If you want to know how to earn money by working for yourself then the truth is, the articles written about it on the web are enough to cover a whole mid-sized library. I’m here to tackle a different aspect of earning money: the mindsets that keep you from pursuing the bigger fish.
Excuses are the bane of action, but oftentimes, a lot of people use it as a crutch to keep from pursuing something they’ve always wanted that scares them. Letting excuses simmer in your head for an unrestricted amount of time will only eat away your drive to start the business you’ve always wanted or to make the switch from being an employee to self-employed.
In worst case scenarios, your excuses wouldn’t just result in loss of a better income avenue—you might never achieve the lifestyle of your dreams.
The best way to kill excuses is to find solutions for them. And this is what this article is for. Below are some of the most common excuses I’ve heard and tackled possible solutions that could stop these excuses from keeping you from chasing the live you’ve always wanted to live.
1. “I might fail”
Research has revealed that procrastinating things are largely rooted in the fear of failure. We all like to see ourselves in a good light and the most common strategy for people to preserve this is to procrastinate.
The truth is, most decisions, especially when it comes to your career or potential business ventures come with risks. That’s why you should expect failure at some point in time if ever you want to improve.
No worries, these risks are typically not the matter of life and death kind, but enough to get people intimidated to the point of inaction. WaitButWhy has broken down every probable rationale behind the fear of risks and why we should not be as scared as much as we’re prone to.
Getting past the fear of failure requires that you acknowledge it, and move beyond it by recognizing that it’s just inherently part of life. Ultimately, what makes a decision worthwhile are the benefits you get from it once you’ve managed to push through despite everything.
If you want to know firsthand whether you’ll succeed working for yourself or not, planning will definitely help you. But only to an extent. You still have to test out your plan and take it from there.
For those who still don’t know what to do, research and find out the first thing you have to do. Although all the research in the world won’t guarantee you from making any mistakes, at least it gets you started. Moreover, it’ll also help in ensuring you make fewer errors down the road. Familiarize yourself with the field, read about other people’s mistakes, and connect with others who have been doing it for a long time.
You can then use whatever you learned to supplement your knowledge so you can be ready to face anything.
2. “I don’t feel motivated enough right now to act on it”
A lot of people are slaves to their own motivations and desires. If they don’t feel like it, many won’t just do it. The problem with this is that it puts you in a powerless position where you’re unable to muster and command your willpower at your own behest when you should be the boss of your own being.
Can you imagine a car driving its owner? No? Me too.
That’s why it’s disconcerting how a lot of people allow themselves to be led by the whims and fancy of our feelings. This is not to say that we should disregard our feelings, but it should always be integrated with our other decision-making capabilities.
In a paper published in 2015, Rebetez and her colleagues has revealed that people who rely on motivation alone do not act according to their values and often delay tasks even though they know it’s important. This disconnect in what one believes and how a person acts is one of the primary reasons why a lot of people are always stuck in a limbo of forever dreaming, but never achieving.A lot of people are always stuck in a limbo of forever dreaming, but never achieving. Click To Tweet
To truly make a definite change in your financial standing, you have to stop depending on your mood or whether you feel motivated or not to put in that extra work or to go beyond what you think you can.
Taking on this approach puts you in control and gives you more power to act on your values and the things that truly matter to you in the long run. Successful people don’t necessarily have endless reserves of passion, motivation, or willpower—they just decide what needs to be done and act on it irrespective of their moods.
3. ” I don’t know where to start”
The only solution if you don’t know where to start is to ask, or to simply see what’s already out there and just get started. It might seem simplistic, after all, if it were that easy then why don’t more people do it?
What many people don’t know is that starting actually gets you going. So for instance, if you’ve been on the fence for some time now about making the switch to being self-employed, then have a go at it after doing your research. Sometimes, it’s not that you don’t know where or how to get started, but you just have no idea what to prioritize first.
Another tactic that might help is making your career goals more concrete. Don’t just think that you’re going to change careers, take the time to flesh out the details in your mind and determine the logistics. What, when, and how do you plan on starting your freelance or entrepreneurial career?
A paper published in Psychological Science a few years back touted the positive effects of making plans when it comes to doing something. It definitely makes sense because the more you think about the process, then the more it’s easier to follow through on your plans since you already got the details sorted out.
Try it out for yourself and see how you fare.
4. “I want to do things in just one specific way”
Some people like to do things in exactly one way—their way. Although there’s nothing wrong with this per se, a little flexibility might be more helpful when you’re just starting out.
The problem with this mindset is that it leaves no room for what might actually happen and closes you off to other ways that can allow you to make better decisions. In order to arrive at a choice that accurately reflects your wants and needs in life, you need to be open-minded in how you do things because for the most part, doing is about learning as well.
Why settle for a mindless routine when you can expand your creativity to do better?
You have the power to create the things you want to achieve every step of the way, but having a mindset of a stubborn, closed-minded person might only serve to handicap you in the process.
The key is to assess your current knowledge and skills to allow you to arrive at a satisfactory decision.
Instead of resisting change, embrace it, and create opportunities that would suit your purpose and the goals you’ve set for yourself.Instead of resisting change, embrace it, and create opportunities that would suit your purpose. Click To Tweet
5. “My friends and family are not supportive”
Support from family and friends are important things in any aspect of life, but they’re not the only things that matter. What matters more is your sanity and career satisfaction in the long run. If you can’t get them to support you in your career choices, it would be best to not push it at the moment. You can choose not to involve them in your decision and just let time pass and they might just change their minds.
Even if they don’t necessary value your career decisions, it doesn’t mean that your aspirations are worthless. It’s just that they value different things from you.
It’s normal for a lot of people to seek support and validation in their endeavors. Since humans are inherently interdependent, many people highly regard their social circle’s approval. In psychology, how other people’s approval validates or invalidates our self-concept is called affirming behavior. In order for you to keep from putting too much stock on others’ opinion, you have to have a healthy and strong level of self-perception.
The important thing to remember is that it’s virtually impossible to get every significant person in your life to support your life decisions unconditionally. People are unique beings with different worldviews and opinions of their own.
If you think a particular career path is really worth pursuing, what you can do is redirect your need for support or just take comfort knowing that you always have the option to continue seeking your career aspirations, regardless what people in your life might think.
6. “I don’t have enough experience”
They say you need the experience to get a job but you also need a job to get experience. So where do you actually start? Although getting experience without getting experience is a bit tricky, it’s definitely doable. You just have to be a little creative about it. Otherwise, if you always wait to have enough experience on something before doing, you’ll just end up with an empty life replete with any kind of involvement.
If you’re new to the field or you haven’t worked that long, don’t fret because experience can be accumulated no matter where you’re working. It just means that you might have to do some compromise at first. For instance, you can do pro bono work at first in order to learn the rope of things. And then use those for your starter portfolio.
Keep in mind that some skills are transferable as well. You can always demonstrate your capabilities when the time comes and draw on your other professional experience. The key takeaway here is that you may actually have more applicable experience than you think.
You could then bank on this and then emphasize your potential value to your future potential clients.
7. “It might lower my living standards”
Most gains always require some kind of pain, to paraphrase the oft-repeated quote.
And it definitely couldn’t be truer when it comes to shifting careers. If you want to have a rewarding, fulfilling career that’s able to sustain the kind of lifestyle you want, you need to be ready to make a few sacrifices in the beginning and look at the long-term vision.Most gains always require some kind of pain. Click To Tweet
However, a lower income doesn’t always translate to living in a substandard way. In fact, it has been shown that even though some self-employed people may have a much lower income, it doesn’t mean that many live at a lower standard compared to people who are regularly employed.
What’s surprising is that between low-income self-employed individuals and low-income individuals who are traditionally employed, the first group actually scored lower on the deprivation index. This index is a measure of the lack of resources in living a standard condition that most get to enjoy.
This just means that even if you happen to veer on the low-income side once you start out, you’ll still be much better off than being regularly employed with low income. Hey, at least you get to spend your time your way, right?
8. “I can’t possibly compete with others who started before me”
Competition is everywhere—in any field and in most settings. That’s why you can’t let the fear of competition deter you from striking it out on your own.
To start with, you shouldn’t be focusing on your competition, you should be focusing on yourself. Focusing on competition has been shown to lead to counterproductive behavior. It leads to heightened sensitivity to perceived injustice and making unfavorable social comparisons (such as this excuse).
The reality is that there will always be someone better than you, no matter how good you are. That’s why when you let your competition get to you even before you start, then you’ll only be wreaking havoc to your own self-esteem.
Although there’s nothing wrong with being competitive if it pushes you to do your best, there’s a fine line between wanting to excel and letting others set your own standard. You should be the one setting that for yourself—not your partner, best friend, or your competition.
We all have our own career path to tread and constantly sussing out the competition takes away valuable time and energy you could’ve allotted somewhere else where it can be better used.
9. “What if I get clients that don’t pay?”
You might’ve heard a few horror stories where clients would request work and then disappear without paying. It’s true, there are indeed clients like that and I won’t promise you that you won’t meet one. But the good news is, there are steps you can take to keep from being cheated of your work.
You can establish milestone payments or request upfront pay so you don’t have to go too far should the project remain unpaid.
One of the best things about being self-employed is that you have the power to choose who to work with. You have the option to vet or research a client first before going ahead with a project.One of the best things about being self-employed is that you have the power to choose who to work… Click To Tweet
In any chance, should you encounter a double-dealing client, that’s on them—not you. Yes, you might’ve lost a few hours or days of your time, but in the bigger scheme of things they really are the loser. No business could ever be sustainable in the long run from ripping off others.
If others have made a successful leap into the realm of entrepreneurship and the self-employed, then so can you. But don’t expect it to be easy.
Get to know the things that you value and are important to you in the future so you can finally arrive at the decision that will lead you to where you want to be. Knowing the workaround to the excuses you hear or say to yourself is crucial to making the right professional decisions.
This ensures that you’re not passing up a goal or dream because of a few concerns that could’ve been easily solved in reality.
Although there will always be obstacles in any path worth treading, rooting out the source of your fears and resolving them can help you to finally ditch climbing the corporate ladder.
All the best to you and your efforts to improve the quality of your life!
What excuses have you been telling yourself lately? How has this affected how you earn money?
Also published on Medium.