In my last post I focused on the new world of work, generating multiple revenue streams and giving up the myth of job security. Today I want to talk about some of the positives the new economy gives us.
First, we no longer have to live where we work. I first telecommuted in 1996 when I was living in Atlanta during the Olympic Games (BTW, if you ever get a chance to attend an Olympics GO – it is an awesome experience). The fear was that the Games would make commuting downtown impossible, so downtown employers experimented with telecommuting. It worked. Now teleworking is commonplace. There are different models for how to work remotely. You may have to occasionally visit the physical location of your work. I have a client who travels once a month to visit his customers in another state, but the rest of the month he manages their accounts from his in-home office. On the other hand, you may offer services that never require you to physically go to where the work is. I offer private consultation and coaching services and can connect with clients anywhere.
This is great news. You can live where you want to live. You can travel and work from wherever you are. You don’t have to show up and punch a clock, you just get the work done and deliver the goods.
Another positive of the modern economy is that we can work more efficiently, which allows us to have more of what we most value. My wife and I homeschooled our two oldest children for 4 years. One of the first things we learned is how inefficient traditional schools are. Most of the school day is devoted to feeding children, exercising children, and managing their behavior. The learning takes place somewhere in between, if at all. When we homeschooled, we could easily work through a year’s challenging curriculum by early March.
One of the challenges of homeschooling was figuring out how to use all the extra time we had for our kids. The same is true of today’s work. We can work much more efficiently when we are not tied to corporate offices, long commutes, layers of bureaucracy, and required business hours. We’re free to work then use our time for what we most want. Maybe what you most want is more free time to enjoy with family or to travel. Maybe you want to use your time to work more and make more money. Maybe you want to use the time to create other income-producing products or services.
The challenge we all face is to adapt to the freedom we have and make the most of it. Getting clear about your values is a good first step. No work is truly rewarding unless it is value-driven. And we only have so much time. Be sure to spend it on what matters most to you. Whatever you most want – go for it! Work less. Have more.