Whether you get a paycheck from a single company or from many customers, everyone is self-employed. Before you think I jumped off the deep end, give me three minutes. Understanding that you work for yourself could be the single-most important, life-changing realization you have today.
In most places around the world, we have won the battle against slavery: no one is forcing us to do a job we didn’t choose. You say you work for someone else? Everyone works for someone else. That’s what work is. If you sell tacos from your own food cart, or keep a manager happy by hitting numbers, you’ve got a customer to serve (the hungry pedestrian, or the demanding boss).
When I was growing up, my dad told me often, “If you give enough people what they want, you’ll get everything you want.” As a rebellious teen trying to make my own way, I let these wise words go in one ear and out the other. Through the journey of finding myself, I’ve come full circle to understanding the wisdom in my dad’s words. I’ll explain what I mean, and give you some ways to get everything you want.
You get things in life by producing or trading (or stealing, but we’re all civilized here I hope). Unless you only have basic needs and wants (in which case you’re not reading this), you can’t possibly produce everything you need. Trade is a prerequisite for a complex economy. This isn’t an economics lesson, but it’s more efficient when people focus on what they do best. To trade, you have to be able to give someone else something they want.