Saturday, January 19, 2008

Self Employment: Telling the Folks

Most self employed people start out with a regular job of some sort. Even the hard core self employed are subject to real world pressures that demand most young folks entering their work lives sign on with some company or other to earn a living.

So it was with me, out of college I worked on a loading dock for minimum wage. To say it was boring and degrading, and that the pay sucked, is an understatement. I lasted all of six weeks before I started a T Shirt printing operation.

Anyone who quits a job to work for themselves is subject to the delicate task of informing those near and dear of their course of action. In my case, it was my very concerned parents. Others might have to tell a spouse or other family member that they have taken the plunge. If you find yourself in this position, don't be surprised if they react as if you have climbed onto the weakest branch of a very tall tree with a power saw.

For example, you might say this to your parents, spouse or whomever:

“I've decided to work for myself on an amazing new clean energy product which will replace the internal combustion engine within one year and save the planet. A venture capitalist has pledged $20,000,000 in seed capital for my new company.”

This is what they hear:

“Hi Mom & Dad, I quit my job today! I'm gonna sit around the house watching porno while I smoke crack and polish my Bishop. When I need money, it's OK if I call you up, right?”

Yes, it's true, those closet to you may be averse to risk. They may have a tough time understanding the vision that is crystal clear in your head. Don't let this stop you from your mission of making your dreams manifest in real time. If Henry Ford had listened to his mom, we might all be taking the horse & buggy to work (hey, that might not be a bad idea!).

Anyone who has parents knows that they live in their own strange pathological web of derangement. Parents do not hear the words you tell them, they put these words through a magic filter that alters the message that arrives in their cranium.

I offer more sample dialog to make my point. Let's say you just met the girl (or guy) of your dreams. This is what you tell your parents:

“I've met the most wonderful girl! She's beautiful, compassionate and funny. We've been dating for three weeks and I think I'm falling for her. Did I tell you her novel was just favorably reviewed in the Sunday New York Times Book Review?”

This is what they hear:

“Hi Mom & Dad, sorry I haven't called you for a few months, but I've been boning this skanky hooker I picked up while scoring some brown tar heroin. I would've called sooner, but I didn't run out of money until now, and I wanted the open sores on her arms to heal before I introduced you to her anyway.”

The moral of the story, love and accept you parents on their own terms, and you will be all the happier for it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love you man....i had to's kool/scary not sure if it is fair to read you. i will write i will send some muzik....once i find a way to digitize'''// vhs IREAD YOU IN THE WORDS,,,,I KNOW IT IZ YOU!! PIB