America is the land of opportunity. If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want to be. There’s a lot of truth to that. When we boil it down, our society has 3 general categories of successful careers. You have lawyers, doctors, and business executives. I happen to personally know one such person…it’s my dad.
Ya, he worked his way all the way up from lowest man on the totem pole, to a suit-wearing executive who was president/VP of multiple companies, travelled the world, went to fancy parties in tuxedos, and made six figures. He had it made. He had arrived to a spot only most dream about. Well, he doesn’t do that anymore. Now he owns his own window cleaning company and offers his services as a quad-lingual interpreter.
I was on the path to business executive. I’m very early in the journey but it was clear to many that I’d attain it. It didn’t take me long to realize that with advancement came a lot of responsibility and worst of all, STRESS! I work for the best and biggest company in my field, and even then there’s a lot of flaws. I began asking around to see what others thought who were climbing the ladder and all at different levels. The answers were all pretty much the same. “Yes, it’s a lot responsibility.“
“Yes, there’s more stress.” “If I can only reach a certain rung, then it’ll be smooth sailing.” “It’s just busy for this season, things will slow down in such and such time.”
Those answers might be ok if these people were just getting started with their careers, but the reality is they’ve been at it for 10, 15, 20yr and they’re all at different rungs and all saying the same thing. So what am I to think? That my circumstance is going to turn out differently? That everyone without exception is saying the same thing, but I’m going to be the exception!? I’m not naïve, my fate will be no different.
So, back to my dad. We talked about how careers are overrated and my idea of starting my own company. Here’s what my dad had to say. “You’re right.” Being a business executive, my dad had lots of business executive friends. He told me that most of them finally figured out the same thing I had, and now they all run their own businesses. Do they all have the same luxuries they use to? Not all of them, but they’re all a lot happier.
Careers give us a false sense of security. It’s no more secure than running your own business. If anything, you have more control over your security when you run the show. Life is a lot simpler. Careers are overrated. If you know someone that can prove me otherwise, let me know.