12 months ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of publishing such an article expressing my passion for being an entrepreneur. I was deeply entrenched in the corporate world and would not have wanted to jeopardise any career progressing opportunities by letting my true feelings be known to the world. But since then I have shaken things up a little and took action. I am now an independent consultant in the corporate world; although I may still not be completely free from the corporate shackles, I definitely feel like they are a whole lot looser and ready to be broken. That said, there is more to be done…
Since primary school days, I have always been one to look for alternative money sources to the pocket money given to me by my Grandad. My grandad has always been a hard worker and is the most generous man I know and I rarely felt like I was going without, but being brought up watching ‘only fools and horses’ and going to a weekly boot sale with my grandad and great-uncle, who thought he was a Del Boy equivalent, the notion of “wheeling-dealing” was a small part of my youth.
I recall there was a point where raiding the piggie bank just wasn’t cutting it anymore. My wants had grown. Items on my wish list had gotten more expensive. As boys do, I traded and swapped things in school – in those days it was Merling football stickers, yo-yos, Pogs, Pokemon card or whatever the craze was at the time – with classmates in the playground, but there were often times where I did not want another sticker, Pog or card so I opted to trade for raw cash instead – in my young eyes, cash was already king!
Throughout my teenage years, this “hustling” tendency continued and it became clear to me that I loved the feeling of being able to come back home from school with more money than I left out with in the morning, it was an empowered position.
When I was seventeen I worked in a music studio as a sound engineer. I was running recording sessions for a lot of young local artists. It was a great gig because I could charge an hourly rate, give the studio a cut and use the studio pretty much any time I liked. It did not feel like work as I have always loved music and worked the hours that I chose – I was more or less my own boss! This contributed to my first car at “sweet 18,” a Renault Clio.
My dad has always liked being his own boss too and tried dabbling in the retailing business. I remember when he bought at least 500 garden solar lights he thought he could flip for a shiny profit… boy was that fun! We took these bright coloured garden lights to Vauxhall market every Sunday along with other merchandise my dad had bought from Alibaba or one of his other online source. That was inspiring, my dad was a proponent to my entrepreneurial thinking. He was willing to put his money down and give it a shot.
And so the story continues…
It is easy to get caught up in the proverbial “rat race” and pigeonholed into a job you had absolutely no intention of going into. In my parents generation and prior to that, people hardly thought twice about job satisfaction, work-life balance or becoming an entrepreneur/businessman, however, times have changed and now setting a business or jumping from job to job is far from unusual.
I have now been working solidly for 6 years since graduating from University. During those 6 years, I have had many business “epiphanies” and false-starts attempting to break free from the corporate. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed my time being in corporate – I was young and dressing in nice suits, earning a good income as well as given opportunities to live abroad – but the good regular income started feeling like the pocket money grandad used to give me. It wasn’t that I was getting greedy, it was just too predictable. Safe. Dry. The idea of knowing exactly what I am going to earn for the year doesn’t seem to get me excited. Don’t get me wrong, I am very fortunate to be in the working position I am in today, I do not take that for granted, and do not write this with any pretence… It’s just not me. The roles that I have undertaken in these larger organisations have not produced anything I could be proud of or use in my day-to-day life, and so I aim to create something that I will use and others will use to improve day-to-day life.
So, what does one do when one is like this?
I tell you this much – I am eagerly anticipating the next journey!
To be continued…