Part-time or full-time?

My business partner and I are focusing on building our team this year. He asked me recently what I thought about the potential of someone joining our team on a part-time basis. 

I remember asking my future manager the same question 7 years ago as I transited to part-time employment. 

I was ill then. I had taken several months off work and was relearning how to function normally in order to earn a living. I didn’t have the physical and mental energy to work full-time. 

I made sure that my manager knew about it. I still remember clearly his response. He said:

Daniel, in this line of work, there’s no such thing as full-time or part-time. When you’re self-employed, you manage your own time. 

That’s part of the attraction of being self-employed, or the gig economy, isn’t it?

However, a lot of people who enter the gig economy aren’t very good at managing their time. And neither was I. It’s not something we’re taught in school or at work. 

In school, timetables are set for us. At work, schedules are determined by our employers. We really never learn to manage our time unless we have had the opportunity to do so. 

As a result, due to a lack of discipline, many people either get tempted by laziness and not work as hard as they should; or they work too hard. I was the latter and sometimes I still struggle with stopping work when I’m supposed to. 

I gave the same answer to my business partner. Full-time or part-time makes sense only to someone whose time is being managed by an employer. 

If you’re self-employed, you manage your own time. 

Case in point. Both my business partner and I hold multiple roles in multiple businesses. Are we then holding multiple full-time jobs or multiple part-time jobs?

The question doesn’t even make sense. 

The framing of the perspective is important. You’re not working at a job and being paid by how many hours you work. That’s an age of industrialization concept. 

You’re being paid for results. 

If you achieve the same result in one hour or in 10 hours, then in the former case you’re 10x more productive. 

When you’re being paid for results, not the time you work, it creates a win-win outcome. And that’s the only kind of outcome we should be striving for. 

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