People that know me, know that the prospect of working to make another man rich is as poisonous to me as drinking rattler venom. The gangsters I studied for so many years called guys with jobs “crumbs” because they would work for a man, toil for 5 days of the week and then thank that man for letting them have 2 days off while putting aside crumbs of money to hopefully retire one day. While the gangster mentality was mockingly harsh, the reality is that these guys were hypocrites, their rackets weren’t easy, they had to kick up to a boss weekly (who would kill them and not fire them) and they would die broke. Still, when you read this stuff it becomes a part of you – so deep down I resented the thought of being in the rat race or being a crumb.
Business is a game of Texas Hold’Em
In my last post on the topic of having an enterprising mindset “When I Quit My Day Job”, I mentioned that I saved a large chunk of change in order to jump from the nest and fly. In this post I will talk about the other quotient in entrepreneurship and that is of luck. You see in this world of ours you can play the game by all the rules, know the rules as well as its creator but at the end of the day business can be a high-level game of Texas Hold’em. What happened in the later years of my new business was the equivalent of pushing all-in with a low pair without taking time to read your opponent’s tells and hands. I pushed in blindly and took a gamble.
I had no mentor (I recommend you get one), I devised my own strategy instead of looking at the existing flowcharts and I entered into the world an entrepreneur with wide eyes and big balls – nothing else. While this would have seen me a long stay of success in years past, I neglected to study the most important factor in my business: the economy and the patterns of the small business owners that I dealt with. So in a couple of years of grinding and enjoying my time as my own boss, I found myself smack dab in the middle of the same crisis that everyone else was in. My beautiful self-built skiff was showing wear and little holes started to bring in water faster and faster.
Flawless credit led to being over-extended after abusing it as a mock bank for my business and emergencies rolled in as they do – at the worse time possible. Before long it became evident that I had failed in realizing the dream and it was either go down with the ship or do the one thing I dreaded doing… getting a job.
What’s so bad about being employed for someone?
When you tell a fellow entrepreneur that you are getting work, you get two differing reactions. The seasoned hustler will apologize to you about your luck and reassure you that it won’t be long before you’re back in the hand again stacking chips. The idealist person will tell you that you need to “work harder” or “move back home” or anything that is not “getting a job”. Let me tell ya, talking to the latter is a real kick in the balls but I had to realize that it wasn’t about being self-employed, it was about doing what gets me the hell out of the shit the quickest.
I wasn’t prepared to live out of my car (or girlfriend’s couch), coding on a laptop the way my teachers from the books did. I started my business while simultaneously working for someone so it was a return to that inevitably for me. It truly is all about the mental and if I let people know what had happened with my business I knew that I would let in a whole lot of patronizing, snide, misunderstanding rhetoric that was not needed at the time. What I needed was a base to re-structure, re-organize, refuel and get back on the grind. It is a hard choice for the entrepreneur because many view it as defeat, which it is but we never grow unless we fall on our ass, get back up and write blogs about it to help the next would-be hustler / entrepreneur.
What have you learnt since being re-employed for The Man?
I’ve learnt that we should keep our businesses to ourselves (as in leave your little hater friends out of your money). Some of the most unhelpful people throughout my trials have been the ones who never understood to begin with. Remember the Loneliness of Entrepreneurship; well it is that way for a reason. If you keep your business to those who need to know, then the white noise will be less whenever you fall or fail. Trust me, there are people out there who LOVE to discuss “that fool who had all that money” because it makes them feel better about themselves. Keep those people out of your enterprises, keep on trucking and get back up when you fall. So what you had to go and get a day job, handle your money and get back out there.
We weren’t all born with a Trust Fund and Banks will only assist the rich. Get yours my dear readers and keep it tight and tidy when it comes to pursuing your dreams.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.