The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships to feminism and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!
As you may or may not know, besides my day job as a journalist, I am building my own network marketing business with a company called Arbonne alongside my “official” career. I’ve written an introduction about Arbonne here, you can read even more here and I’ve even written a Vixen Thinks post about network marketing itself.
If there’s one thing being in this business has taught me, it’s that a lot of people think not having a traditional job is the easy option.
Again, my main hobby (blogging, of course) has reinforced the belief that a lot of people look down on those who choose to opt-out of the common 9-5 Mon-Fri office lifestyle. I’ve seen countless snide comments about bloggers who earn their living via their blog, you know the type - “Get a real job!”
There seems to be a number of people who belittle professional bloggers and vloggers, network marketers, home-based business owners and the like, as if the work they do is not as valid as that of a regular employee.
The large amount of criticism bloggers who choose to write paid sponsored posts receive has left me with the belief that a huge amount of people are really, really resistant to the idea that you don’t have to have a job to earn real money.
The thing is, not having a job is not the easy option!
Deciding to leave the the comfort of employment takes a lot of courage. I for one enjoy knowing that I get a nice paycheck at the end of the month with a set amount of money in it. This safety net is removed when you decide to go self-employed - you can no longer guarantee a definite amount of money on a certain day of the month.
When you choose not to have a job, you are on your own. You don’t have a boss to tell you what to do anymore, you have to manage your time yourself and work out where is best to spend your effort. You have to create the work/life balance, you have to decide when to switch off, where to draw the line. While this sounds desirable, getting this right can actually be pretty tricky.
It’s also seriously hard work! While I don’t doubt traditional jobs are tough, I hate the assumption that because you’re at home or not based in a typical office setting, you can’t possibly be doing hard work.
Blogging, for example, is not just throwing a few words together and hitting publish. For a product review, I first have to use the product long enough to gain a real opinion on it. I have to photograph it - often, this means a photograph of the product itself, a swatch, me wearing the product. This can take a while. Depending on how good my original shots were, I will have to edit the photographs I take. I will upload them. I will add them to a post, I then have to write the post.
Even after I’ve hit publish, the work doesn’t end. I go on to promote the post on social media, return comments.
It might not be manual labour, but done properly, blogging is time consuming. Vlogging even more so!
I’d also like to point out that I can go to work, I can mess around in the kitchen when I get there for 20 minutes making tea, chatting to people. I can check Facebook, sneak a blog post in, but I still get paid! With Arbonne, if I don’t do the activity, I don’t get the money, simple as. That’s the tough reality of it.
Besides all this, you don’t have to convince anyone that being employed is a valid choice. Whereas if you choose a different life path, you meet resistance everywhere you turn! While blogging continues to be just a hobby for me, when it comes to Arbonne, I am constantly finding I feel like I have to justify and explain my choices to people.
I’d go as far to say that this aspect of self-employment is even worse in the network marketing business. As it’s such a misunderstood business, I often encounter misconceptions and downright lies about what it actually is in my day to day life. It’s also difficult because despite my own efforts to run my Arbonne business with honesty and integrity, there are those network marketers out there who ruin this for everyone.
Believe me, choosing employment and a job is the easiest thing in my life. I don’t have to explain being a journalist to anyone, I have set working hours, a set working wage, I can mess about every now and then but that money just keeps coming. It’s comfortable.
Those out there who choose not to do this have stepped out of their comfort zone and I admire them for it. I hope to join them one day and believe me, it’s NOT the easy option!