Corbett Barr

Lifestyle Business Weekly

Self-Employment Starts With a State of Mind

Editor’s note: this post was written by Rasheed Hooda of Present Day Nomads. If you’re passionate about lifestyle design, contact me about writing an article yourself.


I was at a Toastmasters meeting last night and during the Table Topics section of the meeting I was asked to answer the question, “What does Independence mean to you?” (Table Topics is where you get the opportunity to speak impromptu for one to two minutes).

Normally this is not a big challenge for me, because I can ramble on for couple of minutes for just about anything, and if I don’t know anything about the topic, I can ramble on for couple of minutes about how the topics is irrelevant or doesn’t hold merit for my valuable time. The idea is to get comfortable speaking in front of people while thinking on your feet.

But I had just delivered an eight minute speech about my new blog which has “Living Life on Your Terms” as its tagline. So I had to really think on my feet and come up with something worthwhile or humorous to say. While I rambled on for couple of minutes about independence, it gave me a new twist to put on the article that I promised Corbett a little while back.

So, let me ask you. Are you ready to claim your independence?

For most people looking to live a life of Location Independence, the biggest obstacle is not their dependence on the location, but rather their dependence on their job, their business, or whatever means of earning income that they have. So, if you want to be Location Independent, you will have to become independent from your current means of income.

“Yeah, that’s obvious, Einstein,” you might say, “but how the heck do I do that”?

Einstein said, “the world we have created is the product of our thinking: it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

So, the first step toward claiming your independence, therefore, would be to look at your situation, which in our case is your means of earning income, from a different perspective.

What would you say if I was to ask you, “who do you work for?”

If you answered anything other than “me,” you failed the test. (OK, I’ll also accept “myself” as a valid answer).

In order to claim your independence, you must first and foremost realize that you are independent.

Several years ago, when I was working at Steak & Ale as a waiter, I was assigned to take care of a couple who were celebrating a special occasion. The following day was her birthday, but he was going to be out of town on a business trip, so he arranged to surprise her.

During one of my visits to their secluded table, she asked me, “What if you had a chance to work for yourself, would you do it?” I told her that I was already working for myself. She seemed confused by my response, given the fact that I was at a restaurant serving her.

I explained to her that Steak & Ale and I have an agreement whereby I will perform certain duties for and on behalf of them in return for a set rate of pay and an opportunity to earn additional income in form of tips. In other words, they have certain expectations of me and I have a certain expectations of them. If they fail to live up to their side of the bargain, and it cannot be resolved through communication, I will go offer my services to another establishment, because I work for myself not for them.

Does this notion of self-employment make sense to you? If so, you have just overcome the biggest hurdle to becoming Location Independent.

Now, that you realize that you are self-employed and can negotiate the terms of your employment, or rather, your contract, It is time to start planning for your Location Independent life.

I know, chances are that you still don’t feel as comfortable as to do that just yet, but trust me, the sooner you start, the sooner you get there. Once you make the decision to become your own boss, opportunities for you to trade your services on your terms will show up out of nowhere.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” -Albert Einstein

The society we live in demands that we know the ‘how’ before we take any action. While it is prudent to plan, it is foolish to wait till you have the guarantee that every single light on your way will be green before leaving home. Take the first step having faith in your ability to adjust to whatever life brings you.

Remember, that the fact that you have a desire is proof in itself that you have the ability to fulfill that desire. It is just a matter of either discovering or polishing it as you go. It is like driving a car at night. You can’t see your final destination when you leave home. You can’t even see much further than a few hundred feet. But, as you drive you are able to see further and further, a few hundred feet at a time, and before you know it, you’re there.

Let me ask you once again. Are you ready to claim your independence?

Rasheed Hooda is a lifestyle and happiness coach living in Houston, Texas. He blogs regularly at Present Day Nomads and Coach Happiness.

photo by MorBCN

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  1. Great post Rasheed!

    “Once you make the decision to become your own boss, opportunities for you to trade your services on your terms will show up out of nowhere.”

    I know this is true. When I painted houses during college, jobs would come out of nowhere. Yet, I sometimes forget about this fact in my current life. Thanks for the reminder, and the always inspiring words.

    • Thanks, Sean, for the encouraging words. Isn’t it funny how that works?

      My wife teaches driving to a niche market, and she hasn’t done any advertising in over five years. Students just show up “out of the blue” as one my mentors always says.

      Keep on keeping on.

  2. Great post Rasheed – I’ve heard Toastmasters is a great group to get involved with. Keep up the good writing!


    • Hey Alan,

      Yes, it is a wonderful organization, whether you’re wnating to improve public speaking, polish up on your communication skills or learn about leadership.

      Thaks for the kind words.


  3. As I begin my new adventure I am deliberately planning to not have a plan – something which does not come easily to me. Your words are a great encouragement. Thank you!

    • Hi Tresna,

      “As I begin my new adventure I am deliberately planning to not have a plan –”

      I know what you mean. I am, right now on the road. I left Houston Sunday afternoon (sooner than planned), nothing has gone according to plan, but I am having a blast.

      Yesterday, as I was contemplating my sitation, I realized that when things don’t go according to plan, it is because the Universe have a grander plan for you.

      Have fun with your new adventure.


  4. Not having a lot of time for a detailed comment. Here are some random thoughts to consider…

    You are your biggest asset. How you deploy that asset will, in great part, determine the returns (Time, Freedom, Money) that asset can provide.

    Freedom is the absolute priority (for me, at least) and the term self employment really bothers me because it implies trading your time for money.

    The buzzword Location Independent Professional is everywhere. For most people that means a more interesting version of telecommuting. Basically, you work remotely as a contractor for other people.

    Traveling all around the world, living in several different countries and having the means (money) and time to do what I want when I want is accomplished not by being an employee or self-employed. It’s accomplished by being able to see and capitalize on the leveraged opportunities that surround each of us.

  5. Great post Rasheed!

    I agree with you, in that we all need to earn a living. That definitely is the greatest barrier for all of us. If we were rich we wouldn’t be worrying too much about lifestyle design because we could purchase any life we wanted.

    Unfortunately, that pesky problem of money rears its ugly head too often.

    I also like your idea that we are all working for ourselves even if we have a job. I don’t think people understand that concept well enough. There are two sides to that situation. One is that employment is not permanent or particularly reliable. You have to have back up plans if things don’t work. You always need to be working on brand YOU.

    And the other more important aspect is that we are hired to deliver a service, just as if we were working in our own company. You can chose to do it to the best of your ability, or you can just do the minimum and hope you will win the lottery someday.

    There is no guarantee that hard working people will get promoted or find new opportunities. Just as there is no guarantee in starting your own business. However, I would bet on the hard-working, conscientious person any day.

    Thanks again for the stimulating post!

  6. Rasheed! Good to see you on Free Pursuits!

    This post is dead on. One of my biggest gripes with corporate capitalism is that it treats people in a “you need us more than we need you” kind of way. People don’t look at their jobs as mutual agreements between them and an employer, but as necessary tyrants that they were born to suffer. I definitely get what you’re saying and it’s true. People need to realize they have something to offer.

    I’d take it a step further though. Labor is the absolute worst commodity you can sell. After a person realizes they are independent and are able to negotiate terms, they should also realize that there are much better ways to make money than doing another person’s shit work for a pitiful fraction of the amount the other person is making from it. I know that these realizations won’t happen all at once. It’s definitely a process like the driving-at-night analogy describes, but the sooner they learn, the better.

    Great post though! Thanks.

  7. JD,

    Thanks for the kinds words and encouragement. Yes you are absolutely correct about the pittance of the pay that you receive from those whom you have enslaved yourself to.

    Those who are not familiar with JD, should check out his blog for awesome thoughts on freedom from salvery.

  8. Thanks, Corbett for giving me the opportunity to write for FreePursuits.

    I am in Flgstaff right now using the computer at the library. Isn’t nomadic life GRAND?


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