“Dude, the margarita mix is only half full!”
“You didn’t fill the margarita mix! What the hell have you been doing all day??”
These wonderful words were provided to me from a young punk who clearly didn’t read Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders. This illuminating conversation was at the end of a long shift when I was working as a bar back at a bar/restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
You see, I thought this job was going to be great. Right on the Fort Lauderdale beach, I heard stories of bar backs making over $50 per hour in season, sometimes almost a thousand dollars in one day. What I came to realize is that reality doesn’t always equal expectations.
After this brief conversation occurred, Basketball Training Club was on my mind almost 24/7.
I had an idea for what I wanted to do, but, at the time, I was still in the mentality of “getting a job and working your way up”, which, in today’s world, is extremely flawed. I searched for good opportunities wherever I could, but they were few and far between.
So what did I do? I did whatever any visionary entrepreneur would do; I started by own business.
I started to put hours and hours of my free time into creating Basketball Training Club. I made a vow that I would never have to get a crap job like a barback again, doing things like mopping up vomit, cleaning toilets, and doing trash duty, all while being treated like another worthless employee. Anybody could do that, and I wondered how I was going to separate myself.
For a lot of people, they get sucked into the older generation’s mentality of life: go to school, get a job, work hard, and retire. That mentality worked 20 years ago, even 10 years ago. But lots of people are still stuck in the mindset of working for someone else, since that is what they have been conditioned from birth to do. In school, you’re supposed to follow all the rules, and get the right answers so the teacher can give you a good grade. At a job, you’re supposed to be a good employee, do your job, and not cause problems.
But now, people are being fired by the thousands without even a thank you. I worked at a bar for 8 months, putting in thousands of hours. I was fired by a text saying, “You’re not on the schedule anymore.” My friend worked at a restaurant for about 2 years, and was one of the hardest workers I’ve seen. That restaurant fired him for one little mistake. In my mind, starting a business is one of the most rational things you can do for yourself these days. Great employees are being let go all the time, and the job stability of the past has vanished.
This will encourage more people to create their own businesses, and monetize what they know. However, where are the schools on entrepreneurship? Where is the information to help people be an expert at what they know?
From the beginning of time, entrepreneurs were the lifeblood of society, with Thomas Jefferson wanting to create a new America, to John Hancock signing the Declaration of Independence. No boss would have told them, “Oh yea, John, next week we’re going to create a new country independent from the British. We’ll need you to work overtime.”
America came from the ideals and passion of the entrepreneurs who realized that being ruled and having a boss was not working. They realized that if they didn’t create a new nation to make life better for themselves, nobody would. Most importantly, they knew they could do it, and would strive their hardest to make their vision a reality.
Now, I’m encouraging you to realize that you have the skills to succeed. You have the knowledge and you have the passion, yet only you know what that is. A question for you to ask yourself is, “What can I do better than anybody else?” And how can you help people, and make the world a better place, with your knowledge and skills?
We are living in an age where there is almost unlimited opportunity, if you know where to look. Figure out what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, and how you can make money doing it. The rest will fall in line.
So now, what are you going to do?
Tyson Hartnett has played professional basketball in Sweden, Argentina, and Chile, and has recently started his first business, BasketballTrainingClub.com. He created Basketball Training Club to try to help players from all over the world not only better their basketball games, but to try to help better their lives as well.
Image credit: CC by Lee Coursey