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Over the last several years I’ve been a Gary Vee fan. I used to be a FANATIC and bought into everything he said. Now that I’ve been contracting and blogging, I’ve re-evaluated some of the things he talks about. In regards to being an entrepreneur, he believes, “You are either born as an entrepreneur or you’re not”.
To me, that implies that either you are destined to be someone who seeks to start a company and make millions, or someone destined to be working for “the man”. I often ask myself, “am I an entrepreneur”? And the more I think about it, I don’t think I am.
“But Mr. Debt To Dough, you have your own blog and you consult, how are you NOT an entrepreneur?”.
Your Intent Determines Your Destiny, IMO
When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a pro-basketball player. At age 11, I wanted to be in the MLB. Ever since I was 14, I dreamt of being a stand-up comic. Turning 19 I aspired to be a pro-poker player. Despite going to college I had zero intention of actually working a “job” for a living.
As a matter of fact, I’m a pretty well-documented failure. It felt like I was always in-between two-sides of the spectrum.
- I didn’t want to own a company. I like the idea of creating an empire and raking in billions of dollars. Probably creating something that can change the world, making decisions can influence the world. But then I’d start missing out on life, and real sacrifice (family, friends, social) take place (plus success isn’t guaranteed) At the same time, I am not throwing this option out the door.
- I don’t want to work for a company as an employee. I don’t want a fixed salary more-or-less determines how much money I will make X-years. Even with good coworkers and teams, dealing with office politics and not being able to work things that allow me to learn or grow eventually make me bored. To me, this leads to thoughts of “I’ll retire at the age of 65, focus on savings, etc.”. While the thought of that is actually appealing, it’s not me.
Everything I have done often has the intent of bettering myself or my financial situation. So to me, my intent has always been improving myself.
Where is The Middleground?
Someone like me (call it hunch, but I don’t think I’m alone :)), doesn’t want to work for someone else yet doesn’t aspire to create a company.
To some, that probably sounds like I’m lazy or that I hate working, but I believe in my heart of hearts that people are molded into 3 general categories.
- Entrepreneurs (10%) who shoot for the stars, that have a passion or inspiration they want to share with others with the ultimate goal to make tons of money
- Salaryman (40%) who prefer to have stability, consistent money, living day to day to support themselves/others while enjoying the finer things in life (friends, memories, social) once in awhile.
- Financial Freedom Fighters (50%) are the ones that are seeking to do whatever they want, but at the same time support themselves doing so.
Financial Freedom Fighters (FFF)?
So what is a Financial Freedom Fighter? I think all of us are driven for a wide variety of reasons. We often get distracted by our current jobs or career paths to make more money to support ourselves and loved ones. But at the same time, we aren’t doing what we truly want to do.
And that’s okay. I think 50% (could be 60%+) of the population fit this category. I’m a marketer/consultant by day and have worked at an agency for years. But the only reason I did so was to pay off student loans. I’m 32 now and all I want to do is create content.
Content such as podcasts, videos, writing, and probably acting/tv. I’m not 100% sure it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it took me 14 years of schooling and working for “the man” to rekindle this passion.
Financial Freedom Fighters seek to make extra money to support a passion and to not be forced to work because of money. There is nothing wrong with working for a company to support yourself, but when the thought of “could I be doing more?” or “Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” seeps in before you go to sleep at night, it might be time to take action.
I think more than half of people who are “entrepreneurs” and start their own business are doing so as a reaction to working for someone else. They are more a Financial Freedom Fighter than an entrepreneur.
There is Nothing Wrong With Being Any Of The Above
Me personally, I just want to do whatever I feel like it. I fought so hard from 18 til 23 to avoid ‘getting a job’ because that means I’ll have to switch priorities.
Eventually, I did get a job (due to me not wanting to be homeless). I told myself to be patient as I developed skills over time. I probably could have worked for myself and became a contractor several years ago, but I didn’t have the confidence back then. But I stuck with the traditional employment path for 6+ years before branching off as a contractor.
IMO, the fact that most college students have to pick a major at the age of 18 just seems asinine to me. This restricts us from following our passions and paths to make a living for ourselves our way for years.
Anyways, this post is more of a rant. I don’t like it when people try to label things as black and white. There are nearly an infinite amount of grey area situations that are unique to each individual.
You might like working for your company and are happy. Awesome! You might want to start a business because you hate working for others. Go do it! If you are like me, you just want the financial freedom to do what you want and follow your passion (video games, content, art, cooking, fashion, etc), then it might be time to take action.
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