After a long time of being on my “must-read” book list, I finally started reading The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. The book is all about “Setting Your Own Rules, Living the Life You Want, and Changing the World.”
And I gotta say, I can’t put it down.
Seriously, this is the only book that has ever caused me to miss my train stop because I was so into it I wasn’t paying any attention to anything else.
But all train-missing aside, here’s why I love The Art of Non-Conformity.
It helped me realize the real reason I love being an entrepreneur.
Don’t just escape from something, escape to something
One key principle Chris talks about is making sure you don’t just aspire to escape from the common work-related plagues we often hear about.
Many times, when I talk to aspiring entrepreneurs, I hear reasoning like:
- “I can’t wait to get away from my boss.”
- “I can’t wait to get out of a cubicle.”
- or “I can’t wait for all the red tape to come down.”
What I don’t hear very often is what entrepreneurs will be escaping to.
And no, you can’t escape to “life without a boss.” You’re really just escaping your boss.
Here’s what Chris says on the subject in his book:
“…’escape’ is a common theme of many self-employment resources, and I can understand why. [...]But be careful. When you focus on escaping the humdrum of the cubicle (or wherever you spend your workdays), you also need to have something to escape to. Otherwise you may end up no happier than you were prior to the escape. Like the bride and groom who spend dozens of hours planning a wedding but little time actively planning the life they’ll share after the big day, the other side of escape may be abrupt and unfulfilling instead of the exciting adventure it should be.”
-page 102, The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Gillebeau
What I really want as an entrepreneur
So it got me thinking…what do I escape to as an entrepreneur?
As many of you know, I have a full-time office job.
But I’m also an entrepreneur with a bunch of side projects that bring a pretty paycheck each month too.
So why do I do both?
Because one of the biggest reasons I’m an entrepreneur is to provide stability and security for my family.
The medical benefits and steady income I get from my day job and the extra cash I pull in from the rest (what I’ve decided to start affectionately calling my “train job”) give me exactly the lifestyle I want for me and my family.
What I don’t want as an entrepreneur
I know it may sound a little ridiculous to the rest of you that I don’t mind having a boss. Or that I get paid the same amount from my day job whether I put in 40 hours a week or 80.
But I like it.
Because I don’t use entrepreneurship to escape to a boss-less life. I use it to escape to added income and family security.
I’m not an entrepreneur set out to make millions. (Thank goodness.)
I’m not in it to be able to travel the world and work from the beach.
I’m not in it for the fame or recognition.
I’m an entrepreneur for the added financial security and to make my family’s lifestyle more confortable.
I have a terrible memory
Do I forget it sometimes?
Do I aspire to be famous, well-respected, travel the world, buy all the latest electronics and gadgets?
But that’s not what drives me.
What drives me? Three things: My wife, my son, and my (we’re don’t know yet) on the way. (PS: I should have told you…my wife and I are expecting our second child next March!!)
What drives you?
So what drives you as an entrepreneur? Why do you put in the (sometimes) long hours, deal with (sometimes) exhausting clients, and juggle all the small details of your business?
What makes it worth it for you?
What are you escaping to?
Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you escape to and what motivates you to be an entrepreneur!
(PS: All the links in this post for The Art of Non-Conformity are Amazon Affiliate links. If you click through and buy the book, I will get a small kick-back. But I never, ever recommend any book I haven’t personally read (or am in the process of reading). I genuinely think you’ll love this book. In fact, it’s changing the way I look at business and life. If you click through and buy, please let me know so I can thank you personally and we can chat about the book!)
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