Is It Time To Celebrate Your Own Independence Day?

Independence Day Can Be Yours As Well

As I write this fireworks are going off (all around me actually – its an interesting statement on the citizens of this country – even though personal fireworks are illegal in this state – there are still hundreds upon hundreds of people around me who shoot the things off in celebration on the 4th of July – telling me that people still have few issues skirting dumb laws) as the United States celebrates 240 years of independence. Around 240 years ago, colonialists on the east cost of this country stood up to those who would oppress them financially, mentally and physically and said “No More”. Around 20 years ago, Bill Pullman said

We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

That WAS a great movie.

Now my question is: when are you going to celebrate yours?

As I’ve said before, the world of work is changing. No longer can we expect to have the “typical” career path our parents or grandparents had. We are slowing seeing the end of the line for the salaryman, the guy (or gal) who works for one or more corporations all of their lives. The only Independence Day we knew about was the holiday.

This is the life we were always taught:

  1. Go to school
  2. Get good grades
  3. Pick a “career”
  4. Pick a “good college”
  5. Go to college
  6. Get good grades
  7. Get a job at the bottom
  8. Work your way up the ladder
  9. Jump from company to company on your way up
  10. Eventually enjoy the view from the corner office
  11. Retire
  12. Now, finally, do what you always wanted to do.

My advice? Why wait? Why wait until you are retired to live the life you always wanted? Why not live the life you want right now?

If you look at the most successful men and women in the world, the true stars who have made in the billions or hundreds of millions, you will not find a salaryman among them. What you will see are self-driven (or team driven) hustlers who never settled for less than what they wanted. If you go down the list of each and every successful person, you see common threads:

  1. They are entrepreneurs. Even if they started off working for others, they did not make their millions working for someone else, they made their millions when they decided to celebrate their own independence day and leave the corporate rat race. Most of them launched a startup alone or with a few like minded founders.
  2. They are driven. They are always pushing, moving, never sitting still. You don’t see them sitting in front of the TV for hours and hours a week, like your typical salaryman, who craves a beer and the tube to decompress from the day. For them, they crave the work, not the rest.
  3. They live by their passions: they get up early and stay up late – they love what they do so much that they can’t wait to get back to it. They prefer work over relaxation, work is play to them.
  4. They understand that you need help from friends, family and other people. They know that they can’t do it alone. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Steve Jobs didn’t grow up dirt poor, they had families that helped them. Still others just learned to hustle and hustle hard, like Mark Cuban, but none of them did it alone. They all had help from others. There are no lone wolves in the world of unicorns.
  5. They integrate work and play, so that their families aren’t left out, like they used to be. They make time for family and friends and weave them into the fabric of their lives. This is something we could never do before, but with our current technology – telecommuting and internet access globally, there is no reason not to.

The reality is that if you are really looking to succeed in a huge way, you need to be an entrepreneur, to start your own startup. You need to find what drives you – what you really truly love and enjoy doing, then make a business out of that. It has never been easier to do it – it has never been easier to find help of any type. From funding to co-founders, from software development on the cheap to get your first prototype out, to marketing and sales, everything is out there – free or cheap to start with.

Its time to declare your own Independence Day. Take your idea and run with it.