So far we have established two facets that make up the EEn mindset.
- The call to entrepreneurship isn’t exclusive to the self-employed nor does it necessarily mean beginning new ventures. Entrepreneurship is about taking on the mantle of the innovator and having the will to follow through until ideas are made real.
- The answer to “Why I do what I do?” reveals our motivations for engaging what we do for a living. Ensuring our ‘why’ creates deep care for what we do and profound empathy for whom we do it for is fundamental to creating innovation and living with meaning not mindlessness.
Hopefully a picture is emerging that hijacking your job so that you can be both fulfilled in your employment and be entrepreneurial is hard. I don’t mean to scare you off by saying it’s hard, rather my goal is the opposite. By lifting up the hood on EEn from the beginning, I’m hoping you’ll see you’re actually empowered to choose it for yourself – it’s just not the easy choice. And though the world very much needs the deeply caring & innovative you, very few people will actually ask you to make the choice other than yourself.
Tweaks & Tensioners
Following the path I’m proposing will undoubtedly cause more tension in your life (at least until you discover what your ‘new normal’ looks like). This is of course a terrible sales pitch, but if you’re appetite for forging something unscripted is low, I thought it prudent to give you one last chance to jump-off – the ship’s leaving the habour.
Residing within the concept of the Employed Entrepreneur is a clear tension between honouring the responsibilities of our employment and finding the time to create something that perhaps at first doesn’t fit the scope of our job. Even in working environments where time allocation is left to the discretion of the employee, we have the ethical and moral obligation to accept that our primarily focus must be on what we are primarily paid to contribute.
So how do we innovate when the current make up of our employment affords us little time?
Well I would like to propose that there are a number of strategies you can employee ranging from very small tweaks to serious time-tensioners that will require some restructuring to your out of work time. Ultimately outcomes are that 1) you’ll find you’ll have more time than you think to innovate and be entrepreneurial than you thought; 2) you’ll create the case to your employers that what you primarily focus at work should evolved to included the opportunity to focus on innovating as well.
But first – why Your Other Other Job. All the ideas I’m going to suggest as a stratagem build up to create another job in and of itself – which if you’ve been counting means you have three things you must find time for.
If you’re wondering what your first and second jobs are, it actually depends on what you are going to allow to take precedence in your life: you’re employment or life outside employment. When push comes to shove, do the responsibilities of your paid job supersede the other uses of your time for life outside of work (family commitments, church involvement, community participation, sporting activity etc)? Or, will you maintain a clear divide between on the clock and everything else, prioritising the demands and desires of out of work pursuits over giving that little bit extra to your employment?
I leave to it to you to land on what answers fit, but whatever order, you’re employment or life outside employment make up the first two jobs (the word job is used in terms of time commitment not attitude – i.e. in this instance job doesn’t mean chore-like). Whatever time is left is the invitation to take up a third job.
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This series of posts is part my project EEn: How to hijack your job, be happily employed, and become an entrepreneur (or die trying) and was inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup. This series is for people have the entrepreneurial spirit and who still want to work for others (and not negotiate the tricky seas of running a start-up).
If you have a great idea for a product or service that your employer will never do in 1000 years and you want to leave your job to do that instead – go read Chris’ book.