Being Outrageous is the New Safe

As a child we were all asked by adults seeking some common ground in which to bond with us the cliched question “whatdaya wanna do when you grow up?”. Many of us answered honestly – we really let fly what we wanted to do. If we thought being Indiana Jones would rock, we’d say so. If we wanted to be a nurse, a mommy, a firefighter or a cowboy, all we had to do was utter the words and coos of adulation would come in drones. “Oh he wants to be an astronaut, isn’t that cute!” or “She said she wanted to be a judge, how adorable!”.

Fast forward to the present. Now go tell the next person who asks you “what you do” instead what you WANT to do when you grow up… see how fast you get hustled to the psyche ward. It is a sad commentary on the state of things that instead of being praised for saying “I want to fly a spaceship” you’d be mocked – or if a woman said “Hmm.. I really just want to be a mommy” she may be thought stupid for not taking up a career.

Who CARES what others think of YOUR dreams

That is why they’re yours!! Fight the overwhelming pressure to conform into a shape that fits the rat race’s mold and instead champion your own path. Think of the great minds of the last 200 years, anyone from Picasso to Warren Buffett. How many of them conformed to a stereotype? How many of them gained fame, riches and most of all the ability to live the life they wanted on THEIR terms – by being the same as everyone else. Nobody that’s who, because being outrageous is the new safe.

It’s time to think about your life people, I mean really think about what YOU (not your mom, your girlfriend or your great uncle Joe) want to do with YOUR life….

Being what you want to be when you grow up… now

Growing up I wanted to travel the world, to be rich and to be able to do whatever I wanted – whenever I wanted. When I would tell people this as a young adult they’d look at me funny so I started to say “I want to be a lawyer”. Which everyone – goodness knows why – would react to positively. “Lawyer, good job, yep, not a lot of competition in THAT field”. But it was safe, it was standard, it fit the mold and there was a map (aptly called law school) that drew a line between where I was at 18 and where I would be at 24 (pulling 90 hour weeks while my thighs got fatter from never moving my bum from an executive chair). It all sounded GREAT!

Actually it sounded boring, but I didn’t have the giblets back then or the creativity to say “Wait, I am going to school so I can work myself to death and die at 55 of a heart attack? That’s outrageous”.

Being outrageous in the new safe

At around 20 I realized, school sucks. I get fed info that has no practical application to  my life and then I have to regurgitate it on a term paper that moves me up a grade where I can do more of the same. So in an attempt to have more control over my life I decided something that was epic… to be in control you need X amount of dollars (your X and my X are different, depending on what you want to do with your life). My X at the point was pretty low, so when I started pulling in hundreds a day selling crap on eBay I was thrilled.

I promptly ditched school mid-semester and moved back to Vegas to grow my little eBay empire and goof around.  Little did I know there were rules on eBay I had to follow and when I didn’t I got kicked off – thus my main source of income dried up FAST.

So I went to work at a bar at the tender age of 21 and about 15 days old. I worked there for 9 months and it was the single WORST and best time of my life. Worst because I had settled, I had gone to work at a CRAP job with no future – was in a relationship with someone who I didn’t even like but had settled (see a pattern?) for and had NO clue what I wanted to do with my life. It was also the BEST because at the end of it I had realized my inner entrepreneur and KNEW beyond knew that no matter what I wouldn’t have an ordinary life like so many of the people I was around.

How to be Outrageous

In such a time as ours, where we rely on the government for everything and are obsessed with finding jobs that have decent 401k benefits it is very hard and very easy to be outrageous. Being an outrageous entrepreneur is difficult because you’ll face so much confrontation from others at first, on the same note it is supremely easy to be outrageous nowadays since everyone else acts so brain-numbingly safe all the time.

10 Ways to be outrageous and win

  1. Start a business in the midst of a recession (check)
  2. Quit your ‘job’ before it feels safe to do so (check)
  3. Create a rocking personal brand that makes you stand out like a sore thumb from the rest of your competition (working on it)
  4. Start a small business that consists of you wearing other people’s shirts and getting paid a 6 figure salary for it (see:
  5. Charge WAY more than anyone has ever charged in your market and call it ‘premium’
  6. Offer a ridiculously good deal on something no one else is marking down and call it a ‘super deal’
  7. Paint your entire office building BRIGHT ORANGE
  8. Don’t give up even when people tell you your a fool for going forward with it (see: Richard Branson in building Virgin Records)
  9. Give up even when people think your a fool for doing so in pursuit of your true passion (see: Michael Crichton going all the way through Harvard Med just to become a writer instead)
  10. Don’t be afraid of ‘what ifs’ be afraid of the status quo (Check & check!!)

So I have two questions for you, how can you become more outrageous and what do you REALLY want to do when you grow up??