by Rory Gardiner | Featured Contributor
One of the biggest complaints among “employees”, is that they would like to work for themselves. I get it, you feel like a prisoner. In jail, prisoners have their free will taken away. Most prisoners, like employees hate their current circumstance, and feel all their problems would be solved if they didn’t have a boss(or warden) to report to.
Before jumping ship, you need to take a good look at what you are really looking to fulfill. I spend my time writing and performing music. Do I do that because I love stressing over lyrics and melodies? No. Am I a musician because I love tearing down and carrying heavy equipment late at night? No. I imagine it’s more from the validation I get from the audience during the concert itself, or the connection I make with someone when they relate to the lyrics I write.
I could get that sort of validation from creating a new app, or writing an interesting book. I just use music as the platform to fulfill that inner desire. Maybe I need therapy? Regardless, you need to discover what it is you’re really searching for inside. Approval from your parents? Is it because you want to make more money? There are no wrong answers. We all like validation and shiny things.
How do you discover what you really want to do?
Easy, by discovering what you DON’T want to do.
If you’ve ever thought about quitting your job to become a gourmet chef, then take a part time job at a restaurant, or volunteer to cater a friend’s wedding. After preparing your 200th chicken/beef/veggie dish, and the perfect wedding cake, you may decide that doing this several times a week is not all it was cracked up to be. On the contrary, you may have loved every minute of it, and found your true calling. Either way, by giving it a try, you now have the answer.
If you’re good with children, and you feel you’d like to open a daycare. Just volunteer to help out at one for a week. If by the end of the week, the smell of urine and tears(probably your own) haven’t got the best of you, then you have your answer. These are fairly generic examples, but the formula is there: Just do it.
In a recent post “Create Your Own Luck“, I talk about how active Jason Segal(Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppet Movie) wasn’t getting the opportunities he wanted, so he tried a different approach that worked.
How do I get started?
1. Spot the Gorilla – Have you ever seen the YouTube video in which you are counting how many times a basketball team passes the ball, but then after the play, it asks “did you see the gorilla?”. You were so focussed on counting, that you missed the break dancing gorilla in the background.
This is the case with life in general. We are so focussed on one thing that we let other opportunities pass us by. Have you ever purchased a new vehicle, and though it was rather unique. Now that you have it, you notice everyone else drives the same model? You just didn’t notice it before.
2. Outcome Simulation – This is a fake it till you make it approach. You may be doing your catering business on the side. You may be only performing music once a month, but feel free to tell people that’s what you do. At a party, when you meet strangers and they ask what you do. Is your response, “I push papers and hate myself”? No, it should be “I run a catering business”. They might immediately say they have a friend who needs a caterer for a private party next month. Boom! New business. Slowly things will start to manifest. If it doesn’t, then recalculate the destination on your internal GPS.
3. Make a friend – Leveraging the help of other people is essential to your success. That doesn’t mean you need to partner with someone, but it does mean you need to create a network and leverage their help. Does your car ever need a boost? You can’t do it alone. You need another car to supply the charge. You can’t jump start your car alone, the same way you can’t jump start your life alone. Talk to people who have done what you want to do. Get advice and learn from their mistakes. People that can even throw you some business. Often times established freelancers are so overwhelmed that they will need to give away work because they can’t handle the load themselves.
That it. The simple answer is “try it”. If it doesn’t fit what you had in mind, “try something else”.
Rory Gardiner They say if you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life.
Singer/Songwriter/Author/Entrepreneur/Comedian/Lactose Intolerant Rory Gardiner has seen the success of his compositions published and performed by other artists, as well as songs licensed and synched in TV advertisements airing daily throughout North America.
Rory has appeared on multiple CMT(Country Music Television) nationally broadcasted reality shows in Canada, and keeps a busy 100+ shows a year touring schedule.
Author of “Break Free: The Road Map for Building a Healthy Lifestyle & Breaking Bad Habits.” Using humor, parable and motivation, Rory outlines how the right small changes in a busy lifestyle can have a dramatic effect on how you look and feel.
Rory has recently released his first country music children’s record “Yee-Haw” on iTunes, influenced by becoming a parent himself. The album has already been awarded a “Parents Choice Award”, and Rory states “I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes us next!”