Everyone fantasizes being something different once in a while and I am no different from the rest.
When I started the blog, I was inspired by fellow bloggers who walked a certain path of life that are different from the rat group I belonged to. It was always exciting to be different because the experience was not mundane and it gives an escape to the life we have yet to experience. It almost feels as if the grass is always going to be greener than the one we live in today.
As an employee myself, most people will be able to relate to what I am experiencing. You wake up everyday at the same time, do the same activities in the given time, take the same bus with the same group of equally dreaded passengers and reach the office to do your required task from 9 to 6 after which you reach home for dinner and repeat the same again Monday to Friday. During the weekends or public holiday, we usually chose to escape from the reality because for the sake of the 2 seemingly short days, we need a break from the routine. We need a holiday to slow our mind down and perhaps a laid back resort by the beach would be the perfect vacation plan to recharge our energy. Towards the month end, we get paid for our labor and this is perhaps the most looking forward moment of any employee’s life. After all, it is a fact that in modern slavery, we had exchanged one resource after another – our precious time for a glamorous life and money.
When I started the blog, I had written about such escape from reality as a measure of attractiveness to readers, for instance you can view the About Me page. You can say I am just like any other salesmen on the street trying to sell you insurance or any other products. I was selling an envious lifestyle to readers, an opportunity to join me in what I do in order to escape the dreadfulness of reality. But this is no longer the case now. To me, the blog has grown to a matured stage where I should be able to offer readers some insights that I get over the years more than just dividends and envious lifestyle. I want readers to know that there are many path to a greener grass and my path is not the only way for you to reach that ultimate zen that you seek for unconsciously.
|Based on B’s personal scoring|
Table Factor Matrix
The above table you see will show an underlying matrix to how much each factors will mean to me as an employee, early retiree and an entrepreneur. The score input on the table is based on my personal scoring so that will be different for different people.
Let me provide the breakdown of each factors in more detail:
Money – This is a rather straightforward decision for me. As an employee, I can say that I am extremely comfortable with the amount of salary I continue to receive because I get paid rather well as an employee, admittedly. Note that I don’t earn sub-abnormal high salaries like what you read on the paper but nor do I earn such a low pay that I have difficulty paying my butter and bread. In fact, for most of us who are an employee, I think we get paid an obscenely high amount of salary that it can easily feed hundreds or even thousands of people in a poor nation. I think that’s a pretty fair statement for people who are earning at least a median salary.
I rated 3 for early retirement because obviously I will not receive any sort of income when I am no longer working. The score of 3 is there because I have at least a small dividend I received that can pay off the basic necessities. But for now, they are inherently not sufficient at all to fund our family lifestyle.
As entrepreneur, it is often a risk in terms of money. You can either be very rich if you are successful or very poor if your start-up goes bust. Because of the unknown factor, I have factored the score at 3 for now.
Risk – As an employee, the one risk is always going to be retrenchment when the economy turns sour, as much as we dislike it to happen. However, there are certain roles that I think are more durable than the others. Myself for instance, it is pretty unlikely that I will be let go even in dire conditions because it is one of those thing that you will need an accountant no matter what happens. Phew, safe score checked.
Again, quickly dissecting the risk factor as an early retiree and entrepreneur are pretty self-explanatory.
Fulfillment – I rated this as 5 for myself as an employee because I do not get the kind of fulfillment others get in my role as much as I would have liked. It is okay because this has probably got to do with the role I’m playing in my company. I certainly can’t be an accountant yet at the same time reach a fulfillment such that I scored a goal in the extra time in a football match. That just will not happen unfortunately.
I rated a high 9 for early retiree and entrepreneur because I guess they’ll be more aligned to what they prefer to be doing and have that sort of drive and satisfaction that the corporate world cannot give. I can be very wrong in this of course because I have a few friends who get a high 9 fulfillment in their corporate role and I congratulate them for it.
Autonomy – As an employee, I think it’s fair to say that we don’t usually get an autonomy to do the things that we want to do, pick an idea that we think is right or take leave from work as and when we feel like it. There are corporate rules and hierarchy to follow no matter how much you disagree with and this is why I am scoring myself 3 for this as an employee. I think most people would agree with me on this.
As an early retiree, the biggest takeaway is perhaps the release of this autonomy that tied you as a rat in a tight race. When you get to this stage, you no longer have a boss to report to nor do you have to follow an SOP that someone unknown has created in the past. You do what you want and need to do at your own leisure and disposal. This is why I have rated this as 9.
Sharing My Thinking Cap
Based on the above table matrix I’ve shared, you can see that there are different combinations you can choose in order to obtain happiness.
For instance, if you are an employee with a low score of fulfillment and autonomy just like me, you can perhaps take on roles that might increase your fulfillment and autonomy score over time. You can change multiple jobs to trial and error and see where the sweet spot might hit best for you. That is one option.
The other option you can choose is to take the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur. Perhaps, cooking is your passion and you’ve been dying to do this from young. Taking a leap of faith to entrepreneurship from an employee will increase your fulfillment and autonomy almost immediately but will increase the risk and monetary factor. In other words, if you decide to become an entrepreneur, you better think thoroughly on the amount of money you have to burn and risk of failure should the business doesn’t work.
For me, I decided to go with the third option.
The availability of option to increase my autonomy scoring appeals to me very much because I don’t like to be tied with decisions and time. For instance, in my current role, it is often very difficult to take leave during the last week of Christmas and New Year because they are my peak period and it is almost impossible to be away during such a time. In fact, there was once when I was seriously sick and I had to come to office to close my year end book. Being an early retiree appeals to me because it gives me the option to do what I wanted to to during Christmas and New Year. Perhaps, a white Christmas getaway vacation would be nice for my family. I do not know how it feels because I am bounded by my job at the moment.
The other thing that weighs on my mind is money. Obviously, regular readers of this blog know what I am trying to do with this one. I am trying to slowly but surely transition my income from an active one to a passive one in the form of dividend income. When the amount of dividend has reached an inflection point and able to cover my expenses, that is when I declared myself financially free and I can transition to an early retiree lifestyle when it comes. Of course, who knows by then I might be offered a role as a coach for my favorite soccer team and by then my fulfillment score will shoot up and I won’t be dreaming of early retirement again. Anything is possible.
Please be warned that the above scoring is purely based on my current input and you are welcome to disagree. But if you are picking on that, then you’re missing the forest for the trees.
Everyone has a process thoughts on the things they do but they are often crumbled together that it is often difficult to put a piece of the puzzle together. Writing them can help to organize the thoughts more concise and properly.
Now that I’ve shared my thinking cap, it’s time to close the cap and get back to work. See ya!!!