I have wanted to be a businessperson since I was a little child, playing office with my cousin in the flimsy plywood shed behind my house.
We had elaborate lives set up for ourselves at five years old. I was married with kids, a home, and a car, and I continuously worked without stress. Our lives were our businesses, and we were successful. At least in our made-up fantasy world.
“If only she could be so oblivious again, to feel such love without knowing it, mistaking it for laughter. ”― Markus Zusak
Owning a business was the pinnacle of success for a born and bred Jehovah’s Witness child, who would never get a college degree or even see the inside of a college unless we were cleaning it. Lots of Witnesses had businesses: landscaping, cleaning, construction, auto repair, baking, and the like. Anything that could also be put to use to help other people of this specific faith was acceptable, just as long as you ran your business as you ran your life, by the standards of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
The only other option was to volunteer for Bethel, the publishing arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a multi-billion dollar headquarters for the religion that ran on mostly free labor and the trade skills of converts worldwide.
If I stayed in “the truth” for my entire life, I would have had to choose a path as a way to subsidize my career as a full-time door-to-door apostle.
I am not saying it would have been a horrible life because it is not, at all. My parents have been devout Witnesses their entire lifetime — and even with the health problems that getting old brings, they are happier than puppies in a bone shop — and sleep peacefully in the knowledge that their faith will give them everlasting life.
I idolize my parents, and it was hard for me to finally decide it was not the life for me, even if I had the hope to live forever.
I didn’t have faith in a god, and my hatred of authority didn’t mesh well with a group that spent their lives at the whims of old white men in a tall building in New York.
Oh, the Places I Would Go!
My childhood dreams of being a business owner took me all over the U.S., as did the need for me to try and run away from my worsening mental health issues.
My dreams started small, from a flea market table to building bunk beds in my garage. I moved from the food service industry, to college, to an office job coding websites for Fortune 500 companies, to managing a team of web designers, to starting a design firm with my best friend in Boston.
The only thing they all had in common was that I failed miserably at all of them, even though the design firm earned $25,000 from a single website, and my partner and I did the best we could despite my worsening mental illness and our full-time careers.
You could say I never actually became an entrepreneur; I only wanted to become one. I was a wantrepreneur, and even though after that, I kept trying, I could never find financial success at anything.
Present Day is Different
Now I am a writer, and my business is me. My brand is me (whatever the hell that means). I am serious about becoming a successful writer, and for the first time in my life, I am sticking with something.
This is a wild ride!
I started writing half-heartedly on Medium and now have a steady income, several blogs, and a newsletter. I ghostwrite from time to time and have been toying with the idea of writing something bookish and non-fiction.
I am setting huge goals, and instead of getting excited a little while and then moving on to whatever is newer and shiner, I am settling in for a long marathon.
But that is not all!
I’ve wanted to start an offline business here in the Philippines with my wife for quite some time, but the idea was never right. It always seemed like we were running without direction from one disaster to the next.
But the pandemic and ensuing lockdown have given me time to think about how the world is changing, and ideas are flowing.
We are working on an idea I have that takes gaming, esports, and PC hardware and turns them on their head. We all will have to adjust our path to fit this new way of life, and I am betting on the new normal of social distancing and moving our entire lives online, to create something that will inspire and entertain.
All I need now is money.
A New Path
I’m inspired by the stories of others who have gone through hardship and come out on top, and I know, even if I am in my fifties, that my family and I can achieve anything we want.
What about you?
Do you feel like you’ve been chugging through life, bouncing from one train-wreck to another, hoping to catch a break? Are you a wantrepreneur who always seems to be waiting for the perfect moment to start something?
The best time to start is now. The best place to do it is right where you are, and the person who will do it all is you!
How long are you going to wait to get started? When will your “someday” come to pass?
I’m tired of waiting and wanting. I am ready to “get some!”
What about you?
I know the last thing you want is another newsletter clogging up your inbox, but if you liked what you read here today, and you want to get exclusive (content), I promise I’ll never bore you. It’s called Beautifully Broken, and it may change your life!