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Are You a Job Renter or Owner?

There is a prevailing notion that to achieve financial freedom, one must focus on creating passive income. Simply working a job or running a business won’t suffice.

The ultimate goal is to create a system that generates income without requiring your active participation, allowing you to enjoy life’s pleasures like sipping margaritas on a tropical beach. While the idea of passive income is certainly attractive, it is also true that at some point, we won’t be able to work anymore, making passive income a necessity.

For most of us, passive income is derived from investments and retirement accounts, or perhaps a pension plan. As we age, social security becomes another source of passive income. Real estate is another option, although it is a less passive form of passive income. By hiring a property manager, you can collect rent without having to personally manage the property.

In this post, we will explore the concept of passive income and the different ways to generate it. We will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method, as well as practical advice for creating a passive income stream.

Businesses can also be a source of passive income, making it an attractive option for many entrepreneurs and online money-makers. The idea is to build a scalable business that can run itself while you relax on a beach and watch the profits roll in. However, for many business owners like my wife and me, our businesses are far from passive income streams. We still have to work tirelessly to keep them running smoothly, despite being financially secure.

But, here’s the thing: even if your business doesn’t generate passive income, creating your own job is different from just finding a job. Your self-made job has an underlying asset, something of inherent value that sets it apart from a traditional job. And when you own an asset, your job becomes more than just a job.

In this post, we’ll delve deeper into the concept of business ownership as a means of generating passive income. We’ll explore the different types of businesses and how they can create passive income streams, as well as the challenges and benefits of entrepreneurship. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to build a business that can generate passive income in the long run, and how to turn your business into a valuable asset.

Renting Your Job Vs. Owning Your Job

The way I see it, there are two ways you can get a job. The first is to apply for a job and work for someone. This is how most people do it. You get hired, do your work, and every week or so, you collect a paycheck. When you’re done with that job, you move on to a new one.

The second way to get a job is where you create your own job. To do this, you need to find something you can sell or find a service that you can do for money. Creating your own job is hard because there’s no roadmap. No one can tell you how to do it. You have to just go out there and figure it out yourself.

Getting hired by someone is the way I approached jobs for most of my adult life. I worked hard in school, got myself a good job, worked as long as I could stand it, then moved to a new job. Each time I switched jobs, I thought my next one would be my dream job – the one that I could stay at forever. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen for me. And when I was done working, I was left with nothing from those jobs. I left and my job went to someone else.

This blog is a result of following the second route. I started this blog years ago, working on it during the few spare moments I had in my day. Eventually, it become more than a hobby and became a job that I created for myself. While the money I earn from this blog isn’t tied to the hours I work, I still have to work hard to keep things moving along. Even now, after more than 6 years of writing, I’m still writing all of my own posts.

You can see the difference between the normal jobs I had compared to my current job as a full-time blogger. With my regular jobs, my income was, in a sense, rented. I was paid while I had the job, and then when I was done with it, I moved on to a new job and was left with nothing from the old job. But like with renting anything, I wasn’t responsible for any of the stuff that comes with ownership. I didn’t have to put any of my own money in or take any risks. That was all handled by someone else.

Creating your own job is different. Even when you have to work all the time, you’re working at a job that you own and created for yourself. And just like with any owner, you get to keep the underlying asset. This blog is a job. It’s not passive. But, when I’m done with it, the blog does have value. I own it – and in theory, I can sell it when I’m done with it.

Some Jobs You Create Have More Value Than Others

Of course, not every job you can create for yourself is the same. Some have an underlying asset with it. Others don’t.

My wife and I both created jobs for ourselves that come with an underlying asset – a piece of property that we could theoretically sell to someone when we’re done with it.

It’s sometimes hard for me to comprehend that a blog like mine has value. But it undoubtedly does. The domain name has value. The authority and links that it’s built up have value. And of course, the revenue it generates has value.

The fact that I’ve created a job that comes with something is important. There are a lot of ways to create a job for yourself. Freelancing comes to mind as a job a lot of people in today’s economy have created for themselves. Being a freelancer is fine, but it has a problem. You’re selling your own skills, but you don’t own anything beyond yourself. When you’re done with it, you don’t have anything left.

That’s why creating your own platform or having something you can sell is so important if you’re creating your own job. Some things are easier to sell than others. A hot dog stands or a food truck might be a job. It may or may not be hard to sell these things later when you’re done with it. But it’s at least something that has some value that you might be able to sell.

I Prefer To Own My Job

You can rent a job. Or you can own a job. It’s not easy to own a job. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with renting a job either. It can be easier to rent your job, get your paycheck, and save your way to a great life.

But for me, owning a job is the way I’d rather do it. If I’m going to have to work, I’d rather work at a job I made for myself, even if it means I have to take all the risks.

In Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin tells you to calculate your net worth by including everything of value you own. This includes things like furniture, clothes, and basically anything you could sell online or at a garage sale.

When you think about it, that means the businesses you own – any job you created that you can sell – should be included in that net worth. This blog might not be worth millions. But it’s worth something. It’s a job I work at every day, but unlike all of the other jobs I’ve ever had, it’s worth something on my balance sheet.

Even my six-figure big law job I had – when I made the most money per year I’ve ever made – was worth $0 on my net worth sheet.

Final Thoughts

I think this concept of renting versus owning your job is a useful one. There’s not one right way to do it, just like there isn’t one right way to deal with housing. Some people find more value in renting. Others find more value in owning.

Financial Samurai has talked about how renting means you’re shorting the housing market because the return on your rent will always be zero. After years of paying rent, you will always have nothing in the end.

Perhaps the same can be said about jobs. If you don’t own your job, the value of your job will always be zero. You can still save a lot of money from your income and be fabulously wealthy, but your job itself isn’t worth anything.

But when you own your job, you can collect income and have a chance that the job you created is worth something in the end.

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