How to Rise Above the Unhappy Labor Statistics and Work for Yourself In a Place That You Love
In the decades I have spent in various industries of business I have found common traits among successful people. Of course, you will notice successful individuals have outstanding habits of promptness, ambition, and punctuality, but more abstractly I have noticed two more things that give people an edge to buy a business or begin a startup—an edge in profit, but more importantly an edge in happiness.
The first, is they question everything. The inquisitive mind naturally makes this leap by not accepting the order of things. How can we make it better? Smarter? Quicker? These are the questions entrepreneurs like Elon Musk asks himself when reviewing prototypes for Tesla motors and SpaceX.
The second trait is following a pattern of finding the thing that makes you most fulfilled, then pursue it to the point of wealth.
For me, it was leaving the stability of what made me hugely successful in terms of money but left me wanting for something more fulfilling. I started my own company—a pet grooming franchise. My company was inspired by my dog. I was tired of being fed up with taking her to industrial places that only aggravated and ripped me off, and in this company, I found the gratification I wanted. It almost seems inadvertent now, but in retrospect, it was the most awesome decision of my life. It was the push to buy a business.
I often observe people of all ages struggling to find happiness. People who hate their job. The pattern continues. These individuals stay in the dead end cubicle of a job because they haven’t figured out what they want to do yet. They settle.
Many like me have noticed this same trope in the American workplace and have philosophized three practical ways of thinking that might help you escape.
Beware of the Idleness of Complacency
When people look for a career they often consider things that have nothing to do with passion or happiness—we are conditioned to do so. Salary, culture, stability, advancement, and location are all hugely important, but one can’t narrow their lens to only this criteria.
What is it that you want to do?
Many of my companies small business owners never realized they wanted to buy a business until they took the time to consider what they really wanted out of life.
One of my colleagues sat in an office for a multinational company for years waiting every Monday for a call to be laid off. She knew it wasn’t a matter of why, but of when. It was inevitable. One day she realized enough was enough and took the initiative to find something better.
She now owns her own Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique in McKinney Texas and feels blessed to not only be out the stressful work environment of her previous profession but make a daily contribution to beneficially impact her local community. She had the courage to buy a business.
This might not be your route, but it is an example of the mentality it takes to find the career of your dreams. Opportunities won’t seize themselves. Quit your job. Light an urgent fire under yourself that can only be doused with passion.
Sometimes, you have to make what was once optional and a requirement to find what you’re looking for.
Let Curiosity Illuminate the Path
The true etymology behind curiosity killed the cat, is curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. I believe this is the truer notion behind the popular proverb.
Peel back the layers of yourself to see your less obvious interests. This will give you a more rounded view of your goals and help to unlock your creativity.
A popular entrepreneurial story is Steve Jobs’ taste for calligraphy. Steve ended up taking a typography class for the pure enjoyment of it.
“It was beautiful. Historical. Artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture. And I found it fascinating. None of this had any hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me,” says Steve Jobs in his biography.
Even if it seems less pragmatic right now don’t let this deter you. Finding these unique interests about yourselves is what gives you the edge and tenacity to turn your curiosities into your career and more importantly the mosaic of your life.
If you decide to buy a business, invent, or begin a startup you are in for some grueling work. A passionate career comes from being challenged every day, being intrinsically curious about what you do. At first, think in terms of money being removed from the scope of your curiosity.
Buy a Business: Never Set an Arbitrary Ceiling for Yourself
You set your own professional ceiling.
Corporate America might provide limitations, but what is even worse is limiting yourself. Once you remove the restriction of being complacent at a dead end job, and find out what you really want to do, you have already broken free of the two hardest barriers.
Next, you need to compare your current skills against the skills you want to develop. For example, say you a very good with back office accounting, and numbers come easily to you. But you realize that 2017 is the mecca of cloud computing and IT is a transient and foreign challenge that you want to dive into.
When thinking about buying a business or launching into a new sector consider challenging yourself and learning new things. Life is perception.The more people define themselves by I can’t, the more they won’t. Adversely, the more people define themselves by I will, the more they indeed will.
Many of us in the Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique family have been fortunate enough to break away from the norm, go against the grain, and find more than just a career in a place that we love to work in. If you don’t believe me, go visit a shop. See it for yourself.
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