As someone who heard my Dad say, over and over again, “It’s called work because it’s not play” in response to “How was your day?”, I want to marry this post. So many thanks to Heather for writing this all down and speaking the absolute truth.
My parents taught me that no one loves their job and that I should never expect to. They taught me that only artists and musicians love what they do and that’s why they don’t mind being poor forever. They taught me that the best possible scenario was to choose a career that paid well and that I “didn’t mind” so that I could then have the cash to go do the things I loved ‘later on’. Sound familiar?
My parents taught me that I need to choose a respectable career and that if my job becomes hard or mundane, well that’s just part of the territory. And by ‘respectable’ the implication was that I choose a ‘white collar’ job in line with my family’s socioeconomic status. Nothing to do with natural skill set nor affinity (I was the arty child – horror of horrors!), but rather something that paid well, offered ‘security’, and would make our critical extended family members cluck with approval.
My parents taught me that entrepreneurship is risky and reckless – something reserved for the men-folk who had money to burn. Any female entrepreneur was most certainly a brazen, single, childless hussy who lived for getting rich quick. As a child of the 80’s, I always had visions of these women wearing large shoulder-pads and sporting bright red lipstick on their thin lips.
You know what’s interesting about these three things?
They’re only true if you believe them.
Here’s what I’ve discovered to be true after working both in the corporate world and running my own business helping entrepreneurs grow their values-based businesses:
Loads of people love their jobs. Increasingly so as more options open up to us in this digital age. I would even go so far as to say that I don’t have a job – I have Work and I have Play and I love them both equally. This is a much nicer thing to aspire to, no?
Screw choosing a respectable career and choose work that will afford you the opportunity for unlimited self respect. When you respect your work and yourself, you’re more likely to thrive in what you do, which most often leads to increased earning power. Heck, make your own work by your own rules and then knock everyone’s knickers off as your life becomes exponentially more awesome than the ‘respectable career’ people. (It worked for me!)
Entrepreneurship is only as risky (and reckless) as you design it to be. You have agency here people! You have a myriad of options for work and income design that never existed before. And while our parents may be wise and operating with the best of intentions, NONE of them are developing livelihoods in the world our generation is living in.
Now it’s your turn! If you feel so inclined, please share in the comments below a myth or two you’ve been taught that you could pitch in the trash right this instant?
Heather specializes in entrepreneurial activation and big-leap-taking. She leads an eclectic, adventurous, self-designed life, running her own location-independent business two blocks from the ocean in Peru. She’s addicted to the journey, and runs life-changing Adventure Reboot Retreats for a handful of courageous souls in Iceland & Peru each year. She’s particularly passionate about experiential learning, rule-breaking, and helping her clients flip the switch to chart lives + careers they really, truly, radically LOVE.