Occupation: an activity that serves as one's regular source of livelihood; a vocation.

What's your occupation? What occupies your thoughts and captures your heart? What is it that gets you up in the morning with joy, anticipation and excitement? Does anything? When that alarm sounds, do your feet hit the floor before you do, ready to spring into action?

What's your occupation? Do you love it? Is your work your play ... or do you work so you can play later? Do you love your job, or tolerate it as a "necessary evil"? Are you perhaps one of the growing number of people in this fast-paced, fiercely competitive e-commerce age who hate their work?

According to a recent Associated Press article, job satisfaction is at an all-time low, with increased stress and pressure to produce. Too many people are caught up in jobs that are destroying them through stress, despair, boredom, anxiety and even hatred. And if you live in despair, anxiety and hatred, how long can you remain healthy?

 

Today's Stark Reality

The average household owes $7000 in credit card debt. Half of North American households have less than $1400 in accumulated net worth. Moms and dads have limited quality time with children. Most people live paycheck to paycheck. On average, people work six months a year just to pay taxes. Only one in 10 Americans today is financially prepared to retire at age 65. Fat company pension plans are now ancient history; Social Security is rapidly becoming an uncertainty. At the end of WWII, there were 42 workers paying into Social Security for each person receiving benefits. Today, barely three people contribute for each recipient.

How did we get here? Should we fault a school system that raises generations on a what-to-think curriculum while neglecting the far more important how-to-think processes? Or should we blame parents for delegating such vital responsibility? Maybe it's our addiction to entertainment and instant gratification. Perhaps it's that we were never taught about money. (I don't remember "Money 101" in high school, do you?)

Mostly, I think, it's because we have settled. We have all too easily placed God-given purpose and potential upon the altar of false security, vainly imagining that a steady paycheck with benefits, two-week vacation, minimal risk, and the hope of Social Security was what life was all about.

 

Holistic Earning

One thing's for sure: however we got here, we need to get outta here!

How? For starters, it's time to re-think our whole approach; paradigm shifts are in order. Most people hate change; prepare to become a lover of change. Most people are security-driven; it's time to become passion-driven.

Like holistic health, holistic earning starts by looking at the whole. When you compartmentalize your existence, you harm yourself. What you eat affects every part of your life; where you spend eight to ten hours of every day affects every part of your life as well.

Ask yourself, "Is what I do everyday at my job what I really ought to be doing, considering who I am?" An honest response to that question is the first step toward holistic earning.

Many people don't even know where their passions lie; many others do, but they've settled. Still others like or even love their present occupation, but are no longer challenged at work. Their dreams have expanded, but the "rat race" has hemmed them in as well.

Self-discovery is a process of questions; great questions lead to great answers. Here's another: "If money were not an issue and I had five million dollars in the bank, what would I be doing with my time?" Write down your answer--and start there.

 

Which Escalator Are You On?

Have you ever tried to walk up a "down" escalator? You have to walk pretty fast just to stay in the same place. To get to the top, you have to walk at double speed. But if you step over onto the "up" escalator, then walking up takes no work at all: you just stand there, holding the handrail, and the escalator takes you to the top.

Our economy is a down escalator. You work hard for your money, but with inflation you have to earn three to five percent more next year just to stay in the same place. This puts you in higher tax brackets. The more you make, the more they take. Your savings account balance (if you have one) earns two percent; your credit card balance costs you 20 percent.

You're now jogging to go up--but you're on the down escalator, going in the hole 24 hours a day, wondering why you never seem to catch up. And if you stop, the escalator just takes you right back down to the bottom.

The down and up escalators also represent two kinds of income: linear income and residual income.

With linear (down-escalator) income, you trade your precious hours for dollars. Want more dollars? Trade in more hours.

With residual (up-escalator) income, you trade away a one-time season of effort for a stream of income that flows to you long after the effort has been given--perhaps even for life. Time is your most precious, limited and fragile commodity. You should barter it most wisely. Why not just get onto the other escalator?

If passionate vocation--loving what you do because it fits you--is the door to Holistic Earning, residual income is the key to that door.

When you go to bed tonight, ask yourself another great question, "What percentage of my day did I spend creating residual income?" If the answer is "zero," you know what you need to do when you wake up tomorrow.

Now, one more time ... What's your occupation?

 

 

MICHAEL FARMER
has been a full-time professional
network marketer since 1994.
He lives with his wife and two teenage sons in Montana.