We all know we are living in an era where we should be creating more, not consuming more, right? There are tonnes of articles describing how, when we create, it develops our self-worth and leads to a longer life.
If you are the type of person who uses a coworking space, then there’s a high chance you’re already halfway there, and probably involved in a creative profession or role. But, as well as being a creator not a consumer, the point is to earn as much as possible while not breaking your back, right?
Maybe, but if you decide to earn enough to live on, and save a little, you don’t need to worry so much about high earnings. The rollercoaster life of a freelancer means you go through phases of feast or famine; celebrating a new client win with a wild night out or that pair of golden pumped up kicks, then living on Pot Noodles for a month. We’ve all been there!
But listen up, there’s a better way. The internet is awash with money- and maybe life-saving gurus from academics to survivalists to hippies and even academic survivalist hippies, all keen to share their secrets for a better life.
But our secrets, little grasshopper, are not found by climbing distant mountains or spending a weekend on a spiritual cleansing session. The younger workforce is the first to develop multiple skills and free themselves from the 9 to 5. And that’s the first secret. True story – a friend of a friend is a Java programmer and developer for six months of every year, then a drummer for the other six. We all need to have more arrows to our bow. Think out of the box.
Not getting anywhere with your spreadsheet expertise? Try exploring something different like landscape gardening or maybe painting and decorating? That degree in history getting you nowhere? Why not do an online course in app development? Get your guru on by keeping up with the trends, thinking of new economy jobs that might pop up in the not-too-distant future. E-scooters anyone?
The point being, diversifying your skills means you’ll always be employable. You’ll earn more with less effort. Specialise, and you can start to charge more money per hour – ergo, work less hours. If you already enjoy mastery over a specific subject, hone in on an even more specific subject for greater gains. Blog about your skills, do some promotion and grab a few speaking opportunities.
The second secret. Learn to enjoy the simpler things in life. Cooking at home, reading, walking. All good, all cheap. Clubbing, learning to fly, collecting Banksy’s, not so good. We saw a swell in the popularity of allotments come and go, but the trend of ‘growing your own’ should be a thing in 2019. Yes, it might be more effort to move beyond watching that basil plant die on the kitchen windowsill, but there’s something deeply satisfying about growing and eating your own fruit and veg.
Simplicity in life means avoiding stress, and stress can often be generated by having too many things. Not things to do. Just things. So, declutter your life; give stuff away. Empty those drawers you haven’t even opened since last June! We don’t advocate sitting on the floor of an empty room, or to get rid of your favourite stuff, but narrowing life down to the essentials can be liberating and helps us all concentrate on what really matters. You might even score some cash getting rid of those things you’ve decided you can live without.
Next up in the not-so-secret list of secrets. Embrace the changing mindset sweeping the corporate world. We’ve noticed it. You probably have too. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian gained notoriety last year for putting his head above the parapet and calling time on ‘the hustle’, describing the hard working, macho business world as toxic. (as we mentioned before, here.) He suggests you don’t need to work 25 hours a day to get stuff done. Arianna Huffington is promising to live life with more joy in 2019, while Richard Branson and Bill Gates are talking far more about human problems than profit margins. In short, the fat cats are chilling. The corporate world is learning to switch off, to enjoy more leisure time, and embrace life.
They might all be mega-billionaires but there’s a definite trend in the higher echelons of business society towards remembering there’s more to life than work. If you’ve tapped into our coworking office space philosophies you’re already on that path. Let’s hope you stay on it. The key to the exciting, terrifying world of freelancing/ gigging/ pretending to be really busy working is to adopt a mindset that isn’t too worried about money. Grab enough to get by and relax. Barter work, food and all that stuff you don’t need (see above) with your mates and other uber-cool Areaworkers.
Everyone can save money but learning to live differently is the true art of earning more and living on less. And it’s worth mastering. The final secret? Look to the people of the almost mythical sounding island of Ikaria, where watches are ignored, there are tonnes of people over 100 years old dancing and drinking into the night, no one rises early, everyone takes a nap and they all eat their greens. Now that sounds like the good life, right?