I recently announced my plans to take my entrepreneurial endeavors full-time and on the road with me as I travel. Essentially, granting me a life of location independence, time freedom, and ultimately, the happiness some people never truly find in the work place.
My humble beginnings as a 9-5 employee, just trying to make enough to put me inches over poverty level, led me to several observations about the everyday work place.
I'll be the hardest worker in the building, but I'm a terrible employee.
I'd much rather grind 24 hours a day towards my own goals, than work even 1 hour slaving away at someone else's.
I think it takes a special type of person to sit in a cubicle and take orders from a higher authority with complete contentment.
Don't get me wrong, entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. And we need people in this world who can do the day-to-day tasks without problems. Because with everyone being a leader and no one following, nothing gets done.
So if you're a follower, thanks for tuning in, but this next bit isn't for you. I want to talk to my leaders. My rebels. The ones who are tired of trying to fit in when they were born to stand out.
You've never quite had a problem with getting a job, because companies would love to have you and your work ethic and impact are apparent, but you're a ball of risks in every sense of the word. And here's why they might be better off choosing otherwise.
1. They need someone who will follow their rules without diverging too far left or right.
Rules are made to be broken. Especially when it comes to serving suggestions on Nutella jars.
In all seriousness, some of the world's greatest leaders were known as rebels early in their careers. They knew how suppressed and unfulfilled their lives would be if they were only able to do things exactly the way they were told.
This isn't to say I won't get the job done, because I absolutely will. Every. Single. Time. But I'll probably add another component to it, just like last time. And you will love it.
2. They need someone who will behave appropriately.
Everything about me is inappropriate. From my sense of humor to the layer of accessories I need to complete my ensemble that deviates from the dress code strictly placed in the work office. I will laugh too loud. I will smile too hard. And I'll probably get too close for comfort as I'm a hugger and cringe at the sight of an extended hand for those formal things called handshakes.
3. They need someone who tolerates working in groups.
Group projects have proven time and time again to be nothing short of a slow and painful internal death. And I'd love for every group member I've worked with in elementary through high school, to be the ones carrying my coffin at my funeral so they can let me down one last time.
Somewhere along the way of the created definition of GROUP WORK was a genius who insisted that this must entail one person who never shows up, one person who is slightly incompetent, one person who has "the best ideas in the world", and the other poor soul who picks up the slack for the prior three. I refuse to put my emotions through this inexplicable pain. Yet again.
4. They need someone they can give a set of tasks to and trust that they'll be done by the end of the day.
I can do this, I really can! But this comes with the need to surf websites for inspiration, take a coffee break when reminders of all those naps I skipped in preschool kicks in, and then there's the occasional dance break.
This is my routine for kicking the midday slump, and you can only stay seated for so long. God bless chairs. Arguably one of the greatest inventions ever that allow our feet a momentary break while we play hide-and-go-seek with our brain cells while binge-watching reality TV. They're works of art, and yet, I must part ways with them regularly. Sorry, chair. It's not me, it's you.
5. They need someone who can follow directions without asking questions.
Not only will I question your intentions, but I have the consumer in mind and if they're being shorthanded in any way, how is that something I can remain silent about?
The Big Wig companies can get away with murder if they wanted and as someone who has worked on both sides of the fence, I can't simply sit on top of it watching the madness on either side.
6. They need someone who likes their ideas over your own.
I have too many ideas, and I might want to try them all. In fact, I will. I must. I need to. Just to make sure I don't let a genius thought get away.
We spend hours trapped inside our head alone with our thoughts, and that could either be extremely terrifying or really inspiring, as you get a glimpse into the first stages of any big idea.
If you're a creative person, you know you've always got a notepad handy to jot down scribbles when those fleeting moments of inspiration come to you at the most random hours of the day.
You know you can envision and successfully execute an idea and plan when given the adequate amount of time, and the inspiration and motivation is maintained.
And if your boss has an idea, you're forced to like it and run with it. *shiver*
7. They need someone to work for them.
I rather work with you, not for you. Because isn't it so fulfilling watching your life and dreams slip away from you while you pour all your energy into investing in someone else's? Making them rich off of your labor while profiting a miniscule percentage of the millions they make at the top, while you hope for more than 2 weeks of paid time off.
It's not the concept of a 9-5 that bothers me. Heck, I'll work a 9-9 if it meant getting closer to a life of time and financial freedom. It's the fact that despite my work ethic, I'll be paid an amount that gives me just enough to afford to continue living and keeping up with the rat race and mundane cycle, hoping to visit the mythical land of hard-earned raises and promotions before retirement.
8. They need someone who's okay with their hourly wage.
I am one of the few who rather take COMMISSION pay over HOURLY. You will never see the true colors of someone's work ethic until you put them in a situation where they can only earn from the work they actually do or sell.
The average worker might be able to efficiently wash 3 cars in one hour. The hard worker can double that and efficiently wash 6 in the same time frame. Yet they're getting the same hourly pay as the former. This should infuriate the hustler.
It's for these reasons that I'm okay with taking the commissioned and freelance work that's paid based on my performance and on an irregular basis. Sure, it's risky and inconsistent, but when it comes down to it, I know my own work ethic and I have no one to blame or thank but myself.
People are afraid of commission because they don't want to be paid what they're worth. They have million dollar goals with a minimum-wage work ethic. Bye, Felicia.
9. They need someone who's normal.
I've never been normal a day in my life, and I'd like to formally apologize if you ever thought otherwise. Sure I conform to certain societal norms, but on the inside, there's a rebel birthing world domination by way of peculiar habits, overly ambitious goals, and a surplus of wine.
There's a new version of the "American Dream" which consists of being location-independent and being able to travel as part of your job.
I can't sit still. I must breathe the air of new cities, flirt with the customs of new cultures, and dance so far outside of my comfort zone that anything inside of it feels foreign.
10. They need someone who will always be on time.
There's a reason "deadlines" have the word "dead" in it. You're hardly capable of producing a pulse after rushing to get that company analysis or financial report in that you should've started and arguably completed over three weeks ago.
There's an adrenaline that comes with the ability to finish your job, time and time again, moments before it's due. Will it always be your best work? Debatable. But remember, you're already an over-achiever, so your average work is just in line with the best work of others. Oh the advantages of being a hustler.
Since I was 11 years old, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
It was career day in Mr. Miranda's class and everyone was asked to go to a table that best described the profession they were most interested in.
Kids dispersed to the tables of doctors, teachers, firemen, lawyers, and more.
And I was left standing in the back, feeling alone, different, and overwhelmed by the number of tables and options and yet not one that accommodated my interests. What was wrong with me?
After school that day, my teacher pulled me aside while I fought back tears and he told me that despite my attitude and stubbornness, he thought I'd make a great leader and entrepreneur. Ironically, it's attitude and stubbornness that have pushed me to continue my pursuit of location-independent work.
Initially, I was just excited to be the only one in my class who could even spell "entrepreneurship". But after truly understanding what it was, I knew from that day on, that was my destiny. And I've fought for it since.
And that's the beauty of it. Entrepreneurship is and can be whatever you want it to. In a world where people love to tell you everything you can't do in life, show them in turn, everything you can.