I met up with some old friends a few nights ago – they were playing a gig at a local music festival.
I used to play in various bands with them, but on the whole hadn’t met up with them properly (ie beer was involved) for between 5 and 20 years.
Most of us are now fat, grey or bald – the more unfortunate ones are all three (not me I’m glad to say) but that was funny rather than traumatic, and we enjoyed comparing scars, medical problems, and general life mishaps.
The worst part of the entire evening (which wasthoroughly enjoyable and due to be repeated soon) was explaining what I do for a living.
I know I’ve blogged about this subject before but while with strangers it’s fun to be a bit flippant or sarcastic, with friends I wanted to explain how my business works clearly but without making it sound weird or ‘dodgy’. It wasn’t easy.
And I realised how liberating it is not to pigeonhole yourself. I wasn’t an ‘electrical engineer’ or ‘a photographer’, I was ‘Tony who has online businesses’ and that opened up a whole new conversation both with old friends and people I’d only just met.
But the weirdest thing of all was that out of ALL my old friends, we’re all self-employed. We all work for ourselves.
And when we got to chatting about old times it became pretty obvious that from the outset we’d decided that the important part of the work/life balance was the ‘LIFE’ part – and not the work.
And it seems to me that making the decision was the hard part. Deciding to be unemployable was probably one of the most important decisions I ever made, because once decided, I (in fact none of us) would settle for anything less.
I’m still thinking about all this, but I wanted to share my thoughts.
Maybe stop what you’re doing and make the decision that you’re going to be unemployable – you’re going to work for yourself. I think once that decision is made, your subconscious makes sure you end up on the right track.
…..but despite the best efforts of the deeper realms of my mind, I still can’t drink as much beer as I used to at 20.
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As usual, right after I read some of your stuff…I feel better!
I feel pretty good anyway so it’s nice to get kicked up from there.
Any way…I love your info and I like the way you present it so..with that…I wish I was young enough to say….
“You’re who I’d like to be when I grow up!”
Riley West – An Oregon pioneer making his way in the trade.