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In life we are all given opportunities few of us see them or grab them - Part 1

September 10, 2020

In life we are all given opportunities few of us see them or grab them - Part 1

I may be wrong, I have been once or twice!, but I really feel that lockdown & Covid-19 has given us all a lot of opportunities, at least to stop and think, but how many of us have made the best of this time? Some certainly have done. I have never seen so many cyclists, joggers, gardeners and dog walkers, not to mention those online shoppers. However, I am also certain that many of us made no plans to improve our lot and are just waiting for 'things to get better'.


It seems madness to me to be stuck in an office, computing for hours a day. Small wonder that so many of you are hanging on at home and resisting the call back to the office. In my opinion you are right. Our lungs don't need it, our stress levels don't need it, our transport systems don't need it, nature doesn't need it, and business doesn't actually need it either. In fact, in many ways working from home has proved very successful for many of us.


While some have had to accept a reduction in working hours, with resultant cuts in income, opportunities still abound. You just need to be brave and grab them when you see them. Of course, while there are those who will be forced into making the necessary changes, others will deliberately factor them into their plans, making a virtue out of a necessity.


During lockdown some will have lost direction and purpose. After a lot of late-night viewing, even the motivation to get out of bed in the morning is easily lost. In contrast, for the self-employed there are never enough hours in the day. This doesn't mean you exchange one mania for another but being self-employed can be so different from being a wage-slave. Every day is a school day, giving opportunities that most other people never have and, in general, you will get out of self-employment whatever you put in. This is not always in terms of financial returns but having the satisfaction of doing your own thing takes a lot of beating. The grey, miserable, half-dead people I see on the motorways or commuter trains, almost certainly aren't working for themselves.


No one is saying that independence is a bowl of cherries, every day making zillions, but being in charge of your own destiny is worth more than mere money. Starting and finishing early, starting and finishing late or even starting early and finishing late - it's your choice alone. It seems to me that it's lack of choice which makes those grey commuters the unhappy people they appear to be. Whilst the commute could be used to learn Chinese or read Tolkien, how many actually make the effort? That is what constitutes making use of opportunities.


Most people shy away from self-employment as they are terrified of risk. Apart from the fact that a little risk can be stimulating, very little that is worthwhile in life is achieved without it. The majority of self-employed work is service-led, so all you have to do is work hard and provide a good service i.e. what the customer wants, and the rest is easy.


I will return to antiques in my next blog as I fear I will lose my already limited audience by droning on.


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