Why you're better off quitting your job



If you are employed in the corporate world, the battle cry can be heard around the world: Quit before you're fired. At the beginning of the last decade, I co-authored a book by this very title with Paul Pilzer, author of Other People's Money and God Wants You to be Rich. Gone are the days of company loyalty-either on the side of the company to its employees or on the side of the employees to the company. Each faction is doing what it feels it must to protect its own interests. The companies are finding that downsizing is all too often the only way they can show a profit. Or they come to the realization that they can employ two gen xers for the same salary as one 40-year-old executive. And these younger people have twice the energy and, without family ties yet, don't mind the late hours required for the job.

Anticipating this, employees join a company with their antenna up from the moment they come on board. They are always on the watch for a better, more rewarding, more lucrative opportunity. Some, in the face of being downsized, will even find a way to come back to the company and fill the gap left by their departure by offering their services as an outside contractor.

Women, tired of earning 76 cents on the male dollar, fed up with hitting the glass ceiling as they are bypassed in favor of their male counterparts, and, most of all, saddened at missing out on the precious growing-up years of their children, are moving away from traditional employment and acquiescing to the popular male opinion that a woman's place is in the home-running her own home business, of course!

Retirees are also discovering that they are without adequate pension programs to live out their golden years. Do you realize that there are approximately 50 million workers out there who have no pensions, and 14 percent of people age 51 through 61 have nothing saved for retirement. The rest may have something saved, but all too often, not enough to live even simple lives. Rather than return to the workplace, they are looking for alternate ways to supplement their incomes.

Downsizing and layoffs, the "finished at forty" syndrome, women hitting glass ceilings, no adequate retirement program-these are among the factors causing the shakeup in corporate America.

What options are available today

There are four basic quadrants into which all income earners fall: employment, traditional self-employment, home-based business ownership, and leveraged income. Let's begin by taking a closer look at the first and second options.

Throughout the 20th Century, we witnessed the vast majority of people choosing the first: employment. Why? It is there. It takes no startup cost. Someone else takes all the risks. They like the steady paycheck and learn to live paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps they lacked the know-how or vision to start something on their own. But today, because of the changing corporate climate, many are being forced to consider other options. The rest are just fed up with their lives being out of control. In the 21st Century, we will see countless professionals migrate out of this particular way of making a living.

Those moving into the second quadrant of traditional self-employment are doing so because they see certain notable advantages over employment. They are their own boss, get to determine their own work hours, and have a far greater possibility that they can earn what they feel they're worth. Many also feel that can better utilize their talents to the fullest and, in the process, gain the respect of their peers.

But there is a new set of challenges for the conventional business owner that should be taken into account. This is largely due to:

The failure of so many startups

It taking more money than they allowed

The difficulty of acquiring unsecured loans, especially for minorities

It requiring more time than they want to give it

The fact that they can never get away from the business (they carry it home everyday and even take it with them on vacations)

Cash flow worries, especially when payday rolls around

The never-ending expenses for equipment, materials, hidden costs, overhead, payroll, F.I.C.A., and unemployment taxes

The fact that when there are problems, clients want to discuss them with "the boss" and no one else

The business running them rather than they running the business

This is leading more and more people into the third quadrant: home-based business ownership.

Why the move toward home based businesses

Ten years ago, if you were working out of your home, it was like you had some sort of disease. But over the past decade, home-based businesses have quietly begun shedding their stigma. Many workers are reevaluating their priorities. They are walking away from the commute, the pressure, and the harassment, toward freedom. Even self-employed individuals are beginning to recognize what they have given up for the price of being their own boss in the traditional business world. With so much downsizing, the corporate world is helping to boost this trend. Added to that, people today prefer to "cocoon" within a home-based lifestyle, but still enjoy networking with family and friends.

As a result, from 1983 to 1997, the number of home-based workers grew from 6 to 32 million. By 1997, more businesses were started at home than on Main Street or on any other commercial street or mall. According to INC. magazine, 705,000 home businesses began that year, compared to 610,000 businesses that located at commercial sites.

Two major trends have helped to legitimize those of us who choose to work at home. One is the recent explosion in affordable and easy-to-use office technology. The other is the popularity and convenience of web sites and shopping on the Net. Anyone in any home business can compete on a level playing field with any Fortune 500 company. No one really knows whether our home page or the faxed document came out of the equivalent of a 2000-person corporate giant or a one-person home operation. More and more people today are electing to go into a home-based business, and you may decide to become a part of this trend. The upside is, as a business owner, particularly one that works from home, you are not tied down as you are with employment or self-employment. You are free to own multiple businesses with far more lucrative possibilities. Your overhead is the cost of setting up and maintaining your web site(s) and basic home-office technology. It is clearly an option that more and more people will choose over the coming years.

But I don't want to make any business sound too good to be true. Depending on the type of business you decide on, there are still a few issues with which to contend:

Even a home business requires some investment

You have to fill many different roles all on your own

You have no one to show you exactly what to do

Sometimes you feel the need to hire help before you can afford it

If you do, your employee(s) become part of your breakfast table

You worry about cash flow to cover even modest overhead

You still have no retirement plan

Again, if you are aware of the inevitable challenges, it is possible to select a business that avoids many, if not all, of these issues.

Why the timing is right

The timely convergence of three dominant forces is destined to change our world forever: the Internet, E-commerce, and Relationship Marketing. Any one of these has the power to transform society and redefine how businesses will operate and how individuals will work and live. But the confluence of all three simultaneously will go down in history as a pivotal turning point in the advancement of our civilization.

The Internet is the single most powerful force to invade our planet in this lifetime. Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. Television took 13 years to reach 50 million households. The Internet has taken only 5 years to reach 50 million users!

E-commerce is changing the face of business. Stimulated by convenience as well as the ability to save time and money, consumer revenues will exceed $14.8 billion in the year 2000, up from $7.7 billion in 1999, $4.5 billion in 1998 and $1.8 billion in 1997. There is general consensus that e-commerce is now and will continue to be a trillion-dollar global trend.

Let's define Relationship Marketing. Network marketing, by whatever name you call it multi-level marketing, network distribution, or referral marketing is a form of leveraging through relationships. Just imagine combining what we already know about network marketing with two of the newest proven promotional methods on the Internet: (1) "permission marketing" in which the members, by virtue of signing on, give the company permission to offer them marketing opportunities, and (2) "viral or advocacy marketing," which harnesses the evangelical zeal of its customers. These have both been effective Internet marketing techniques since Hotmail.com tagged every one of its free e-mail users' messages with its own offer and signed up 12 million accounts over 18 months. We have witnessed similar success with MyFamily, AllAdvantage, ShopNow, MyShopNow, Ivillage, SixDegrees, ICQ, Nullsoft, BlueMountainArts, eGroups, and Xoom, all of whom use "word-of-Net" as a virtually free marketing effort, resulting in tremendous marketing leverage. Relationship Marketing is the combination of network marketing, permission marketing, and viral or advocacy marketing. When combined with the Internet and E-commerce, Relationship Marketing will create a system of duplication unlike anything ever seen in our industry. I believe that any business utilizing all three of these mediums will lead the charge for entrepreneurial ventures into the 21st century.

Determining who is a candidate to become one of the new entrepreneurs

What if you could be shown a business opportunity in which:

You could have a business of your own

You could work at home

It didn't require a vast amount of startup cost

It requires no employees

You are in business for yourself but not by yourself

You inherit an experienced team who train you

You have an unrestricted earning potential

It has the ability to become a passive, residual income

You can determine your own schedule and prioritize your own life events

You now have the leisure to contribute yourself and your resources to organizations and activities that are reflective of your values

If you have eliminated working for someone else as an option, you're a candidate. If you have already experienced working for yourself, and are tired of measuring your success by what you gave up to get it, you're a candidate. If you are attracted to the idea of a home-based business, but want to avoid the downsides, then you are also a candidate for the new profession emerging in today's world a profession that embraces lifestyle freedom, personal fulfillment, and long-term financial stability for the 21st century. You could be one of the new entrepreneurs giving rise to the emergence of a new culture in our society, replacing the confinements of traditional employment with the autonomy of a home-based business.

This leads us to the fourth quadrant: a form of investment where you are able to leverage either your money or yourself.

How a leveraged income is created

Investments of one form or another have always been the greatest form of wealth building. Given the track record of workers failing to generate extra cash and/or a savings for retirement, there are relatively few who have enough money to invest for that alone to make the difference. But there are innumerable professionals today who grasp the concept. They know, unquestionably, that leveraging is the key to great wealth. So if they haven't the finances to leverage themselves into financial security, what then?

It will begin to make sense to more and more workers who are searching for solutions to creating an income flow in which they see leverage as the key. Franchising is a leverage opportunity–but it takes money to do it. Network marketing is a leverage opportunity without it taking a great deal of money. As it has evolved today, network marketing is one of the rare options whereby people can leverage themselves by duplicating their efforts through their relationships with other people.

Consequently, as we move into the 21st Century, I believe that the profession most likely to advance this Entrepreneurial Age is network marketing. I am not talking about the MLM cottage industry of the past, but about the professional and powerful Relationship Marketing network marketing, viral marketing, and permission marketing fused into one. So many people including the acclaimed Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, are now endorsing this industry as a way of life. To quote him exactly, he has said: "Network marketing has come of age. It's undeniable that it has become a way to entrepreneurship and independence for millions of people."

Why is this so? Certainly the shakeup in the corporate world is playing no small part. The accessibility of easy-to-use technology. But all indicators come back to the Internet as the primary cause. What kind of industry depends on massive numbers of people needing to communicate person by person and do so on a worldwide scale? The Internet was designed for relationship marketing that personal, one-on-one interactive selling, educating, and informing kind of marketing with people in every country around the globe. The Internet was made for Relationship Marketing. And with the continued annual doubling of e-commerce sales volumes as a powerful force, the means for how to move products and services in a convenient, user-friendly manner to its "cocooning" consumers is also being provided.

Exploring the next step

You owe it to yourself, at the very least, to explore a home business, even if it is part-time while you continue in your current career. Get back with the person who led you here and explore your possibilities with him or her. Carefully examine the options being presented to you. Is there a proven system that will guide you through the initial process? Do you feel passion for the concept or the products and services?

If you want to explore your career options in greater depth, then we suggest that, as you are assisted through your own discovery process, choose the medium below that best suits you. Rene Reid Yarnell is a professional who has been through numerous personal and vocational transitions in her life. She is prepared to mentor professionals like yourself who are in transition with their present careers and ready to explore other options.

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