Self-employed work provides a sense of satisfaction that no corporate job could ever match. The fathers of scientific management started splitting real work into tiny half-jobs when factories started luring people from their farms. Rather than being able to create items from start to finish, a person was turned into a piece of the machine.

Craftsmen became bolt turners, relegated to a mere sliver of the entire job at hand. A skilled furniture maker would be reduced to the mind-numbing task of making knobs for 12 hours, or simply left to apply varnish all day.

Why are movements like homesteading making a comeback? People want to be connected to their work from beginning to end. Here you get to plant the tomato, water the tomato, pick it, can it, and then later, eat it.

Whether you are running your own microbrewery or designing a company’s new logo, you get the see the process from beginning to end.

There is a sense of wholeness to it.

Here there is no corporation, bureaucracy, meetings, or focus groups.  

Do you see how important self-employment is?

Running your own business is a factory for developing grit, tenacity, and resilience; it is a crucible that burns away any sense of entitlement.  

You don’t automatically get the big salary, the benefits package, or the free lunch in the cafeteria.  You have to earn it.  You get to experience first hand how much those extra benefits cost.

Self-employment purifies the soul.

People from every nation across the sands of time have all started from the same place, forced to reckon with this pair of unbending, unyielding questions:

  1. Do you have what someone wants?
  2. Do you know how to sell it?

Self-employment is the great equalizer.

The 35-year corporate veteran can well be outpaced by the 20-something. The MBA gets schooled by the college drop out.

Yet as long as you can answer the two questions, you get to play. Men, women, young, old, black, white, brown — the court is open to everyone. 

To the self-employed, I say this: Lead us. Show those of us who think we are trapped in our dead-end jobs, our golden handcuffs, and our over-scheduled calendars filled with the demands of others — show us that we can escape.  

Show us that the doors to our prisons are already standing wide open.