10 years ago, the thought that I could make a living running a business doing something I loved was… almost impossible.
Since falling in love with the internet in 1996, I think I’d always seen the potential – had a vague dream that this new thing – this amazing, world-changing thing – would open up possibilities for my life and the lives of everyone else in the world in ways we couldn’t even imagine then.
That 15-year-old me spent a LOT of time on the internet – learning how to build websites, reading and learning stuff about the world – about life – shared by everyday people: knowledge that until then had been limited by the gatekeepers of the non-fiction book publishing industry (remember those days – when you had to go to the LIBRARY or bookstore to find out more about something that interested you?).
Those days seem like ancient history now – but they’re not.
The world has changed so drastically in the last 20 years. I – and you – now have the tools to build an international business from our living room/kitchen/couch/studio in a way that was pretty much impossible a few short decades ago.
The internet cuts away the gatekeepers. It allows you and I to connect directly to our customers – no matter where they are in the world. We don’t have to go through shops anymore if we don’t want to. There is nothing separating the creator from the consumer but two screens and a somewhat magical transference of information via wires and cables.
The traditional way of running a small craft business – selling to shops or at markets – is no longer the only way to make a business a success. Heck, you don’t even need to do these things AT ALL any more if you don’t want to.
So what’s holding you back?
Is it the belief that running a business is dangerous and risky? That there’s no way you can do it successfully and make enough money? That it’s not a safe and stable way of making a living?
If so, I want to tell you something.
You know what’s risky? What’s unstable?
A job is tenuous. It is fleeting. No longer do we get a job ‘for life’. When you have a job you are at the complete mercy of your employer. They can hire you – they can fire you. They tell you what to do and how to do it. They pay you a set rate no matter how stellar (or terrible) your work is. You are not in control. You live in a constant state of low-level fear because your life basically belongs to someone else. Someone else who can take away your livelihood at any time.
How is that a better way of making a living than running your own enterprise? One where YOU are in complete control. You decide what to do and when. You make as much money as you want to once you’ve figured out how to do it. You work the hours you want to work. You take vacations when you want to take vacations. You are in control of your life – no-one can take your livelihood away from you.
Until very recently, we were all brought up in this job mindset. I’m only 32 and I sure was. The world has changed THAT fast.
Being an entrepreneur was for a select few.
We were brainwashed into thinking we had to go to school, go to Uni, get a job, and be a good little cog in someone else’s machine.
“The brainwashing continues to this day. You’ve been brainwashed to believe that you’re stuck with what you’ve got, that you need to punch a clock, follow a manual and do what you’re told. I wonder who dreamed that up? It’s certainly in the interest of the dominant forces of our society to create an oversupply of eager and compliant workers. But now, as the power shifts, so does your opportunity.
Are you serious about transformation? I’m not talking about polishing yourself, improving yourself, making things a bit better. I’m talking about the reset button, a reinvention that changes the game. That means an overhaul in what you believe and how you do your job. If you’re up for that, then right here, right now, you can start.”
~ Seth Godin – Brainwashed
If you WANT to just have a job – a place where you go, do your work, and come home and forget about it – that’s okay. But if so – what are you doing on this blog reading this article?
I’m guessing you want something more.
I won’t go any more into this – Seth really covers it all in his Brainwashed manifesto, much more eloquently than I can.
I will leave you with an excerpt from the end of his manifesto. The most important part, I think.
If you’re here, reading this, then you’re already taking this step towards freedom- towards creating an enterprise of your own: but I think it’s a good reminder of WHY you need to keep learning.
Go read Brainwashed here.
I’d love to know what you think of it.
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