Is a paycheque ever really just income?

Is a paycheque ever really just income?

On this week’s podcast I talked with my friend Karen Calder about what I means to be employed by someone else. We both spent years as employees, and then branched out on our own. So we’ve experienced both sides of the coin (pun intended).

Interestingly, we both also had parents that were entrepreneurs, and steered us away from that path because of the uncertainty and difficulty they experienced. There were weeks where there was no paycheque. There were weeks where our parents didn’t know how they were going to pay the mortgage or put food on the table. There were weeks where they lived off of credit cards.

Based on our parent’s guidance, we both did the “responsible” thing and used our brains to get good degrees and stable jobs. 

If someone else signs our paycheque, it is secure, right?

That’s what I thought at least. But the reality is you have no idea how secure your paycheque is when you are employed by someone else. Things change, recessions happen, clients are lost, and companies go under. 

What then is the most secure option?

Neither, really. 

There’s uncertainty in all things.

Is a paycheque just a paycheque then?

For Karen, a paycheque from someone else meant showing up the way they wanted her to show up, and that was the downfall. Going to work for someone else felt like writing with her left hand every day (she’s right-handed, for reference). She knew something was off and needed to quit to find her own happiness in her work.

For me, a paycheque meant constantly jumping through hoops to please the project manager or executive in control. It meant doing crazy amounts of work because that was how you’d get a bonus. FYI: that bonus never reflected the amount of work or dedication. The paycheque was the carrot. Just always slightly out of reach. 

A paycheque meant “having to” do things the way someone else dictated. It meant needing to be in an environment that made me unhappy. It meant putting in tons of hours away from home, where I really wanted to be.

A paycheque was not just a paycheque for me or for Karen. And we both decided that the trade offs were not worth it. 

But that doesn’t mean this path is any easier. It just feels better. It lets us be who we truly are, in an environment of our choosing, and with people that we respect and “get to” work with. 

To learn a little more about Karen and to hear our honest conversation about our struggles, tune in here

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