Many people who are browsing this website already know the advantages and disadvantages of being self employed.
More Money vs More Responsibility
But how many people really evaluate how they arrived at their current position?
Most people get into construction by accident. They fall ass backward into a job because they need money at the moment. Only realizing after a while that they can make good money if they put in some effort. Many of these people will learn a single job and go off to build a career around that one thing.
Think about that for a second. Someone spends 2-3 years learning a trade and then parlays that knowledge into a lifetime career.
Imagine what they could have done if they continued their education!!
So why don’t people continue with their education?
They are too busy with family, too busy with work or too busy tinkering on their fishing boat. Every excuse boils down to the fact that they have enough money to live on currently and they don’t want to take even 20 minutes out of their day for the headaches of learning something new.
Also they don’t want to loose the guaranteed income of now for possible income of the future.
However this strategy is doomed to fail. I have witnessed time and time again small contractors with great career momentum who find a few good customers and then just put the business on autopilot. They are not learning, not seeking new opportunities and instead are relying on what they know at the moment. But I’ve been around to see this scenario play out many times. Business conditions change and all of a sudden the formula that used to work is no longer working. But it’s only when they hit the ground stumbling that they realize how un-competitive they have become! So they start slashing prices and trying to play catch up.
How important is continuing education?
Most contractors take a small amount of knowledge and squeeze a lifetime of income from that. Imagine if they knew double or triple what they know? They could become very wealthy.
Think about myself…the website writer for example. I can, and do, make lots of money from my regular job as a contractor. But I’m taking time off during my day to study something new which is computer programming and web design. Because as my career has evolved my goal of making hundreds of thousands a year has turned into a goal of making millions a year. So this year my income suffers. But 5 years down the road I have no doubt that my sacrifice now will pay off ten fold.
Many of the people who browse this website are already subcontractors. I know because their emails resemble something like this; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. But they are ready to expand to that next level and start managing or performing other trades.
The more you know the more options you will have and the more people will respect you and therefore be willing to pay you.
Whats the best way to continue your education?
Consistency. Learning something new every single day.
Never ever think you can sit back and relax or not learn something new. If you are on this site you are probably working for another company or you have started contracting as a handyman or illegally and now you need to become legitimate. So there is a very real roadblock that is forcing you to take action.
But what will be your driving force when you get into your comfort zone 12 months down the road? Even worse will you have the opportunity to pause and learn something new when you are working every minute of everyday to make payments on all the new stuff you are buying?
Creating a system to insure continued progress
- You need to create a list of education goals. Its not something you have to look at every day but its something you need to adjust at least once a month.
- You need to make progress every single day. Even if its only 10 minutes a day. But preferably 2 hours would be ideal.
- Create goals such as reading a book a certain or leaning a new subject.
- Mast your current job skills but also branch out into new things. You may be a contractor but business, finance, marketing economics and other topics all affect you!
- Find motivation. Who do you admire? Are you emulating their strategies? What would you do with the money? Who is counting on you? Would your success prove someone wrong?