Well, it’s confirmed. I’m meant to be an entrepreneur.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it. Any haziness, second guessing, misplaced blame & self-doubt I’ve been harboring for years culminated into one big gummy ball of self-loathing… and then exploded into tiny bits of incinerated ash by today’s events.
The main event I speak of?
My denial into 9-5 corporate America. It’s true. I’ve secretly been exploring options of joining the masses in the daily grind. I guess being pummeled by constant entrepreneurial failure after constant failure, for years, takes it toll. To the point I got my resume together and started applying to salaried positions with 401k plans, health benefits, and watercoolers. To the point where I went through 3 rounds of phone and in-person interviews. To the point I was partially hoping to get an irresistable offer on that voicemail today. And partially hoping I didn’t get the offer. Is that wrong? Maybe.
But that offer never came. And I can’t really say I’m dissapointed that it didn’t.
See, during this whole interviewing process I’ve been trying to feel right about it… make it ok. I was trying to see the huge opportunities being presented to me. The idea of working with some really cool people in a pretty cool tech culture. Getting paid a stable salary. Doing fulfilling design work. And being able to finally stash some money aside to fast track our way to getting married in the Mediterranean, just like Mel and I have been envisioning for the past few years.
But something about it didn’t feel right. I just couldn’t shake the idea of feeling “trapped” in a 9-5. Maybe “committed” is a better word. “Committing” myself to climb the corporate ladder, to trade an uncapped amount of time for a nearly capped amount of salary. “Committing” myself to accept normal (in this case), instead of pursuing unrealistic. Mel says I was probably self-sabotaging myself. I think she was right.
Now this isn’t a knock against 9-5ers or working the corporate culture. I just realized, today, that it’s not for me. I’m searching for different. I’m searching for lifestyle. I’m searching for unrealistic.
But this whole experience was actually an awesome learning experience. I was able to pinpoint some of my core weaknesses, & realize some of my core strengths. I was able to define exactly what I want in this short amazing spec of existence. And I met some really cool people and rekindled some waning relationships.
And just to satisfy my need that you hopefully get some value from this post, I’m gonna list out the core take-aways. My reflections to becoming my better self.
Take-away 1: Learn how to interview by telling stories
Guess where I went when I found out I was going tto start interviewing. Ramit Sethi’s blog IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com. Scouring through his free dreamjob content, I know I need to improve on, well, many things. But mainly I realized I want to create a toolbox of about 15 stories I can pull from to, yes, answer interview questions, but also to ENGAGE whoever I’m talking to. I’m a pretty personable guy, but story-telling is an art that will instantly connect me with anyone and communicate my message to the masses in any one-0n-one or group setting.
Take-away 2: Learn basic negotiation techniques
When approached by a recruiter, I fell for the oldest trick in the book. At the end of our call, she asked me for a salary range I was looking for. My first parry, “Before we get to that, I’d like to talk more with the hiring manager to see if we’re gonna be a good fit for each other.” She countered, “Well we wanna make sure neither of us is wasting the other’s time. Can you give me a range?” I caved. Ahhhhhh! Raise the gun from my bleeding foot and just aim it at my chest already. I immediately referenced Ramit’s blog again for a better response. And I found it.
CORRECT PARRY: “What salary range has been allocated for his position?”
Boom! Tides turned. Won’t make that mistake again.
Take-away 3: Everyone has a useful network. Nurture it.
I rocked some calls to people I’ve had one email or live conversation with asking for advice. I think everyone I contacted responded with something useful. Now I’m building an excel sheet with entreprenurial contacts and a keep-in-touch-with schedule to nurture those relationships, provide value to them, and ask advice down the road.
Take-away 4: Practice gaining clarity. I know what I want. And it’s in line with my nature.
To be an entrepreneur is to struggle in some compacity. It’s how I grow. But being an entrepreneur without a clear vision is like swimming in circles, in quicksand, with 50 assholes around you mocking and making fun of you and telling you you’re a loser and to give up. (Assholes)
This experience became a true test of my gut. The gut always knows… I think. This job opportunity seemed great on the surface, but my gut was uneasy. The final nail in the coffin (that vm without an offer) actually became a sigh of relief… for me and my fiancee. According to her, I haven’t been happy through this whole process. I guess because even the best outcome still wasn’t aligned with my nature… at least in my mind. Maybe that’s a copout. But I’m forced to define what I DO want.
So, what IS in line with my nature? Creation. Adventure. Freedom. Passive Income. Identifying and solving problems. Imagining an unrealistic magical life. And now I know, I MUST pursue this.
So, what I DO want is a close network of entrepreneurial minds, inspired minds, caring hearts, and wild spirits… people who are pursuing the unrealistic. I want to help others cultivate this. I want to define problems and come up with solutions. And I want to take a Mediterranean cruise and get married on a Greek Isle to the gorgeous vision sitting on the couch beside me as I type this. And a puppy named Gus-Gus. I want a freakin’ puppy named Gus-Gus.
Take-away 5: I want to succeed as much as I need to breathe
Saw that on a shirt of one of my facebook friends, Phil Drolet.
Hey Phil! We’ve never met. But we’re friends on facebook! I also heard this on a motivational video for success. Here’s a link. WARNING: Watching this may motivate you to work harder than you ever have before for the next 5 minutes.
I’ll end with that.
the adam has spoken 🙂