After hitting send on last week’s newsletter, there was a section I kept mulling over in my head for the rest of the week.
I had written about personal branding and why I’m not going “all in” on branding myself as a project manager:
“I could brand myself as a project manager for online entrepreneurs. After all, it’s the business I’m building on the side. But do I really want to become known as the best Asana organizer on the planet?! When I look at my current clients, they hired me because of my experience having worked at Mindvalley — the mecca of online marketing and personal growth — not because I post productivity tips on Instagram. My personal brand is bigger than the service I offer.”
This might be the biggest “duh!” moment I’ve had all year, but I’m realizing that a big reason why I’m motivated to build a side business is to show other professionals how very possible (and simple) it can be.
Which is why, this week, I’m choosing to go on a bit of a tangent about why professionals make the best entrepreneurs.
The online space has given us an abundance of opportunities and has allowed us to opt-out of the finite game that is climbing the corporate ladder. Leading me to ponder the question of: why are we, as ambitious professionals, with our fancy degrees and powerful careers, not taking part online?!
Oh right, it’s that ole’ societal brainwashing thing that says you can only have one income stream. Multiple income streams? Darling, how dare you even ask! Those are reserved for the chosen few.
I call bullshit.
If the wealthiest people in the world have an average of seven income streams, then isn’t that an indicator of… oh I don’t know, the path to wealth and success?!
(Note: multiple income streams does not mean multiple full-time jobs. This is where I am painfully resisting the urge to go on a productivity and burnout tangent. Maybe next week we talk about how to declutter your life before taking on new opportunities?)
Back to the point — this year I’ve watched the smartest people get let go because their job wasn’t deemed valuable or important anymore. It wasn’t a mutually agreed upon decision, it was a one-sided “smell ya later”.
To put it bluntly, if you only have one stream of income in 2020, you are being monogamous in an open relationship.
“But I’m not creative enough to be an entrepreneur”
“I don’t have any great ideas to pursue”
If these thoughts are crossing your mind (they did for me), I want to know: who sold you this ethereal vision of entrepreneurship? The one where unicorn dust and fairies must be part of the magic. Dare I say it: we’re thinking too big.
I sometimes wonder about the current personal development industry. I’ve watched it evolve over the past decade and I’ll go out on a limb to say that the Instagram-personal-development-gurus have done a huge disservice by painting entrepreneurship as this cool kids club that you need an invite to.
Entrepreneurs are no different from us. Sometimes they’re hyper productive. And other times? They’re binge-watching the last ten seasons of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (and conveniently forgetting to let their #hustleandgrind community know).
In the same vein, when did the narrative of “escaping the 9-5” become so big? I know enough miserable entrepreneurs to tell you that the label is not the cure. It’s the entrepreneurial mindset that leads to transformation. And a mindset? You can cultivate that wherever you are at today.
In case it needs to be explicitly said:
You are allowed to be both a professional AND an entrepreneur.
The fact that you were hired means you already have a premium skillset.
How can you package it in a way that provides value for others online?
I can guarantee you, there is someone in your network right now who would pay for your skillset.
I romanticized entrepreneurship for a long time. Wanting to take the perfect first step. But clarity over what that is only comes from doing the work. And this new clarity? It gets invested back into your professional role, continuously shaping your multi-passionate career into one that nourishes you.
Glennon Doyle said it best. We are all goddamn cheetahs. Regal, powerful, and wild. Sometimes we forget, often because we are sedated by society’s norms. But the wildness is always there within us.
Just like the entrepreneurial fire is always there within us, too.
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