Microentrepreneurship

No more will there be career jobs. No more retirement parties. No more gold watches on your last day (if this ever happened at all.)

Fewer wasted days. Fewer years spent as a small cog in an unfathomable machine. Fewer opportunities noticed and missed.

Less inertia. Less living in a rut. Less tolerance of waste.

More change. More opportunity. More energy.

Greater flexibility. Greater distribution. Greater networks. Greater options.

I think it comes down to this: Instead of employers finding what they like about us – what they think will be of use to them – we’ll have no choice but to figure out how we can use our own talents and skills.

In other words, we will be the interview board. Every day. Every week. Every year. We’ll need to continually assess what we are able to to, or what we think we can productively try. Then we’ll find the tools to harness ourselves, for our own benefit.

This might mean a lot of small enterprises. It might mean 24/7 devotion to one big thing. For most of us it will likely mean a combination of employment, self-employment and micro-entrepreneurship. A patchwork of income. And no gold Rolex. Who wears a watch thesedays anyway?

Look

My friend Kregg’s clear-eyed view is this: that when we start with self-control, you’re on to something.

Self-control and self-discipline – the latter is my addition and they are not the same thing. But they lie at the heart of success. Personal success.

Also. I add prioritization as the second requirement for a strong life. Ability to control ourselves means more when we understand why we impose discipline and to what end. That’s the art of setting a priority, stating and working towards one goal and ignoring others…for now.

Allied closely with setting priorities is RE-prioritizing. Our list of priorities is like a prized garden; constant attention, replanting, pruning and changing emphasis with the seasons is a part of the deal.

IMO priorities should change with seasons, not overnight.

Which leads to my third point of success, which is knowing when to change. This is probably the trickiest, the most like an art and least technical. If the headline three years hence is X, what are my priorities now, and how should they change?

Look. Looking to the future. It’s a murky business.

Work

Entrepreneurs and business owners have a reputation for working hard, by which I guess people mean they work long hours. Whether that is factually true or not, I have no idea, but what I do know for certain is that I spend an inordinate amount of time at work. Sixty hours a week or more most weeks. Notice, not my own enterprise; another person’s.

Deep within me is a wellspring of thought that says:

Work hard, work long. It’s virtuous. Hours count.

I rationalize that as the echo of a mildly ascetic protestant upbringing, a kind of non-papist monkhood.

This is not smart. A quick search of academic research, business education and common sense points to the opposite: that a well organized and focused short working week maximizes one’s productivity health and satisfaction. Thirty-five hours stands out as around the right time.

Here’s the challenge. How can we own a business (or multiples) and yet still work less than forty hours a week? We know that leisure, sleep, family time and regeneration generally are crucial, but the demands of business will always creep into our thoughts.

We’re designing the perfect solution for this to all pan out.

Irrationality

People, eh? If a way to negotiate life exists that weeds out crazies, please let me know.

Currently there are two outliers in my wee world. One, a friend who claims to value honesty but runs away at the sniff of it; and two, a guy at work who is duplicitous and illogical. Both types of people seek to gain some kind of advantage.

The illogical guy is some piece of work. He uses his ability to complain to the hilt. Modern-day mores require validation of even the most ridiculous claim, especially when an employer is involved. The empowerment of lazy, stupid, indolent, cheating, lying and advantage-seeking individuals works right alongside those who need a leg-up. In real life, the folks who really could use some help often put their heads down and do what’s required, leaving the toe-rags to clean up on the back of political correctness.

The employment dilemma, where the employer no longer has the right to fire people as required is a problem. Human resource departments were designed to maximize the unity of workers and company owners, but spend much of their time smoothing egos and reassuring the weak.
Losing ground in this battle of the victims is the man or woman in the middle, the ones who turn up every day and complete their work. They don’t receive the training, encouragement nor management time they deserve, because the whiners and dilettantes absorb the energy.

If the lesson isn’t clear by now, it should be: Working for a wage is only a bridge to working for yourself. Aligning your intelligence and time with your goals and aims is only really possible when you represent both sides.