Everett Bogue at Far Beyond the Stars recently wrote an article entitled, “How to run forever and never” which made me reflect on my own life. What am I running from? Why do I want to travel the world? Am I crazy?
Back in 2003 when I was just weeks away from graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas I met a guy named David. He worked at one of the top advertising agencies in Dallas and was helping me figure out my careers direction. I was confused. At the time I had my eyes set on a firm in California that worked on action sports brands. Right up my alley. One day, David invited me to come to his office.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about what David said his firm did. All I remember is the picture he painted for me. He started the tour by walking me around the office and showing me around, just like any other tour. Then David went off on a tangent, he began telling me what the first 5-years of my career was going to look like if I wanted to make it big (which I did). Since I would be new to the advertising world I’d have to make a name for myself first. David explained that during that ladder climbing I’d be forced to (this is a true story):
- Fetch coffee and run errands for the rest of the staff.
- Be forced to do the work that everybody else didn’t want to do.
- Always, be the last one to leave the office.
- Always, be responsible for staying up and getting the job done for the client, while everyone else got to go home for the evenings or weekends.
- Sleep under my desk because I’d be working so much I didn’t have time to go home.
- Give up on having any sort of a life, and that meant giving up motocross (which he specifically mentioned).
Wait, What? Seriously? You want me to give up my dream of racing women’s motocross professionally? I have to do that in order to succeed here? That’s ridiculous.
I remember staring under David’s desk while he was sharing his story. Staring at the space under his desk where he’s spent countless nights working until the wee hours of the night… It didn’t sound fun in the slightest bit. Is this what growing up and being responsible is like? Boring. What kind of life is that?
At the time I was an upcoming women’s motocross racer with plenty of sponsors under my belt. I wasn’t ready to let that dream go for cubical nation. I didn’t realize the life that would be sucked out of me in order to have a job. A job that wanted me to give up my dreams on top of that. I was disgusted. It was a huge wake-up call for me. Is this what life is? Is that all you got?
My dad always taught me to work hard and save, save, save for retirement. Then, only when retirement came, could I do as I pleased. Well, no. That’s not actually true. If I wait until retirement, I’d be 75-years old, and there’s no way I could become a rockstar motocross rider at that age. I’d have to do it now if that’s what I really wanted.
The idea or thought of waking up in 50 –years and regretting not going for it, scared me shitless.
Why did society want me to give it up? Why do I have to let go of my dreams? Why do I need all this stuff? That’s when it hit me. I don’t have to and I don’t need it.
But what else is there?
It didn’t take me long to decide that I never wanted to have a job. David’s story is what motivated me to become an entrepreneur. If that’s not enough for you, here are 21 more reasons to start your own business. At the time I thought it would be a crazy decision to make. I had been trained since the day I was born that I needed to go to college, get a job, buy a house, and fill it with a bunch of crap. Then when I achieved that I could have 2.5 kids, a dog, and a picket fence.
Let’s face it, I am running away from suburbia. There I said it. I’m now selling everything I own to travel the world indefinitely. I couldn’t be happier! Is that your dream too? Then start taking action!
I grew-up in suburbia. In my opinion, it’s the worst place to grow up, ever. It’s lifeless. It’s full of people who sold their dreams for stuff. Go ahead, hate me for saying it, but it’s true. All of them are held hostage by the American Dream. Sleepwalkers. They’re the ones that are going to wake up in 50-years living with regret and wonder why they made the choices they did.
Fact of the matter is, we all have a choice. I didn’t want to give up motocross, so I made the decision not to. I followed my dream. I started my own business to sustain that decision. Even though a bad car accident took motocross away from me… I’m still following my heart. I want to be known as someone who went out and lived for the adventure of life.
I don’t want to ever sleepwalk through life, and if you’re reading this, I hope you don’t either. So wake up. Be known as the person who went out and did what they said they were going to do, while everyone else complains about it. Start running away. Just like I did.
My big reason for never having a job? Freedom.
Live a better life. Start your own business and design the life you want.