The Sweet Smell Of Independence

by Theresa Nixon on February 28, 2008 | Articles

There is nothing more freeing then knowing you can do it yourself; you can choose the kind of career you want, the money you will earn — in short, your life, your way.

Before the great Industrial Revolution, people worked independently doing what suited them best from which they made their living, whether it was farming, smithing, glass-blowing, dress-making, etc., etc. They utilized their skills and talents to earn their keep. That is not to say everything was rosy all the time; of course not. Especially for women. Opportunities for women were very limited back then; but many women (and men) prospered on their own initiative, nevertheless. They had to. Many, like my great-grandmother, opened boarding houses to survive without depending on a husband; some were skilled seamstresses; others, like my grandmother and great-aunts, went on the stage. The point is, people created their own fortunes and self-worth by engaging in trades they were good at. They made their own schedules, set their own prices, prospered in their own businesses, and raised strong, faith-filled, moral families. Young people were hired on as apprentices to family-owned businesses and were taught from the boot straps up the profession so that they, too, could learn and prosper.

It wasn’t until after the Industrial Revolution hit that things began to change and folks started to migrate to the City in search of an easier life, only to become someone’s employee. With the advent of Ford and other giants of commerce, unions were formed and benefits started for employees such as set wages, health coverage, and retirement pensions. In exchange for thirty or so years of their lives to a company, employees were promised job security, a gold watch, and at retirement, a pension for the rest of their lives. But today, Big Business has given way to the Age of Technology and the corporate raiders who have raped and pillaged our workers, sucking dry the benefits that were their mainstay. How many faithful employees, after giving the most productive years of their lives to the Company, have been betrayed by the employer they gave all their loyalty to, stripped of the pension promised to them when they are suddenly let go a year or two before they are set to retire? In effect, these employees — unless they have invested wisely (and most have not) — are forced to find another job late in life, and many must take on work that barely offers minimum wage. One sees more and more senior servers at fast food restaurants or clerks in retail chain stores working alongside twenty-somethings just starting out in life. What a great inequity exists in our society today caused by the boundless greed of corporate bigwigs who have succeeded in nonchalantly kicking the working middle-class American in the posterior and running away with the spoils of his hard work! What is worse, the working middle-class American is not doing enough about it.

It is time to re-claim our independence and create our own fortunes again. It might be difficult to do but difficult does not mean impossible. More and more disenfranchised employees are starting their own internet businesses and becoming wealthy in their own right. Such people would never consider going back to a regular “job” again. Find your own skill and/or talent, then begin mining it for gold. In short, kick the corporate fat cats right back where it hurts the most — in their coffers. Carve out your own means to make money and you determine how much that will be. You decide what kind of car you will drive and the neighborhood you will live in. You can do it; it is in you.

Dale Carnegie said, “You’ll never achieve real success unless you like what you’re doing.” It may not happen overnight (success takes time and grade) but it will happen if you maintain the vision and passion to see it through. What is the alternative — working at McDonald’s? If it means earning enough to keep you afloat while nurturing your life’s true purpose, then do it, by all means. But do not let yourself become discouraged during the rough times. Keep focused on the vision of self-sufficiency and work towards it every single minute of every single day. Soon you, too, will savor that intoxicating scent, the sweet smell of independence!

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A prolific writer, Ms. Nixon has written newspaper articles, reviews, and interviews spanning over twenty years and hosts youareyourown a blog specifically aimed at self-improvement.

has 3 articles on MindPerk.

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