Today I’m bringing you a guest post by Living Free, a millennial who escaped his corporate 9-to-5 jail. He’s an aspiring blogger who graduated with a degree majoring in Biochemistry and Finance. He tries hard to make today better than yesterday with his minimalist lifestyle. You can read more about his passive income strategies here.
I know, I know… 3 out of my 4 last posts have been guest posts. While I think it’s been awesome to read about other people’s experiences, I promise there’ll be way more Ricard content going forward 🙂
Here is Living Free:
A few days ago, I was chatting with my father-in-law, a retiring statistics professor. Over coffee, he complained how mathematic proficiency is declining amongst French students every year. He explained why he disapproved of populist politic movement. Then, he proceeded to criticize the idea of “savage globalization.”
For 2 hours, I sat at the dining table.
Munching my tasty pain au chocolat, I nodded silently. All the time, I was interrupting his speech with “aaaahhhh” and “oui, oui, oui” while battling to keep my eyes open.
Until he popped the question:
“When are you going to get a normal job?”
There are two reasons why we work crazy hours and find ourselves trapped in a 9-to-5 job: we’re either motivated by money or driven by passion.
There’s nothing wrong with working for money. That’s how normal people put food on the table and have running water and lights. However, some of us are better suited to be entrepreneurs.
Below is a list of the 12 qualities every entrepreneur needs to have:
1 – Energy
I recall hanging out with my friends till 3am in the morning, and still be able to be productive at my corporate job. Rather than saving things for old age, according to Warren Buffet, I know I can channel all my energy into things I’m genuinely excited about.
2 – Positivity
I read about people losing their jobs every day. Yet, I’m told to work hard at jobs that will eventually be replaced by robots and computer software. Rather than complain about how unfair the world is, I know I can take the necessary steps to change my personal circumstances.
3 – Talent
At my previous job, I was told to stare at Excel sheets all day long. I was told that I could not do anything else but work during office hours. But, I also love to write, dream, travel, and help others. Rather than stay trapped in my tiny cubicle and allow my aspirations to fade away, I know I can live a life full of abundance by simply exploring what I can do.
4 – Innovation
If not for Elon Musk, electric cars and HyperLoop might still be objects of fantasy. Without Steve Jobs, we might not have Mac computers and iPhones. But, I’m no Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. Rather than accept conformity and be average, I know I can change the world by imagining and dreaming big.
5 – Adaptability
It’s amazing the things I can do with the Internet today. I don’t even have to listen to the squeaky Internet dial-up connection of yesteryear. All I need is my mobile phone. Rather than get left behind by the rapid change, I know I can choose to learn, embrace, and take advantage of technology.
6 – Perseverence
My mom thought I was going nuts before I left my cushy corporate job. I asked my wife if I was indeed going insane. She thinks otherwise. People who trap themselves in a corporate job and choose not to do anything about it are the crazy ones. Not me. Rather than get lured back into a never-ending cycle of work and consumption, I know I have to tailor a path for my own happiness.
7 – Action
Before I left my corporate job, the last thing my manager said to me was, “Wow, you are brave.” No, I’m not brave. I’m scared shitless. Rather than have fear control my entire life, I know I have to take action to keep up my hopes and dreams alive.
8 – Education
I’ve spent so much energy and time acquiring diplomas. Yet, I’m doing a job that’s totally unrelated to my interest and skills. Rather than regurgitate a ton of facts just to pass tests, I know I can create something with my knowledge that brings real benefit to the world.
9 – Nonchalance
I didn’t know what I was doing at my last job, even though I had to reply to emails, produce daily Excel reports, and look forward to my annual performance review. It was boring and I was operating below my potential. Rather than allowing subjective opinions to dictate my life, I know I can measure my performance according to my own goals.
10 – Efficiency
I love to improve things, particularly if I can help to make something move faster and perform better. However, many people oppose changes and are extremely resistant to new ideas. Rather than waiting for somebody to say yes or no, I know I can take action on my own schedule in order to streamline the inefficiencies.
11 – Utopia
People are starving in some parts of the world. We all hope that one day everyone will have enough food to eat. We all hope that one day there will be no more poverty. Rather than be indifferent to the sufferings of the world, I know I can choose to make tomorrow better than today.
12 – Resourcefulness
I’m not a billionaire nor do I have an IQ comparable to the likes of Stephen Hawkings. Everywhere I turn, I face constraints in every possible way. It’s easy to stay in my comfort zone and allow things to rest in status quo. Rather than simply give up, I know I can find creative ways solve problems with the least amount of resources.
I like to think that I have the qualities to be an entrepreneur.
In Hunter S. Thompson’s open letter, he said,
“As I said, to put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. We strive to be ourselves.
But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that we can’t be firemen, bankers, or doctors – but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires – including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be meningful. A man has to be something; he has to matter.”
Yes, I can always return to get a normal job, make a stable paycheck, and assume that life is good. But, life is not good if I’m trading all my precious time away for money. Furthermore, the normal job concept is just not meaningful for me.
Perhaps, you get excited looking at Excel sheets every day. Not me.
What if I can find a better way to keep bread on the table, the lights turned on, and the water running all without a corporate job?
I’m pretty sure that my father-in-law didn’t calculate the probability of maximizing happiness with his normal distribution curve. I don’t know for sure if I can set a degree of freedom on the happiness t-test, let alone find the optimum level of money to keep moi indefinitely happy. Heck, I don’t even know how anyone can conduct such a statistical test.
Beats me. I’m no statistics professor. All I want is to eat my pain au chocolat and sip my piping hot coffee.
Maybe, not getting a normal job is the new Central Limit Theorem.
Maybe, I’m wrong.
I replied with my mouth full, “Je ne sais pas.”
If you’d like to see more of Living Free, check out his blog here.