Here is a real life snapshot of one my best friends:
Jeremy Smith had a comfortable finance job with a nice salary at a large multinational telecommunications company. He now works a minimum wage job at a pizza restaurant.
Success or failure?
I know what conclusion you jumped to when you first read that. Don’t you think you ought to have more information before coming to your conclusion? It’s easy to assume the complexities of a situation based solely on a few pieces of information. Society has indoctrinated us to label people with defined boundaries. Someone who was making a nice salary and is now working an hourly minimum wage job is automatically assumed to be failing and categorized as a failure. Let’s delve into this further.
The commute to this job was approximately an hour and a half each way. During the winter, this rose to 2 hours or more. That’s 3 to 4 hours everyday and 15 to 20 hours every week sitting in a car. That’s like a part time job! Not only was he working at a job he didn’t like, but he was spending countless hours stuck in traffic and hundreds of dollars on gas each month! Something had to change. But change is hard even if we don’t like our current situation. We get complacent. We get addicted to the life we are trying to escape. Are you successful when you stay in a job you hate with a commute you don’t have to do?
Jeremy had a dream.
He had always wanted to own and run his own pizza place. After being laid off from his salaried position he decided to take his life in a different direction. He could have applied for another finance job, but decided to apply for a job at his favorite pizza place. He now has no commute. He simply walks to work. Yes, that’s right he has 15 to 20 hours a week of his life back. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how those hours add up over the course of months and years.
He took the risk and took a HUGE pay cut so he could follow his dreams and find a way to make a living doing something he was passionate about. He has never been happier and loves the atmosphere and people at work. Each day he is constantly learning and striving towards his goals. He hopes one day to take a minority stake in a pizza place with the ultimate goal of one day owning his own.
I wrote a post about how my most successful friend was the one who dropped out of college to start a mortgage company. His subsequent success trumped all the people who viewed his decision to drop out of college as reckless. Will Jeremy be successful? I have no idea, though if I had to put my money on it I would say so.
Will Jeremy Succeed?
If Jeremy doesn’t succeed in this venture, he WILL succeed in another. The point is, it doesn’t matter if he is successful in this endeavor. Just the fact that he is taking the risk to become successful is success to me. He is daring to be great, not just good, but great. Many of us have dreams, yet there are few of us that actually take action and attempt to follow them. Unless you are a fortune teller, there is no way to tell how a decision made today will play out in the future. You can be fired from that “safe” salaried position at any time and you can go bankrupt starting the business of your dreams. You could also rise through the corporate ranks or have an incredibly successful pizza business. You just never know. Now, would you rather be successful at something you hate, or fail at trying to do something you love? There’s no way to tell what the future holds, but my hats off to those taking those “risks” and trying. Risk isn’t so risky, and safe isn’t so safe. Live your dreams, follow your passions, and ignite your lifestyle! Jeremy, show those lifestyle igniters just how possible it all is!
***Disclaimer: This post may cause you to consume massive amounts of pizza which may or may not be hazardous to your health.