Financial Security is a false concept that developed in American society based on the idea that security comes from the perceived reliability of a regular or planned paycheck. Many people, believing in the commitment of their corporations to their well-being, have found themselves downsized, layed-off, outsourced, transferred, or, in some cases, even fired. The immediate reality becomes harshly apparent and sadly disappointing.
The bottom line is that Corporate America will always be focused on the bottom line. As a dependent corporate employee, you are subject to the whims of the corporation. You have absolutely no control over how much you earn, where you work, the longevity and reliability of your income, or your position. You are simply a number. At any given moment, some nameless pencil-pushing number-cruncher, can deem that you are no longer an asset to the company and, rather, have become a liability. At any given moment, it can be deemed that you no longer factor into the profitability of the corporation – and your OUT. They don’t care if you have a mortgage to pay, 3 kids in college or a new shiny car with a hefty payment. They don’t care that you’ve come in early for the last 9 years or given 20 years of your life to them. The bottom line is that you don’t effect the bottom line in a positive way…so you’re OUT.
Corporations no longer hold value in employee commitment or dedication. Each day, companies are choosing to cut costs by outsourcing to less expensive countries with cheaper labor, downsize, and reduce costs by eliminating cost of living increases, benefits and retirement guarantees. Recently, the media has been focusing on the deliberate actions of corporations that cost employees each year. The Christian Science Monitor, on November 7th, 2005, featured an article, ?Workers Face Paycheck Pinch?. In the article, the author, Mark Trumbell, details the lag of Corporate America to maintain pay increases with inflation:
“For all its strength, the current economic expansion is not boosting the American worker’s paycheck. Wages have been rising nominally: Average pay rose 8 cents last month to $16.27 an hour, according to a government report Friday. That’s not fast enough to counter inflation.
By one common measure, average pay for an hour’s work has less purchasing power than it had four years ago – when the current growth cycle began. It’s a pattern of weak wage growth that’s now several years old, but the trend has worsened in recent months. Wages for the most recent quarter were 2.3 percent lower, after inflation, than workers received a year before”
Time Magazine recently featured an article entitled ?Broken Promises?
“It was part of the American Dream, a pledge made by corporations to their workers: for your decades of toil, you will be assured retirement benefits like a pension and health care. Now more and more companies are walking away from that promise, leaving millions of Americans at risk of an impoverished retirement.”
“Corporate promises are often not worth the paper they’re printed on. Businesses in one industry after another are revoking long-standing commitments to workers.” (Bartlett and Steele, October 31, 2005, p. 32-33)
So, how do you achieve Financial Security in this changing global economy? Employers aren’t even keeping up with inflation and are doing everything in their power to reduce benefits and retirement income. The days of being rewarded for loyalty to corporations are long gone ? it?s now every person for themselves. In addition, loop holes in corporate law enable companies to restructure, file bankruptcy and maneuver their way out of promises to employers to provide benefits.
In reality, true Financial Security is belief in yourself and your ability to instinctively create income for yourself at any time, anywhere. Entrepreneurs understand true Financial Security. They?re self-reliant, creative, independent and solution focused. We know that at any given time, regardless of the economy, trends, timing, etc. that we have the skills, know-how, and guts to create our life. Entrepreneurs refuse to be dependent on or subject to the whims or decisions of corporate America, rather establishing themselves as corporations, producing their own incomes through commitment, service and sheer motivation. We are responsible for our own retirements and count on the promises of no one. Entrepreneurs ARE financial security and as such we reap the rewards.
There are many opportunities for people to become successful entrepreneurs. Thousands of people have made fortunes on the internet alone. Decide what type of business you want, what your ultimate goal is (time, money, leisure, etc) and go from there. A common misconception is that businesses take thousands of dollars to start. It is true of some, but there are many lucrative opportunities available for nominal start-up costs. Once you make the decision to be self-employed, do your research, find the right business for you and move forward from there.
Copyright 2005 Shannon Lavenia