032 – I Haven’t Had a Job Since 2011

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Podcast

Have you ever had trouble describing what it is you do for work to others? Do you sometimes feel like it’s an exercise in futility, and you’re better off keeping personal details private?

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares why he hasn’t had a job since 2011, and what that has meant for his life.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Conversation at a dinner party
00:43 – Why lengthy conversations tend not to elucidate anything
01:41 – Why David hasn’t had a job since 2011
02:18 – Writing 15,000 words per week
02:29 – The difference between how an employee and entrepreneur thinks
03:25 – Paying the price
04:02 – Contrasting sharpness with dullness
04:57 – Embracing the challenge
05:08 – Entrepreneurship is irresponsible?

Transcript:

I was recently at a dinner party and the conversation turned to what I did. And I said that I did not have a job since 2011. So, of course, the question comes, “How does that work?”

Now, I was not triggered at that moment. And nor would there be any good reason to be, I don’t think.

But if I was to be triggered, then I probably would have had a more thorough response in what it is that I do. Sometimes I find that trying to explain to people what it is that I do and how my life works is more trouble than it’s worth.

If they don’t understand it even after a long explanation, then what was the point in wasting all that time and energy explaining in the first place?

Sometimes that’s how my life works because I’m always trying to get to the next thing. I could sit here and have a conversation for 15, 20, 30 minutes. And that was never scripted into my schedule, never budgeted for. And lengthy explanations end up taking time away from the things that I was planning to do.

I think this is how ambitious people tend to think. They want to get everything done and move with urgency. Their time is limited. Energy is limited.

Ambitious people want to get everything done and move with urgency. Time is limited. Energy is limited. Click To Tweet

Once you’ve set your mind on doing something, you don’t want to question it because that just wastes more energy. You want to go and do it and get it done the way that you designed your day.

But the reason I have not had a traditional or formal job since 2011 is that I decided that wasn’t for me. I started building a business. For me, it looked to be the least risky option. The risky option was going to work every morning to do a job I didn’t like, to be surrounded by people I didn’t like, and bosses I didn’t like.

And that was not the life I wanted to live. I don’t look down on anybody who can do a job. I admire them. It’s because I couldn’t do a job that I ended up having to choose this life path. The other way wasn’t working.

And if I was to summarize it, although it’s not encompassing everything I do, I write about a quarter of a book per week. That equates to roughly 15,000 to 20,000 words.

Now, I think a lot of people have a compartment for work in their minds. It occupies the space from 9 – 5 or 8 – 6 or whatever the variation on that might be. I guess for some people that’s later, they’ve got some late shifts, so maybe it’s 7 PM to 2 AM or whatever.

Either way, it occupies a certain space in their lives. They have a start time for their job, and they have an end time for their job. And once they’re off work, they can go and do whatever they want.

It’s not the way an entrepreneur’s life works. We’re kind of on 24/7. If an opportunity drops in our lap, and it looks like something that we would want to pursue, we do it.

“I’m going to jump at it at the drop of a hat and get into motion for it.” Clients might call or send emails at strange and unusual times throughout the day because they have a schedule.

Entrepreneurs don’t bargain with the price of what it’s going to take. It’s more like, “Let me embrace that.” Even though there are going to be weeks where I know I don’t want to do it and wake up and write another 15,000 words this week, this is what I’ve committed to doing.

Depending on the client you’re serving or the project you’ve taken on, that might be your life. That might be what it looks like. And it’s not going to be 9 – 5.

Much of my life has been 9 – 9 lately or 9 – 10 and on some rare occasions 9 – 2 or even 3 AM.

So, people wonder why their emails are not getting answered by Friday… It’s because, for me, those long days usually happen between Monday and Thursday. By Friday I might be feeling a little bit fried depending on the week that I just had, and I may not be able to be as productive as I could be.

Think of it this way. If you just came from a vacation and you got a tan and you’re feeling great and you got a perfect sleep and the perfect rest and you’re coming back to do a project, things that may have taken you three to five hours beforehand now only take you an hour because you’re sharp and you’re together and you’ve got the willpower.

Then the opposite of that is like, you could be burning out. You could be working for two years straight. And then the things that should take you three to five hours are taking you two days, three days, four days. Sometimes it’s like that.

But all that to say, I’ve embraced the entrepreneurial life. So, if people don’t understand, that’s okay. The cool part about it is that I don’t have to work a job.

But I guess the part that I don’t like is if there was any kind of implication or insinuation that I’ve been irresponsible or I’m not doing the responsible thing by choosing the path that I’ve chosen, I’ve scraped and clawed for everything I have, and I don’t even think it’s that much. I’m grateful for everything I have, but what I’ve scraped and clawed for, some people have achieved far more than what I’ve achieved to this point.

And that’s simply a difference in personal growth, leadership, entrepreneurship, and mindset. That’s it. That’s the only difference.

Entrepreneurship is the most responsible thing I could do in my life. That may not be true of everyone’s life, but for me, it is the path. There is no other path.

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