Bob used to love his job. Not any more.
At first he was keen to learn – after all, “I don’t know” doesn’t get you far up the career ladder.
It turned out he had a talent for the work. The company liked what he did.
Promotions happened regularly. Rung by rung, up he climbed.
Bob felt “successful”. He had the trappings … a salary he was proud of, a car he’d never have chosen if he’d been paying for it, and the ability to pay the mortgage.
At some point (he can’t put his finger on exactly when) Bob started to get … bored.
The job no longer gave him the challenge that excited him years earlier. It was just “same old same old”. Bob was living in Groundhog Day.
Yet he was comfortable. No need to rock the boat. Things weren’t “that bad“.
Then the boat hit an iceberg.
Seemingly out of the blue, Bob was “let go”. “Rightsizing” they called it.
“Shafting” was how Bob saw it.
Bob’s world, only the previous week, apparently so comfortable, so stable, so secure, was thrown into turmoil.
He tried to think of this as “an opportunity”, to “think positively” but the truth was, Bob was terrified. He couldn’t sleep. He was panicking and felt he had to jump into the next job going.
Only … things didn’t pan out like that.
Bob applied for a few jobs. In truth, his heart wasn’t in it. Nevertheless, he went through the motions.
He had a 100% failure rate.
So he did what any self-respecting experienced professional would do: he’d offer his skills, his experience and his knowledge on a freelance basis.
Bob became a consultant.
The good news was he found it easier to win projects than he did to find a permanent job.
Over the period of six months, by tapping into his network and putting the word out, he managed to build a “portfolio” income.
He was working for a couple of days a month with one business, four days a month with another, a couple needed him for eight days every quarter … and so he built up income from different sources.
Yes, it took him a while.
Yes, he needed to rebuild his self-belief.
But eventually … Bob reached a stage where he was comfortable.
Then, seemingly out of the blue, one of his clients hit some trouble and needed to cut back on costs. Losing Bob’s services was an easy decision.
Then, as if by coordinated one-two punches, another client lost a contract, and had no further need for Bob’s services.
Bang, another client down.
Proving the rule “bad things come in threes”, Bob lost another client for reasons that weren’t entirely clear to him. If he’d been more cynical, Bob would have suspected a conspiracy.
Yet again, he’d gone from comfortable to exposed, vulnerable and worried about the future.
Maybe Bob’s situation sounds uncomfortably familiar to your own?
Is his experience inevitable and just the way life plays out?
After all, when Bob became a consultant, what he really wanted was the security of “not having all his eggs in one basket”.
He thought he’d learned the lesson from being employed. What seemed secure turned out to be anything but.
Surely, having income from a variety of clients would create the security he wanted?
Turns out it didn’t for Bob.
As a freelancer, Bob went where the money is.
Sounds a reasonable approach, doesn’t it? Surely he wouldn’t go where the money wasn’t?!
True. However, “going where the money is” IS what caused Bob’s latest challenge.
What’s the alternative, then?
Getting the money to come to YOU.
Bob went to the money.
And the consequence of following the money is that Bob is (again!) working as an employee.
Only this time, an employee without holiday pay, sick pay or any other rights.
Of course, Bob doesn’t call himself an employee – he’s a consultant!
Yet, while the reason his clients pay him is for his knowledge, skills and experience, how they pay him depends only on him “turning up”.
He’s at the client’s beck and call.
And there’s a bigger problem for Bob – one that frustrates the hell out of him:
While he was busy working with his clients, he didn’t have the time to find new clients.
Even if he had done some marketing, he wouldn’t have been able to fit them in! So it seemed pointless to go to all that bother.
After all, everything seemed comfortable.
Did Bob have a better option?
Actually, he did … but there are two reasons he didn’t follow it:
First reason: he could only think as an employee, so he missed the better option.
Secondly, he mistook “comfortable portfolio” for “financial security”.
A freelancer is a different type of “employee”.
Yet it’s still an employee.
As is painfully evident, being an employee didn’t create Bob’s financial security.
It took a painful event to reveal that truth.
In which case, how could he “get the money to come to him”?
In a surprisingly simple way … he just needed to see it, then learn it, then apply it.
I explain that method in another article.
For now, the question for you, dear reader, is whether YOU are “going where the money is” or … for financial security … “getting the money to come to you”?
Are you working as a freelancer?
Are you “going where the money is”?
Does it feel comfortable?