I’ve been fascinated with stories of people who’ve chucked their upwardly mobile career with fat pay-packets & fancy titles in favour of a slog 18 hour day working for themselves, trying to get a business off the ground.
For over 15 years, I’ve been watching this phenomenon, first as a blue-eyed college student, then in the self-same race, wondering why anybody would put themselves through such a painful experience, voluntarily, with so much to lose & so little promise of success.
It’s nearly 15 years since I started my work life (I won’t call it a career, because I’ve not strategically planned any of my jobs). They’ve mostly been with start-ups – ideas of a one- or two-man team, in a variety of industries. For most of those 15 years, the hours were vile – 100 hour weeks were very common.
Thinking back, the most educative period of my life has been the fortunate time I’ve spent, sleeves rolled up, with extremely passionate people, driven by their ideas, & never considering failure as an option, even when their accountant (yours truly) said the writing was on the wall! It is this one trait that has stood every one of my ’employers’ – or should I call them ‘mentors’ – that is common throughout my work history.
I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Every time I’ve come close to quitting from some of my most passionate ideas, I’ve had a silent voice reminding me what I’ve learnt, & to apply it to the current circumstance. Well, almost every time.
Wealth is descriptive of many things – “money” being the most associated idea. To me, however, it is one that ranks rather low in my list of associations. Health, experiences, family, ideas, ability to think, friendships rank much higher than currency. Perhaps the reason why I’ve never had a surplus of it – but I’ve never been in any want of any of the things that money can buy. Maybe it’s because I don’t want much.