Thanks to my awesome readers on Facebook and Twitter, it has recently come to my attention that people want to know about me being a young entrepreneur. There’s a lot I can say on the topic, but I’ll start at the beginning to explain why I became an entrepreneur in the first place. I’m happy to say that having day jobs and then quitting them was one of the best decisions I ever made in my short adult life and it really made my entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
To date, I’ve only taken on 3 different jobs. One was being a computer consultant at my university while I was still in school, which I don’t really count as a day job, but just one of those part time first jobs kind of thing. My first real day job was being an office manager at a commercial production company. And the last day job I took on was as a production assistant/production coordinator at a how-to video website company.
At each job, I learned a lot about all sorts of things. But it was really my first day job that I learned the most. I learned what it was like to be an employee for a fast moving company. I learned how to:
- please my supervisors and be a good employee
- live off of regular paychecks, but rarely had enough free time to actually spend that money
- look forward to 5 or 6pm when I got off work
- dread waking up at whatever early hour in the morning after having gone to bed way too late the night before, blindly throw on clothes, grab some breakfast, and jump into a car to be stuck in traffic for 45-60 minutes to get to work
- savor Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays by blocking out thoughts of work, vegging out on all sorts of junk food, TV shows and movies
- begrudge the fact that banks and similar shops weren’t open for me when I was off work
- make the same old small talk every Monday morning with my colleagues (apparently we didn’t do anything that different each weekend)
- spend 2 hours of each workday stuck in traffic and another 10 hours stuck inside a building next to the beach, but never see the beach because my desk wasn’t by a window
- pretend to work while zoning out at my computer, get up periodically to stuff my face with snacks, drink a lot of tea to stay alert
The list could go on and on, and I’m guessing that many people can probably relate. As you can see, my first day job was both awesome and horrible. It was awesome because it was the first job I got out of college and the company produced some cool commercials, it was horrible because everyone who worked with me was super stressed out and as a result, I became horribly stressed out and unhappy with my day to day life while I worked there. After 7 months of it and reading this article from Steve Pavlina, I was fed up and quit the job. That was the first best thing I did for my career, but it wasn’t the end of day jobs for me yet.
I had hopes and dreams to start up a company with Rene at this point. He had also taken on a really prestigious yet stressful job and also quit it around the same time. While Rene was successful at maintaining a life without a day job, I definitely wasn’t. At this point, I was so used to being an employee, I couldn’t deal with the fact that I didn’t know where my next paycheck was coming from. I hadn’t a single clue how to make money being my own boss, or how to structure my days so that I wasn’t just going to the gym or playing video games all the time.
So after 3 months of failed attempts to be my own boss, I took on my second day job. Because my first day job was so stressful, I really carefully chose this second job. It was super lax and everyone was generally happy to be working there. I was even paid better and got better employee benefits. But that didn’t seem enough for me. I was still very drawn to being my own boss, perhaps that’s just the kind of person I am, always wanting to be in charge. Plus, Rene seemed to be getting more success working at home, and I wanted to join him!
After almost a year at my second day job, I decided to take off time from work to begin working more at home with Rene. I wanted to ease into self employment, but the company was so lax, I guess they couldn’t stay afloat, so they went under. And I was suddenly completely free to pursue being my own boss again. Luckily, this time around, it stuck because I haven’t gotten another day job since.
When I first started working for myself, I really detested day jobs since they either gave me stress or made me feel like a slave to someone else’s dreams. But now that I’ve been free of day jobs for almost 2 years, I’m really glad that I did take them on and was able to see how it was for me to not be pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams. There are some days where I kind of wish I still had the luxury of regular paychecks, but then again, I just remember all the great stuff I’ve been working on since being free of day jobs, and I really wouldn’t want to give up my freedom to dream up new business and creative ideas for that kind of stability. When I had day jobs, I definitely was in too much of a zombie mode to really think outside of my little employee cubicle. To me, being free of day jobs really allows me to be more productive in all fields I want to work in, and thus more valuable to the world and the people around me.
Do you love what you do everyday like I do? Do you have a day job you detest? Tell me what you want to know about me being a young entrepreneur. I’ll aim to answer your questions with my future posts!