independence day

Is It Time To Celebrate Your Own Independence Day?

Independence Day Can Be Yours As Well

As I write this, fireworks are going off (all around me, actually – its an interesting statement on the citizens of this country – even though personal fireworks are illegal in this state – there are still hundreds upon hundreds of people around me who shoot the things off in celebration on the 4th of July – telling me that people still have few issues skirting dumb laws) as the United States celebrates 240 years of independence. Around 240 years ago, colonialists on the east coast of this country stood up to those who would oppress them financially, mentally, and physically and said, “No More.” Around 20 years ago, Bill Pullman said

We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

That WAS a great movie.

Now my question is: when are you going to celebrate yours?

As I’ve said before, the world of work is changing. We can no longer expect the “typical” career path our parents or grandparents had. We are slowly seeing the end of the line for the salaryman, the guy (or gal) who has worked for one or more corporations all their lives. The only Independence Day we knew about was the holiday.

This is the life we were always taught:

  1. Go to school
  2. Get good grades
  3. Pick a “career”
  4. Pick a “good college.”
  5. Go to college
  6. Get good grades
  7. Get a job at the bottom
  8. Work your way up the ladder
  9. Jump from company to company on your way up
  10. Eventually enjoy the view from the corner office
  11. Retire
  12. Now, finally, do what you always wanted to do.

My advice? Why wait? Why wait until you are retired to live the life you always wanted? Why not live the life you want right now?

If you look at the world’s most successful men and women, the true stars who have made in the billions or hundreds of millions, you will not find a salaryman among them. You will see self-driven (or team-driven) hustlers who never settled for less than what they wanted. If you go down the list of each and every successful person, you see common threads:

  1. They are entrepreneurs. Even if they started off working for others, they did not make their millions working for someone else; they made millions when they decided to celebrate their independence day and leave the corporate rat race. Most of them launched a startup alone or with a few like-minded founders.
  2. They are driven. They are always pushing, moving, and never sitting still. You don’t see them sitting in front of the TV for hours and hours a week, like your typical salaryman, who craves a beer and the tube to decompress from the day. For them, they crave the work, not the rest.
  3. They live by their passions: they get up early and stay up late – they love what they do so much that they can’t wait to get back to it. They prefer work over relaxation; work is play to them.
  4. They understand that you need help from friends, family, and others. They know that they can’t do it alone. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Steve Jobs didn’t grow up dirt poor; they had families that helped them. Still, others just learned to hustle and hustle hard, like Mark Cuban, but none of them did it alone. They all had help from others. There are no lone wolves in the world of unicorns.
  5. They integrate work and play so that their families aren’t left out like they used to be. They make time for family and friends and weave them into the fabric of their lives. This is something we could never do before, but with our current technology – telecommuting and internet access globally, there is no reason to.

The reality is that if you are really looking to succeed in a huge way, you need to be an entrepreneur to start your own startup. You need to find what drives you – what you truly love and enjoy doing- and do a business out of that. It has never been easier to do it – it has never been easier to find the help of any type. Everything is free or cheap to start with- from funding to co-founders, from software development on the cheap to get your first prototype out to marketing and sales.

It’s time to declare your own Independence Day. Take your idea and run with it.