By J.E. McCollough Entering the private sector after military service is rarely...
By Kelly Crigger
“I don’t want to work in a cubicle,” you tell the world as you get ready to retire from the service. “When I retire I’m going to be my own boss. Not gonna work for anyone.”
Pump the brakes, kid. Let’s think about this.
When you do a job you hate, in a tiny cubicle, for a giant corporation with asshole supervisors that doesn’t give a shit about you, it’s easy to turn it off. It’s easy to jump out of your seat at 5 o’clock, dust your hands off, go home and forget about it. It’s easy not to let it bother you…at all. You can sit at your desk and blankly stare out the window or pretend to do work and still get a paycheck because the profits and losses of the company don’t concern you. The corporation could be uber profitable or flirting with complete shutdown, but as long as your piggy bank keeps getting stuffed, it doesn’t matter.
And if you aren’t passionate about the job, you don’t leave with it on your mind. You don’t get in the car and obsess over how to make it better. You don’t look around at every little thing other companies are doing and ask, “how can I do that for my business?”
On the opposite side of the galaxy is the entrepreneur who started a business either because he loves it or he has a syphilis-like burning desire to make tons of money. But here’s the drawback – when you do something you love, something that keeps you excited all the time and pervades your soul, you cannot turn it off. Ever. It’s always there. Every time you have a good idea or a moment of creativity you ask yourself how can you apply it to your business. Every time you laugh at a commercial, you ask yourself how you can be that funny with your product. Every time you see and ad, a marketing event, or even a protest, you ponder why you are or are not doing those same things or how effective they might be if you did. Owning a business is like having an STD. It never goes away…ever.
The worst part about doing something you love is that you love it more than you should. Everyone around you has to compete with it for your time. Your wife, your kids, your dog, they all want you to snap out of it, stop thinking about the business, and give them some attention. They all want you to put the phone down, step away from the computer, and be there. Really be there too, not blankly staring out the window wondering about the things you think you should be doing. And that’s a very difficult thing when you run your own business.
Don’t have a family? Entrepreneurialism may be right for you then. But before you make the leap into the unknown, keep in mind that there’s something to be said for a job that you just don’t give a shit about.