A few of you were cheering me on over the fact that I may have found, “A Job”, namely the van driving gig. Judging from your glee it seems that you have been missing the point of this blog. So class, today we are going to have a bit of a review.
Pay Attention! Life changing rant coming up.
A few weeks ago one of my website clients, Aquatic Boat Rentals, announced the purchase of a 15 passenger van for the purposes of hauling customers to and from Cow Key Marina to wherever they are staying in Key West. The other watersports companies agreed to chip in for costs so they too could take advantage of the service. I saw it as an opportunity to make some easy side money. Hang out at the marina, haul the tourists back and forth, get paid by tips. Easy and simple. So I talked to Aquatic and offered my services. It helped too that I have one of the few clean drivers licenses in the marina. But the other day, while talking to the Aquatic owner, we are waiting on the insurance to go through, the guy said something to the effect of, “When you are not driving the van you could be doing…”, and my mind went completely blank. I knew immediately that I had made a mistake. This simple and easy van driving gig was going to quickly degenerate into a full time, be here every day, and do busy work when you ain’t driving, or even worse, drive downtown and do sales work to drum up more business type of job.
How about no?
Cow Key marina is starting to grow. One of the tenants, who was causing all sorts of problems for everyone else has finally been kicked out. As a result, the other tenants have been able to make significant and positive changes to their businesses. I host the websites for most of them and the one app, Off The Beaten Path Key West, is currently my most popular app. So as the businesses there grow, and start making more money, they need to spend everyday there because in addition to the websites and app bringing in business, they are also starting to get walk up traffic. The place is going to be generating a nice income for these businesses in the future. You can see it coming.
However, with growth comes expectations. I have been working part time with Kayak Kings as guide and captain. On occasion I have been willing to spend the day at the marina to deal with any walk up traffic, and help clean and prep gear. But now it has become a job. The owner is there all the time and is constantly doing stuff, fixing this, redoing that. You know, busy work. Stuff to keep you busy until the customers show up to spend money.
I learned over the years to despise busy work. Managers cannot stand to see worker bees not doing anything so they come up with constant projects and tasks to justify paying your lazy ass for being there all day. Some busy work is essential, some is not. But you simply cannot be found just standing around waiting for the next customer to show up. And that is how things are going at the marina. It’s becoming constant activity. There is always someone running around with a power tool or moving something heavy. And it’s exactly the type of environment that I want no part of.
Two of the guides for the Kayak Kings were on vacation for the past two weeks so I volunteered to fill in as needed to help out. It was ok, I made some decent money, and now that they are back, I have already told the owner that I will be curtailing my guide and captain skills way back. I will be happy to fill in now and then as needed, but I do not desire full time employment. Especially in something as physically demanding as this is becoming.
As for the van gig, I am still mulling over my options. I may go ahead and do it for a short period of time, until he can find someone else to drive the van, or I may back out completely. I have another meeting with Kayak Kings to discuss the future now that the other guides are back and I may take that opportunity to just fall back and regroup.
Folks, I cannot stress this enough. I have no desire to go work for anyone other than myself. I did the “regular” job thing for way too many years to regress back and become a worker bee again. I despise the corporate mentality beyond anything you can imagine and I can just feel that corporate mindset moving in as these companies grow. I refuse to obey a time clock, a schedule, or be required to follow the orders of management ever again. And if I go ahead and agree to this driving gig, that is exactly the direction I will be heading. The lure of “easy money” is no longer an incentive for me. I am totally unwilling to give up the freedom of working on my own for the false security of a regular paycheck. Not going to happen.
Call it pride, call it laziness, call it stupidity on my part, I don’t care. I am willing to put up with the risks of running my own affairs and being self reliant, rather than trade out my time to be a worker bee. Yeah, sure, this van gig could solve my current income woes, but the price is too high.
I know some of you expressed glee that I “got a job.” That shows that I have not taught you well enough my young fritters. The next time you hear somebody say that they, “need a job.”, ask them why. 100 times out of 99 they will say because they need money. That demonstrates a fundamental flaw in their thinking. They do not in fact, need a job, they need an income. A job, is simply one way to derive said income. And sure, for most people, it’s the only way. Not everyone is capable of going out and creating their own income. It’s tough. You need to learn the skills, find the market, and take the risks. Failure is common. Success in running your own business is one of the most self satisfying things you can accomplish in your life. But it ain’t easy. I’ve been able to succeed to a certain extent only because I have broken free of the consumeristic lifestyle of debt and possession that we all fall into so easily. Were I still living in a house, with a mortgage, and with a car, a motorcycle, and all the rest, I would still be standing behind a parts counter selling oil and t-shirts. The business I have started, and am striving to build, allows me the freedom to work as I please. I am not bound by schedules, time clocks, nor locations. I can pick and choose my customers and my battles. My liability is very low. I don’t look at what I do as a “job” per se, but a way of life. I enjoy what I am doing and if all goes well, this gig will provide for me for a long time to come. (And if I can tap into the supermodel market as I am doing with Nikki, even more better.)
To me, a “job” is not a badge of honor. To be gainfully employed by some faceless corporation, to be subject to all the rules and regulations therein, to be required to be someplace for 40 or 50 hours a week, to have to beg permission as to when to eat, go to the bathroom, or to have to spend any idle time doing busy work, is to me, a step backwards. Taking a “job” to me means, one thing, “I have given up.” Let somebody else worry about all the big stuff. Just let me go in, do my time, give me my paycheck, so I can go home and cry myself to sleep every night. Nope, can’t do it. I won’t go so far as to call it slavery because anyone who is a worker bee does have the option of getting out, whether they realize it not. But a “job” does inhibit a person’s freedom, their growth as a human being, and denies many a person the ability to go and live a rich and fulfilling life.
My business is building and hosting websites, and developing apps for the iPhone. That is what I do. I have had a small taste this year of how lucrative that business can be, and even though things have stalled a bit this summer, I am preparing to move forward and get this thing to where I want it to be. Having to spend time at the marina, driving the van, doing the busy work, and whatever is going to be yet another distraction, which I really don’t need at this point. Coming home after 10 hours in the hot sun and trying to sit down and write code ain’t gonna happen. It has to be one or the other and you can pretty much guess which other I am going with.
In the end, you may not remember what you did in your life, but you are going to regret what you didn’t do. Make it a short list.