I have discovered that the minute a man says they are self-employed; they instantly lose credibility to me.
The first thing that rings in mind is that they are not stable financially, and could potentially be a burden.
Unlike me and my employed fellows, most times they are never sure of when they will be compensated, and never have enough funds to last them until their next cash inflow. Holiday plans get cancelled at the last minute and there are always promises of a better life that never comes!!
This is not to say employed people always have money, we probably have less money than anyone else because we are always funding our lifestyles with credit.
But at the same time we all know exactly when we will be receiving compensation for our hard work, and exactly how much it will be, and we can plan our lives around that knowledge.
Maybe we enjoy the comfort zone and are not brave enough to explore our full potential and seize business opportunities that arise.
Perhaps we could end up stressed and frustrated that we never make enough to drive luxurious vehicles and have posh houses etc. but whenever I come across most “self-employed businessmen” I count myself lucky and content with the peanuts I earn disguised as a salary.
Maybe I might even commit myself to another 2 years of post-graduate studies just so I can qualify to apply for that promotion that will give me an extra R2000 a month. Despite the fact that at that time the extra cash will just be making up for the inflation that is never accounted for by the meager annual salary increments.
This seems like a better option for me because, the picture I see about being self-employed is that, should I decide to resign and pursue my interests and business ventures independently, I will live from hand to mouth not knowing when my next paycheck will come. I will have to suck up to every government official and businessman just so they can be kind enough to award me the tender, even though I will be required to hand a huge percentage of the profits back into their greedy pockets.
I will have to be that person who is seen driving a flashy car just so the potential investors can have confidence in you and subcontract you, even though I go to bed every night praying that the bank does not repossess the car, the installments are so long overdue they could show up at the mall and take what’s theirs.
My friends will start doubting everything I say because I happen to owe each and every one of them with the promise that the R18 million invoice that has been submitted will be paid anytime now, meanwhile I just need enough to live and hang out with family and friends without being seen like a poor old sponge guy that never pays for anything. And when the invoice is eventually paid out, after having paid the greedy officials, repaid all the family and friends I owe, paid just enough portion of the arrears on my car to keep it for another month or 2, I will be left with nothing!! And the cycle begins; borrow from everyone with promises of yet another tender I am yet to be awarded.
Eventually I will realize that the business world is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be, and doesn’t guarantee riches either. At that point I will admit defeat and decide to go back to fulltime employment and start looking for a real job. By that time my skills will be obsolete as technologies advance, and all the peers I had have now progressed to being top shots, and the degree I dropped halfway isn’t helping either because the minimum requirements have been escalated to postgraduate qualifications. And at that point I will realize that it is time I start from the beginning, middle-aged, bitter at the entire world and proclaiming how I almost made it as a millionaire in business, if only the officials were not as greedy and had proper support from potential investors.