A friend of mine recently was made redundant or plainly stated fired from an organization he’s worked in for many years. Married with two kids and in his early fifties, he’s found himself again at the very same place he started after the graduation some thirty years ago, only this time employment opportunities are few and far between.
As we were talking about what next and how many of us have been there before, something hit me at that moment and I asked him ‘why get another job when you can own a business’? This notion, I must admit was not foreign to him for he’s of entrepreneurial nature, with several unsuccessful attempts at a startups under his belt. He’s welcomed it with open arms and at that point resolved not to look for another job but to pick up the pieces of what’s left of his last mobile app startup and make it work instead.
It’s funny how most people go through life on autopilot and blindly follow the followers of the followers who came before them, without ever questioning anything. In hindsight, I too was a follower up to a certain extend until I realized that enculturation and my surroundings at an early age have steered me in the wrong direction.
I say wrong direction for I’ve been taught to be law abiding citizen, study hard, get good grades and get into a good university so that I can eventually get a good job and work hard building someone else’s dream. Taking into a consideration how the rat-race has gotten tougher due to proliferation of globalization and much longer, with pension funds slowly disappearing and retirement age being pushed past the average lifespan of a human being, chances are I’d have to work until my dying day and have nothing to show for or leave behind for my kids.
My beliefs, values and perceptions about life were formed during my early ears in my home city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina which was then one of 7 republics that made up former socialist Yugoslavia. I was born into upper mid class family to a loving parents who wanted nothing but the best for me and my sister. Life in Yugoslavia was truly amazing and carefree, for everything was well-organized and optimized nationwide so that almost everyone could have a good and financially stable life.
My parents – like most other working adults – were employed in the government organizations which were two of the 10 most essential government entities in whole of former Yugoslavia. Above the average salaries, myriad of perks and benefits and true job security along with 100% guaranteed pensions at the end of 30-40 years of working career, were implicitly discouraging people – including my parents – to switch companies, let alone ever think of entrepreneurship or owning a business. People who owned businesses were usually the ones who didn’t enjoy the aforementioned benefits and perks – those who weren’t as comfortable.
Naturally, I started my professional career as an employee and despite frequently changing jobs in search of growth, every 3 to 4 years, I was still an employee building someone else’s dream. As an avid reader and student of life who’s in relentless pursuit of enlightenment and utter fulfillment, years into my employment, I’ve realized that I could very well put all my knowledge, skills, time and effort into my own business which could ultimately have a higher purpose than mere money or profit-making, it could change people’s lives in a positive way.
I’ve since started four different businesses of which first three have flopped but not due to a weak idea or bad timing but rather lack of focus and staying power on my part, something I’ve learned first hand and have applied in my last venture Parttimerz, which has now started to take off and is bound to favorably change people’s lives either by giving them opportunity to do what they truly love and make a good living doing so or by offering them convenience and alternative ways of doing business or running their day-to-day errands.
The message that I’m trying to get across is the following, each one of us came into this world armed with innate talents and abilities which we ought to detect and hone throughout life so that we can eventually put them to work and serve the mankind – unique target audience. In the final analysis, the choice is yours whether you want to use your innate talents and abilities, learned skills and qualities to build someone else’s dream or your own.
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