That is also perfectly brilliant.
This was the outcome from an interesting conversation I had with a person that I was having a catch-up with during which they asked to talk about what they wanted to do with their life and career.
We started off at a high tempo as I asked a lot of questions… it had been a while since we talked.
It was a punchy conversation, we had set aside just under an hour as we both knew we were time pushed and also that given the network carrying the zoom app can be patchy, we didn’t want to hang around and so we got right down to it.
The responses to my subtle questions were all about how they wanted to be an entrepreneur, how they wanted to work for themselves and also go on to leave behind a legacy from which they would take an immense amount of fulfilment from.
The person I was taking with was 26 years old.
Yep, they were in a real hurry.
That is ok with me, some people are just always in a hurry.
I actually admire the pace and the desire to do something so cool and to have that strong personal focus that they want to use in order to make a lasting impact on the world at such an age.
But doing what?
When I asked them that question the conversation came to a grinding halt. There was no plan, no thought or even any basic idea of what it was they were going to ‘entrepreneur’ on…
They were in love with the romantic idea of being a business owner, a leader, being someone that could make a difference, but they missed out all of the ingredients. They had the cherry on top, but they had no pie and no icing.
But during that moment, after some further conversation, it was clear that at this exact period in time… at this very moment in their life, they are best just being an employee.
That was their phrase, not mine.
‘Maybe then, I am just meant to be an employee’
They had came to that temporarily conclusion because they had not thought it through from a process viewpoint; what’s the beginning, the middle and the end?
The had the end in sight, the cherry. They had the passion and energy for that, but there was no start or middle and the minute it became clear to them, then the ‘end’ that they had envisioned, came crashing down around them. Sunk at the first hurdle.
This was a fork in the road, as they say.
It was not my intention to leave the person deflated and to take away their passion, their vision and purpose. So, I had to work to pick up an alternative narrative where the beginning was precisely that; maybe they are just an employee, and maybe it is just for now.
I asked them what are the benefits of being an employee and they then listed out numerous points and all of them were smart and insightful.
Keeping a steady stream of income of which they could save while they build out their ‘entrepreneur plan’ was certainly the one that made me the happiest…
The second benefit that caught my attention was what they could learn and how that could help them shape their ideas while they were being an employee.
The third was the idea of balancing their work as an employee with their work as an entrepreneur and how they would compliment each other… doing both at the same time was acceptable and they would be a better employee for it and this would also provide the motivation for them to build their ‘side hustle’ because, well, success breeds success.
We went on to talk about next steps and timelines and I am even more certain that this person will go on and do something brilliant with their life because they are gifted with innovational thoughts, curiosity, and smarts with a desire to make that change somewhere…
… even if the change is in becoming an employee for longer than what they have set out in their new timeline. Maybe within that that journey, they end up seeing themselves go further up the employee ladder where they, as a leader, will transform the imagination of others and help them maximise their true potential.
Either way, as an entrepreneur or as an employee, you can go on to make a difference, leave a legacy and change the world for others and that is also perfectly brilliant no matter what.