Working for the Man
Question: what will you and I do differently when we exit the ranks of the officially employed and set out on our own as artists or entrepreneurs?
Answer: We’ll do exactly what we did before, only instead of Mister Charley telling us what to do, we’ll tell ourselves.
Instead of the Man setting the agenda, we’ll set it.
We decide what our goal is—and how we intend to reach it.
We decide how much we’re willing to sacrifice to reach that goal.
We decide how many hours we will work each day (our total, bank on it, will be much higher than it was when we worked at a mainstream job) and how many weeks and months we will labor per year.
We decide where we will work. We decide when. And with whom.
We decide what time we get up and what time we go to bed. We assign our own vacations and our own days off. (We also assign all-nighters and working weekends.)
We alone will be the arbiters of our success. We’ll set the terms ourselves. (They may be quite different from conventional measures of success.)
We’ll give ourselves a raise if we deserve it. And we’ll kick ourselves in the butt when we screw up.
We will be our own boss, our own mentor, our own cheerleader, and our own psychiatrist.
Can we make this mental shift? Can we flip that switch in our head? Can we go from working for the Man to being the Man?
If our goal is to be a writer or an artist or an entrepreneur, we can’t do it any other way.