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The Right Vehicle: Conventional Vehicles (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 11

We get inspired by stories of successful people who have struggled from adversities and managed to bounce back. From scratch, they built their own empire. Their hard work and diligence transformed their life from being financially broke to becoming multi-millionaires. Hard work is one of the factors necessary for an individual to become successful. But this attribute might go to waste if we fail to understand the concept of putting our effort into the right vehicle.


The most important question to ask is where do you put in your hard work? In which do you invest your time and effort? In short, what opportunity are you currently working on?


Imagine you are a skillful and experienced race car driver. You devoted countless years to gain world-class skills and mindset of a race car driver. The only problem is you’re going to compete with an old crappy 1990’s Volkswagen Beetle. Can you already imagine the outcome of the race?

Opportunity is like a vehicle:

  1. Where can your vehicle take you? – Given that you are working hard, will the opportunity that you have eventually allow you to achieve your goals and dreams?

(Example: If your goal is to attain time freedom, does your vehicle have the capacity to reach it?)

  1. It determines how fast you will reach your destination – How fast will your opportunity take you to achieve your goals and dreams?

(Example: If your goal is to earn P5M, how long will it take your vehicle to achieve that amount?)

We often underestimate how valuable choosing the right vehicle is. Then, falling into the trap of conforming and passively working without seeing what lies ahead of us, our long journey and our destination (the process and end goal) turn out painfully different from our expectations.


Choosing the right vehicle is as important as choosing a lifetime partner. A wrong decision can jeopardize our entire life. Decades of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and education might add up to nothing if we don’t choose our vehicle wisely as early as possible.


The Conventional Vehicles:


Employment


This vehicle is the most socially accepted among all. From pre-school to college, we were molded to become part of this massive workforce. We are taught to study well and find a high paying job. Many of us view employment as a stable source of income because as long as we do our role and get the job done, we get a stable flow of income. This vehicle only provides active income; it means we have to exchange directly our time and effort to gain money. Hence, its “stability” is only temporary.


Once you reach retirement age or you can no longer work due to a severe health condition, the income will stop. That’s why most retirees who have no source of income will have to either find a freelance job or venture into a business. Worse, they rely on their children to support them in their retirement (what we call the Sandwich Generation). Definitely, this vehicle is only for the short term. You would want a vehicle that would support you long term until your old age, right?



Self-Employment


For most people, this vehicle is their ticket to freedom. No boss, no time in and out, work at your own pace and perhaps work in the comforts of your home. Sounds like the ideal opportunity, right? What most people don’t understand about this vehicle is that you will spend most of your time networking and expanding your customer base every single day.


There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you expect that this vehicle would be easy as pie, it’s actually not. Finding and retaining your ideal clients who can avail your products or services is extremely difficult. Therefore, you have to work your ass off than the usual 9 to 5. And today where searching for cheaper clients is made easier thanks to the Internet, you will have to compete with countries that offer low-cost labor like China and India. Thus, there will be times that you will be forced to lower your professional fee just to attract clients. The work settings may have changed but the situation you’re in is almost exactly the same as in employment.


Small Business


If you’re running a small business, you’re the one who will likely do all the groundwork from production to marketing. If you have a huge budget, you can hire someone to do these for you. But still, you will have to build the business system from scratch and it requires a tremendous amount of work and trial and error.


As the boss, you’re the first one to come in and last one to go out. You will make sure that everything is paid on time: your employees, rent, utilities, suppliers, taxes, and so forth. The only one who doesn’t get paid is you.


Your greatest threat is when a big competitor establishes their business near your area. That’s why it’s very important that you have something unique to offer or else you’ll compete for price and convenience.


Sales Job


This vehicle is for people who want more adventure. They are not confined to cubicles or getting paid a fixed salary. But their income is proportionate to their effort. The more sales they make, the bigger their income. And perhaps that’s the strength of this vehicle: you can generate a huge income and your only investment is hard work.


The downside of this vehicle is no matter how hard you work, you’re not building anything that can give you a long-term benefit like residual income. Hence, you’re in constant search of customers to sell your products to, or else you’ll earn nothing. Technically, you’re unemployed until your next sale. To make things worse, whatever production you make, you always go back to zero after the cut-off period. Then, you’ll have to repeat the same process of prospecting, selling, and collection. It’s an endless cycle of hustle.



For more than 16 years, we have been programmed to drive these vehicles: starting from the advice of our parents, which was to study hard so we can get a high paying job with excellent benefits, to the advice from our peers, which was to work harder so you’ll get promoted, get a raise and acquire impressive titles.


“Safe and risk-free” perhaps are the best words to describe these conventional vehicles. Part of our programming is to stay away from risk. Thus, we rarely have the courage to venture into other opportunities beyond the norm. But what if those vehicles that most of us view as “risky” turn out to have greater potential?


What if they turn out to be the better vehicle?

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by Lean Mulimbayan

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