This is a guest post by Nathan Hangen is a serial entrepreneur and Digital Emperor that teaches others how to do the same.
I started working when I was 13, at a local private swim club. At the time, minimum wage wasn’t much, but I was making less…somewhere around $2.15 per hour.
Aside from the obvious benefit of seeing my favorite teenage beauties walking around in bikinis, the job sucked. I can’t remember how long I lasted, but I’m certain that it wasn’t more than a few months.
My next job was at a local ice cream shop. My boss was a pain in the ass, and if it weren’t for the free ice cream, I probably wouldn’t have made it for the 2-3 months that I did.
By the time I was in my 20’s, I’d had no less than a dozen jobs, maybe more, and was starting to realize that this work thing sucked hardcore.
The American Dream is a scam
At one point I had a really nice job, earning around $12/hour, but when they laid off the lifers and kept us “temps” because we were cheaper, I didn’t feel right staying.
“So long and thanks for all the fish.”
At that point I decided to get back to the American Dream and go to college. I’d tried a few years prior, but felt like a caged animal and quit before the end of my first year.
Seeing a common trend here?
Although I wound up graduating with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in religion, it wasn’t long before I realized that this “American Dream” was more of a sham than anything else.
Go to school, get good grades, go to college, get good grades, and get a nice job. Sounds easy, but I was really struggling with that last part.
Even the few jobs I did get after that point were completely unrelated to anything I’d studied or hoped to be doing.
Eventually I found a nice job as a manager in training for a Fortune 500 company. To my classmates, this was an awesome job, but I couldn’t find a way to take it seriously, and eventually I was fired a week before Christmas.
This turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.
Accept your greatness
If you read my story on Catherine Caine’s blog, you’ll learn what happened between then and now, but to save you the time (so you can keep reading) I’ll break it down for you.
I joined the Army, deployed, came home, and finally accepted the fact that I could never have a regular job again.
For years I’d tried to rationalize being like everyone else, even though every fiber of my being was steadfast in revolt.
Deep down I knew that I’d never be happy working for someone else, but I let the gatekeepers get to me and convince me that it was my “obligation” to do just that.
It’s the responsible thing to do, right?
If you’re lucky enough to be born with fire in your belly, the phoenix waiting to rise up out of the ashes that’s often so symbolic of an entrepreneur’s journey to greatness, then you owe to yourself…no, you owe it to the world to fulfill your destiny.
We entrepreneurs, warriors, and empire builders, blessed with a spark of insanity and rebellion, have no choice but to rise up and claim our birthright lest we find ourselves ripped apart from the inside out.
There’s nothing else we can do. There aren’t any other options. If we don’t fulfill our natural urge to create, invent, and innovate, then eventually we’ll become riddled with insanity.
Hell, some would say we already are.
Workers are a dime a dozen. They don’t take risks and leave chance for gambling halls and casinos.
However, we entrepreneurs are willing to shoulder all of the risk, not because we’re not afraid of failure, but because we can’t not do it. We want to know what’s on the other side.
We’re lured into the fray in the same manner that men leapt to their death upon hearing the call of the sirens.
It’s in our blood, and it’s our birthright.
Follow Your Siren
When others tell you that you’re crazy, see it as a blessing…as a sign that you’re on the right path.
As Maren says, who cares what others say about your dream?
You’re one of the few with the vision to see what lies ahead, and even though everyone else around you is trying to convince you that the world is flat, you know better.
On your entrepreneurial journey, you’re going to run into haters, whiners, and naysayers. You’ll run into gatekeepers and authority figures that want to keep you down.
Don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams. If you don’t fight for them, who will?