I just finished reading an article in Forbes about Ryan Blair, a former gang member turned multi-millionaire CEO.
He made several powerful statements in the article, not the least of which was, "would you rather be a doctor or a lawyer, or a guy
who writes a check to doctors and lawyers?" I smiled to myself as I read that because I know that statement helped to start the synapses firing. I recall a similar comparison statement with regard to wealth: "Shaq is rich, but the guy who pays Shaq is wealthy." It makes you think.
Sometimes when we reach for the monetary brass ring, we miss the mark because we think too small, or worse, we have poorly defined definitions. Worse still is that we think in terms of time rather than in terms value.
Most people strive for "getting over the hump," or they just "can't wait until payday" - being totally short-sighted in their behaviors, thoughts, and actions. Ouch. To this group, things in their lives will change when that day comes, so they clock watch, and bemoan work in the interim. But what happens when that day passes? They slump from the peak, and resume the behaviors that keep them in the gap, and the cycle continues.
For growth to begin, we have to change our thinking to match our wants, then align our behaviors with the actions that achieve the results we desire. Allow me to explain.
At certain levels of income, we trade time for money. And we are expectant that on a certain day, we will get the money. We believe when the money is received, we can be happy. We can breathe a sigh of relief and pay off a the cell phone bill, the rent, or buy some new clothes.
Unfortunately, the happiness tends to end when the money is gone because we're living paycheck to paycheck.
When I lived this way, I would get so frustrated because I felt like I had to start over every pay period. This is totally Gap behavior, and it's DISEMPOWERING.
With regard to work, I have found myself upset and couldn't figure out why; then it hit me: I resented having to be "on the clock" until my shift ended. Crap. What a limitation.
First, understand that I was raised to do a good job, so in my mind, if I finished quality work in a timely fashion before the shift ended, then I should be free to leave and still receive full pay. Not quite. Unfortunately, some combination of office rules, politics, and HR laws dissolved that viewpoint real quick.
A friend of mine, who is a successful military contractor, would get so upset with me for seeming ungrateful. He explained that work is a privilege, not a right. Then I'd feel guilty as all get out because I felt like I was being an ingrate. But as I read, learned, and grew as a person, I realized this was not about a lack of gratitude, the real issue was a lack of purpose.
Then the question became, what could I do to be of further value to those I serve? That question lead me to further my education, and gave me opportunities to receive greater responsibilities. I wanted the gold star, man, and I was hungry for it. However, I endured some thorns with the roses: I was downsized on three separate occasions. Ouch again.
It was at that point that I decided to become a freelance contractor, and many friends and family, were nervous about my decision. What about your pay? How will you live? What will you do? And I reminded them that each time I was downsized, I dug myself out and kept going. There was no difference. Then I did just that.
There are adaptations with each level of change, but they're do-able, and if we are to continue surviving, we must be capable of making these adjustments. Over time, I realized that there is no such thing as job security.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of limitations. I wouldn't friend it on Facebook or recommend it on LinkedIn. The next level for me was to transition from contractor to entrepreneurship. Ryan Blair hits the nail on the head about entrepreneurism: "there's nothing to lose and everything to gain."
We all have some gift, talent, or special something meant to serve humanity. To paraphrase, anyone could be an entrepreneur, but not necessarily everyone should.
For me, the light bulb moment was when I realized that in my experience, I'd already been serving clients, providing value, and working without a safety net in the can-be-downsized-at-any-time arena of employment, so in my mind; I had a lot to gain, and nothing to lose.
The answer(s) to the following question may help you to wake up and serve something bigger than your fear of accomplishment or your insecurity about success:
What is it you believe you stand to lose if you get out of the gap, and make the shift from clock watcher to entrepreneur?
Thank you for your comments and feedback.
We'll speak soon,