I was struck by this post on Man Vs. Debt and he was inspired to write it based on this post at The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. I don’t often write posts based on other things I’ve read but this hit me because it helped put words to things I’ve been thinking about and feeling for some time.
Are you doing what you were trained to do?
I’m not…I wasn’t trained to do anything.
I did well in school until about 8th grade, from then until graduating high school I simply did enough to get by. I hated high school with a passion and now looking back I realize it was because it went against who I was. All the clicks, gossip, arrogance, and value put into insignificant things like clothes and the kind of car you drive have always been against how I feel inside.
Unfortunately I fell into the trap…but I’ve been cutting the fat for the last few years and am finding me again.
College was fun but for some reason I never had any real motivation for it, therefore after roughly five years in community college I bailed and started my first business in 2006. I now own four businesses and I ‘m just not having fun with two of them anymore, although they’ve been very good to me and I’ve learned a ton…I want out!
And this brings us back to that question in bold up above.
I wasn’t trained to do anything, nobody taught me how to run a business or deal with getting business licenses or my California contractor’s license…I just figured shit out. There was nobody there to teach me how to get business, advertise, or take care of the money…I just figured that out too. I am not qualified to do anything therefore I had to make my own path and do what felt right on the fly.
When I have discussed getting rid of two of my businesses I have had people look at me like I was stupid. When I have told people that my goal is to work from a laptop full time the looks get even worse. I think those people are caught up in the broken system of qualifying everything and doing what that broken system requires of you.
I simply feel that this life is an experiment and just because I started a painting business doesn’t mean I have to do that forever. If I say my favorite color is blue, do I have the right to change that at any point in my life? I say yes and I do not think there’s a difference between changing my favorite color or wanting to change my business.
For the last month I have been thinking about buying some paints and canvas to mess around with painting (not houses) but one of my original thoughts was why would I waste my time doing that since I have never painted before or taken art classes. That’s just it though…I feel like doing it, so shouldn’t that be enough?
The painting is just one small example but the point is the same across the board. This is my one shot at life and I don’t want to miss out on something because I am too tied up with something else or because the system thinks I need to do something a certain way. When you think of the words adventure and experiment you certainly don’t think about status quo or coloring inside the lines….but life IS an adventure of experiments…it’s meant to be lived and I don’t feel I can fully live my life if I allow qualifications to hold me back.
So it turns out the one thing we are each qualified to do is to make our own path…I’m working on mine now, are you?