Do you work to live – or live to work?

g0429298I have encountered a couple of people who fall into the latter category, people who ‘live to work’. One former boss of mine comes readily to mind. His work was his obsession. In one sense I admired him for his single-mindedness and he was exceptionally good at what he did but he was very difficult to work for at times. It wasn’t a question of whether he could cope with a 60 hour week, the question was could he cope WITHOUT a 60 hour week. The fact that he expected the same input from the rest of his senior management team made life very difficult.

This was especially awkward as I subscribe to the former part of the above question. I had a young family at the time and that level of commitment which he required was simply unacceptable; my wife and family did like to see me from time to time. I enjoyed my work and found it very fulfilling but I definitely ‘worked to live’, and I always have. Just because you enjoy your job and are good at it does not mean that you must let it totally dominate your life. That is a view, sadly, not shared by all employers.

Many employees are dissatisfied with their lot, not because of the job itself but because of the petty tyrannies of their bosses. I read somewhere many years ago that it was a lack of acknowledgement from management which caused more resignations in the workplace than anything else. People like to feel appreciated for the work they do. This is a fact which good employers know and respond to.

One of my favourite teachers at my secondary school was my form master for a couple of years. He also taught us chemistry. I was rubbish at chemistry! “Ah, Hinchliffe, the bucket chemist,” he used to say with a wry grin as I messed up yet another experiment. According to the school grapevine (which was usually fairly reliable) this particular teacher had formally worked for a large well-known chemical company. In the course of his work he had developed a new chemical process which the company went on to use. He received a pat on the head and a derisory bonus whilst the company went on to earn millions with the process. He left the company in disgust and retrained as a teacher. From our point of view that was great because we gained a first class teacher.

I’m sure that many who are reading this article are finding things that resonate with them, either because of their own work experience or that of family or friends. The feelings of dissatisfaction which many employees feel, often results in a desire to change their lives; to take control of their own destiny. How to escape from the clutches of 21st Century slavery is a question raised in the minds of many people unhappy with their job. They begin to explore the options and, at some stage, they will almost invariable find themselves looking at the possibility of an online business.

They will read of the amazing success of some internet marketers and ask themselves: “Is that for me?” They begin to dream of the freedom, the life-style and the wealth which can be achieved. Some will think about it and, for one reason or another, decide that a different route must be found to realise their ambition. Many will look at the option very carefully and research just what is involved. To run a successful home-based business is a concept very, very appealing to many. To be free of the rat race, commuting traffic jams or trains packed like sardine tins is extremely attractive. No boss! It all sounds idyllic and if you decide that you can create the lifestyle you deserve by going down that particular route then go for it!

A word of warning, however, don’t lose sight of why you are doing it. If you wish to start up your own online business you must do so with your eyes wide open. It is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme. It takes work, commitment, and, in the early stage, it will take you on a very steep learning curve. There will be much to learn and success will not come overnight. Internet marketing is a great business but you must treat it like a business and not a hobby. You will only succeed with a professional attitude and not an amateur one.

If you want to escape the rat race then internet marketing is a great way to go if you are prepared to put in the study and the effort to make it work for you. If you take that choice, may I wish you all the success in the world!

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