The remote working lifestyle is something many people dream of, yet the reality isn’t always as good as the dream. Indeed, whilst working from home as your own boss or travelling the world with a digital business that allows you to generate an income no matter where you are in the world – has it’s upside, there are other issues to consider, such as social isolation and a feeling of uncertainty that is inherent to the freelancer lifestyle.
In this article, rather than harp on about the benefits of setting up a blog, travelling the world, and gaining financial freedom through the process of business automation – we’re going to look at some of the highs and lows people face with the remote working lifestyle in order to assess whether this is something you would honestly like… because, whilst it offers great potential for happiness and a life of much more freedom, it isn’t necessarily the right fit for everyone – because we all have different priorities.
For instance, if your highest emotional priority in life (whether you realise it or not) is a sense of certainty and stability – then the freedom lifestyle might not be for you, in fact, it might make you feel very stressed out, as it will not meet the emotional need of “certainty” that a secure full time job will fulfil.
There’s something reassuring about knowing you will get paid a certain amount of money each week, or month, and all you have to do is turn up. Furthermore, there’s security in knowing that if you get sick you will still receive an income… and you’ll even get paid for the time that you are away on holiday!
The “employee” lifestyle has a huge dollop of certainty which is what most people are attracted to, as the trade-off is freedom.
Now, if you’re someone that values freedom above all else, the remote working, freelance, freedom lifestyle will be right up your street. Indeed, people that have “freedom” or autonomy as their highest emotional priorities tend to make pretty bad employees and revolt against conventions such as time and attendance tracking, or having to ask for time off to go on holiday at a time that suits the office.
The people make fantastic entrepreneurs, but bad employees, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can be a great thing. If you look at anybody who has truly changed the world, or made a fortune, they haven’t done so by being a “good employee”. Being self-employed and setting up your own business can be a great way to spread your wings and feel the aliveness and freedom you crave.
There’s a trade-off. You can either have the certainty and stability that comes with a traditional job, but with the lack of freedom this entails, in that you’re not free to just get up and do what you want when you want, without having to answer to anyone.
In the alternative, you can have complete freedom, but very little security other than the security in which you create for yourself. This can feel burdensome at times, as in simple terms, if your business plans don’t work out you’ll find it difficult to eat. Many people can’t deal with that level of responsibility and risk – but for someone that values freedom and autonomy above all else, they couldn’t bear the restriction a conventional job would bring, and would prefer to live in an uncertain world that, at least, they are in full control of.
In summary, there are pros and cons of both aspects of making an income; the freedom lifestyle seems very attractive yet it has some dangers lurking beneath the surface too… and similarly, the more conventional 9-5 lifestyle, seems boring and restrictive to most people, but the stability it brings cannot be dismissed.
Then, there’s always the idea of setting up a side hustle that can offer the best of both worlds; as you can grow this whilst keeping the security of your job in the meantime.