The Big Think

January 16, 2009

Inspiring

Filed under: Disclosure,Friends — jasony @ 11:54 pm

Erin and I went out to dinner not long ago with some friends we don’t see very often. They’re the kind of people that we always leave thinking “WHY don’t we see them more!?”. It’s great to talk and connect with them and we really enjoy their company. We’ve known them for a few years now and have been navigating the self-employed route together, sharing stories and tribulations from walking the road less travelled.

It was inspiring to hear of their recent success and how they’re so much happier for having made the choices they did. Erin and I were both extremely thrilled that things have turned out so well for them, and we were grateful that they were willing to share their joy. It made me really happy to look across the table at them both and see a couple who had chosen to do things their way. To see them rewarded for their decision (as should happen in a capitalistic society) felt like a giant justifying YES in favor of this oddball, scary, risky, rewarding career choice called self employment.

At some point one of us remarked that many employees of a company will never understand the ownership mindset that goes with taking risks and starting something yourself. To many of them, the security of a steady paycheck is worth more than the potential rewards of building something themselves. But as we’ve all discovered the past few months, putting your security in a “boss” is illusory: the economy can sour and suddenly you’re unemployed again. I’m always at a loss to explain how people think that any kind of job is secure, and if they’re all risky, why not at least take the risk while doing something you’re passionate about?

I came away from the dinner still wondering why more people don’t want to feel the thrill of being their own boss and taking a bigger responsibility for their own long term success. You never get over that feeling of being a phony, and the terror of “where is the next client coming from?” never goes away, but it’s worth it. Utterly.

Conversations like these remind me of that, and I’m grateful.

Mazel Tov, friends.

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