…aka Why You Need to Become Financially Independent
I’m not the type of guy that likes to say “I told you so!” I don’t however have a problem writing it, so here it goes…I told you so.
On one of my recent regular #MoneyMonday segments on CBS, I mentioned that I thought it was time for you to start diligently pursuing their own financial independence, rather than getting “comfortable” (if accepting a life that you don’t really want to live in exchange for the privilege of helping someone else be financially independent can be considered comfortable) in a job for many years and then hoping and praying that your financial situation will somehow “work itself out.”
I got feedback from a number of people who felt as though they were financially independent because they have a prestigious, well-paying job.
Then this happened:
Yes, one of the largest, most iconic companies on the planet just decided to get rid of 18,000 people. 18,000! Or as Chris Brown would say, Microsoft just gave 18,000 people the “Deuces.”
This just goes to show you:
These Corporations Ain’t Loyal
I don’t often quote CB, let alone twice in one post, but when I do believe me it’s for a good reason. See, you should know that corporations aren’t loyal to you, and that’s ok. Nor should you feel any loyalty to them.
The corporation’s reason for existence is not to keep you employed. Its job is to maximize profit for its shareholders. Once you realize that you indeed are your own corporation, then it must follow that you have the same reason for existence, to maximize profit for your shareholders, whom just so happen to be you and your family.
To do that, you must have an intense focus on becoming financially independent.
Oh, you still think you’re financially independent because you don’t work at Microsoft? Well ask yourself how you would feel if I replaced Microsoft with the name of your company in that headline, and you were one of the 18,000 people whose jobs are being eliminated.
Would you be happy? Sad? Scared? If you’d immediately start polishing up your resume because you couldn’t last very long without a paycheck I have news for you, you are not financially independent.
I define financial independence to mean that you do not rely on a paycheck from one employer to cover your living expenses. You have assets that generate income to pay them for you. This income may come from a business (not self employment), rental real estate, stock dividends, bond interest, royalties, etc. In other words, the income comes from sources that do not require you to be at a certain place at a certain time everyday.
Now, I certainly hope that these Microsoft employees had multiple streams of income. I hope they did freelance coding on the weekend. I hope they have their own income generating mobile applications. I hope they were already on their third interview with another company because they could see this coming.
But sadly, I’m guessing that many didn’t. They were fooled into believing that the company had their back because they kept the fridge stocked, handed out t-shirts and offered a complimentary ticket to the holiday party.
Those t-shirts won’t pay your electric bill though.
Your job is not your girlfriend. You can’t “cheat” on it because you don’t have a relationship with it. You have an obligation to do your best work while you are there, and in exchange you’ll be paid for your efforts. Period. End of story. That’s it. Other than that, your obligation is to do what’s best for you and those that you care about.
And that means never again putting your livelihood in the hands of one company.