The Reluctant Entrepreneur

I am the reluctant entrepreneur.

When you tell people you are an entrepreneur they pat you on the back and say good Job! What an adventure you’ve embarked on! How mature and resilient you must be! You must truly believe in yourself to be on this path!

If only they knew the truth.

I am not here because I became bored with a life of quiet desperation. I am here because I want a living.

I grew up in a time where a good education meant a good job and a good life. Dreams were a possibility, but not before that safe, stable occupation that you could fall back on.

When I left school, I learned that I had already outlived my usefulness. Most of the safe, stable occupations were gone. Those that remained became code for “replaceable”. The reward for an honest days work went from an honest day’s pay to a pink slip so the company can make dividend.

I have learned that I am a marked man. My worth to society will always be suspect no matter what I do or who I work for. My future will require every idea I have and every ounce of strength I can muster. My destiny will not depend on just my own efforts, but by the testimony of every single person I help in my life. I will not rest until that number is legion.

If I emerge from this trial smarter, stronger, and wiser, will I still be reluctant? Won’t I be a better person? I remain reluctant because I had no choice to become what I am. The very idea that I could choose is brutal fiction that robs lives and dreams every single day. I don’t want to just see a better me, I want a better world. One where our worth is not dictated by a number in an annual shareholder’s report or a capricious human resources department. We all have something to give but too often it’s wasted by our own arbitrary barriers. We should be free to give our best in all things. Until then, I remain the reluctant entrepreneur.