THE DREAM OF BEING YOUR OWN BOSS

#BeingYourOwnBoss #entrepreneurs #BusinessOwners #freelancers
The trend is growing.
Americans say they intend to become their own boss, with all the flexibility that may entail.
According to MetLife study on employee benefits trends, 57 percent of workers say they are interested in becoming a freelancer, according to an article by Charisse Jones for USA Today. It was also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The 57 percent, the article says, is up from 51 percent just last year.
Millennials were the most interested in such work, with 74 percent of those in that age group saying they were curious about becoming a freelancer. That compares to 57 percent of those in Generation X and 43 percent of Baby Boomers, the article quotes the study.
Certainly, the lack of job security working for someone else has contributed to this feeling. Younger folks can look forward to a work life of not knowing whether they will still have a job when the walk into work on a given day.
Younger folks, it seems, want more out of life than just working, working, working. But they may not realize that becoming a freelancer has many pitfalls.
First, until the U.S. can figure out how to make health insurance affordable, buying such insurance on the individual market is incredibly expensive.
Second, it’s been said that one doesn’t own a business. A business owns him or her. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you can’t really tell yourself that you are only going to work X number of hours, with certain days off etc. You have to work when work finds you, and, you have to keep hustling to make sure you have enough work to make a living.
Third, there are duties that you have to do – or pay someone else to do – to keep your enterprise afloat. There is bookkeeping, keeping records for taxes etc. – the kind of work you may not like to do, or find boring.
In short, the flexibility you sought by not working for someone else may not be there for you.
Certainly, there are advantages.
There is something to be said for starting a business from the ground up, and making it successful.
Perhaps, eventually, it can be successful enough that you can pay others to do much of the work, so you can be more flexible.
Usually, though, that takes many years to achieve, and many, many hours of being chief cook and bottle washer.
Perhaps there is a happy medium – having a regular W-2 job that pays the bills, while using some of your own time – say, a few hours a week — building a business for yourself – one that potentially could allow you to eventually ditch the W-2 job and be on your own.
There are many vehicles out there that would allow you to do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
No matter how you decide to earn a living, there is good and bad about each. Independence is a lofty goal, but it’s not for everyone, or every situation.
Here’s a rule of thumb, as you contemplate how you construct your life: if it is to be, it’s up to me. Working for someone else has some benefits, but those benefits can be taken away at any time. Working for yourself has many benefits, but you have to know whether your skill has a market and, if you believe it does, be willing to go out to find it.
Write out your dreams for your life, then put together a game plan that will get you to those dreams.
Peter

TAKING THE LONG VIEW OF FINANCES

#millennials #BabyBoomers #economy
Home prices in Seattle are soaring.
So, Kathryn Jacoby, 30, and Jeff Whitehill, 32 came to a sobering conclusion: buy now, before prices went up further, or they may never afford to own a home. They bought a 72-year-old house for $550,000. It may be more than they can afford on their combined $110,000 annual income, but they felt time was not on their side.
George Erb wrote of the couple’s plight, and that of other millennials, in the Seattle Times.
Meanwhile, Rodney Brooks writes of how baby boomers are bridging the Generation Gap. His article for The Washington Post was based on Lori Bitter’s book, “The Grandparent Economy: How Baby Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap.” The book focuses how baby boomers may be taking care of several generations of their family, be they their parents or their children who may not have recovered financially from the Great Recession of 2008.
“The real story is they (boomers) may have two or three generation of people living in their homes that they were working their butts off to support,” Brooks quotes Bitter. That puts their retirement plans in some peril.
Both Erb’s and Brooks’ articles were published in the March 6, 2017, issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Meanwhile, Ron Lieber wrote in the New York Times of financial trade-offs people make, whether they know it or not. Some take two or three jobs just so they can raise their kids in a certain neighborhood. Others experience life now, perhaps after the sudden death of a relative, lest they not get to do it again, etc.
Lieber’s article was published April 24, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Let’s break this down a bit further. If you are young, you need to be actively engaged in financial planning, including not only what you earn, but what you spend and what you save. The young couple in Erb’s article believed that housing appreciation was going to continue for the foreseeable future, so they extended themselves a bit to buy a house.
If that holds true, they’ll appreciate that decision later. However, there is much peril in the meantime. They borrowed $30,000 from Jacoby’s parents, and Whitehill has a $60,000 student loan to pay off.
Hopefully, they can pay down those debts and they will earn more income over time. The latter is far from guaranteed, making the former more difficult.
Rather than borrow money from parents to help buy a house, some young people are still living with their parents, as Brooks’ article discusses.
The point here is that all generations alive today face financial challenges. The trick is doing what you need to do to overcome them.
With technology and globalization throwing a monkey wrench into job security, people in all generations might want to think about ways to earn extra income, preferably without taking a pound of flesh from themselves, or having no time to really live.
There are many options available to accomplish this. To hear about one of the best, message me.
With job security far from assured, no matter in what field one is employed, financial risks become that much riskier. Still, taking no risk at all generally doesn’t get one very far. As long as the risks are calculated, and one plans accommodations to alleviate some of the peril, there’s no telling what the payoff can be.
Here’s wishing the millennials great financial planning skill, and baby boomers great coping skills as they deal with their issues.
Peter

BOOMERS VS. MILLENNIALS IN THE WORK FORCE

#BabyBoomers #millennials #GenerationsInTheWorkForce
“Managing multigenerational workforces is an art in itself,” says a quote from Harvard Business School.
“Young workers want to make a quick impact, the middle generation needs to believe in the mission and the older employees don’t like ambivalence. Your move,” the quote continues.
Eric Harvey and Silvana Clark have compiled a book titled “Boomers vs. Millennials: Listen, Learn and Succeed Together.” Half the book is written from the viewpoint of the millennials. The second half is written from the viewpoint of the boomers.
There is no right or wrong on either side, the authors argue. It’s just a matter of how different age groups see the world.
Millennials are tech whizzes. Boomers? Not so much. Millennials want things to happen quickly. They want to get immediately recognized for everything they do. They need constant feedback, the book says.
Boomers are a little more patient. They can be left alone without much feedback to get their jobs done.
Millennials look for a good work-life balance. Boomers can, and have, put their jobs first in many cases.
Regardless of your age group, we all want work to be rewarding. We all want to be paid fairly for what we do. We all want the time to have a full life and we all want to have enough in our elder years to feel comfortable about retirement.
Too often, jobs lack some of those provisions. Chances are, if you are paid well, you are working long hours. You are putting the rest of your life on hold to keep those paychecks flowing.
If you are not paid well, unless you have a certain degree of personal satisfaction from your work, chances are you are not happy.
It’s always good to find something good in any job, lest you do something rash and quit.
Boomers, and workers who are even older, have grown up with some degree of job security. Generally, if one worked hard and stayed out of trouble, he or she advanced at work. Millennials probably will not have that. They will go from job to job — sometimes by their own choosing, sometimes not — looking for the ideal situation.
Employers have to understand this phenomenon if they want to keep good people. The Harvey and Silvana book provides some insight to employers, as well as employees, to understand those from different generations.
If you are a millennial, and you bounce from job to job looking for the ideal, wouldn’t it be nice to have an income that is not dependent on a traditional, W-2 job? If you are a boomer, and approaching retirement age, wouldn’t it be nice to have an income that will augment what you will get when you retire? Wouldn’t each generation like to leave a legacy of helping others? In any case, you may find an answer at www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
We all have different needs. We may not always understand the folks from our children’s or our parents’ generation. But we all must work and live in the same world. It’s best if we try to empathize with each other, rather than criticize each other.
No one is right or wrong, the authors contend. So let’s accept each other for who we are, and try to understand where each is coming from. All will be more productive in that case.
Peter