Much ado about the rat race



How many times have you seen a or heard a message that makes it clear that you are not supposed to be happy if you’re an employee? You must escape they say. You are in a rat race! Start your own business, so you can be free!

The worrisome thing is that a lot of young people have bought into this. Many refuse to seek a job, wasting precious time on the internet. Some that do, simply pass time at the job, waiting to escape and start their own business. Adding no real value.

See, the so-called rat race has nothing to do with whether you are employed in a 9 – 5 or not.

A quick search and I found two definitions for the rat race;

  1. A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of lab rats racing through a maze to get the “cheese” much like society racing to get ahead financially.
  2. A way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power.

Get my drift? This is in no way synonymous with being employed in a 9 – 5. It is a way of life. As a matter of fact, there are self-employed entrepreneurs who are caught up in a worse rat race. They are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth and recognition. Classical definition of the rat race. But this rat race is of their own making, so maybe it feels a little better.

My point today is to choose your perspective. Carefully too.

Many young people need to be encouraged to escape the new rat race of ‘cool entrepreneurship’ they have bestowed upon themselves to find gainful employment; learn some transferable skills and then decide if they want to run a business or stay employed. There’s this Yoruba proverb that says the ‘thing’ that follows 6, is more than just 7….

Except you have tons of money to invest in training, and will be disciplined enough to be more about learning and growing than making money in the initial stages of your business; most people are better off starting out as employees.

Entrepreneurship is neither for the faint-hearted nor for every body. What matters is that you do work you love, and keep an entrepreneurial mindset. I’m happy many more people are talking about freedom in the perspective of doing work you love rather than ‘only’ starting your own business. Many people have become quite successful as employees, at least by their own measures of success.

And you can be either or both in different seasons of your life. There are no rules. To each man his own. 

My take is, whether you choose (emphasis on choose)  to be employed, self-employed or become a business owner, all of us must make concerted efforts to put systems in place that help us attain financial freedom i.e we must have a system in place that helps us arrive at a point in our lives (sooner than later) when we are no longer required to exchange time for money to be able to meet our basic needs (at least not proportionately).

This is when we truly escape the rat race.

I’ll leave you with this food for thought: What are you doing to attain financial freedom sooner than later?

Are you bringing all of your talents to the table? If you were to get fired from your current employment or are unable to work actively in your business for some time, then what?

You should start a ‘Financial Freedom Project’!

Here are a few starters:

  1. Work out how much you need to have in near liquid cash to be able to sustain your current lifestyle for a whole year. And then start to put that aside in savings and investments. This is really tough in this economy, but we must at least give it a shot. I learnt this from my investment guru friends.
  2. If number 1 looks totally impossible. If you can’t even imagine how you will set anything aside to sustain you for one month talk less of a year….then it’s time to start a side hustle, or another business. You reckon?
  3. Dig out one talent or interest or passion that you have, which is yet to find expression, and begin to explore and polish it. Why be one thing, when you can be many? This talent may just become your freedom ticket! Who knows? You never know what will stick until you try.

Now, you have all you need to start thinking through your Financial Freedom Project!

If you need help with any of this, I can hook you up. Presto!

I really hope you take action today! Fight for your freedom!

N.B: I’ve been working on something interesting, and I’m itching to launch. But there have been glitches here and there. This has nothing to do with the project I mentioned in the post by the way….you’ll find out soon enough! *wink*

One comment

  1. amara says:

    Wow, great to be here, Nike. It is amazing to discover we share bonds in the following areas:

    Personal development



    I will keep coming back here.

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