freedom running your own business seemed to promise, then now’s the time to act. Not tomorrow. Not next week. There is only now.
I can help: buy yourself a copy of my book, Business For Superheroes and let me chivvy you along.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.