Back in January 2016, listening to a keynote speech from the renowned author of the E-Myth book, Michael Gerber, I had a bit of an epiphany.
Many entrepreneurs have such moments usually when they are in their day jobs, working for someone else and the light bulb that’s been in the back of their mind for a while suddenly shines a bit brighter on an idea they have had for a while. Michael Gerber’s keynote in his speech was “If your personal life goals are not in line with your business goals then you are in the wrong job” (I’m paraphrasing here but that’s the spirit of it).
For me, it was a case of needing to change the way I worked. Something needed to change and that speech took me on the journey to finding a better way of working which allowed me to stretch my creative muscle. Over 5 years later I am a published author of 4 well-received business books and a 5th book in the editorial process, due to be in print in the Spring 2022. I could never have imagined this in early 2016!
I know I am not alone in this experience – having met many business owners, entrepreneurs and investors over the years. It never surprises me the different roads that many have travelled towards finding happiness and true satisfaction in their professional lives, often taking the leap from financial security.
What’s Your Story?
I read stories in business pages almost daily about inspiring business owners that had taken the plunge, quitting secure and often very well paid but ultimately unsatisfying jobs to start their own passion businesses in every industry. Each had their own epiphany “I’m in the wrong job” moment! often in the most unusual locations or as the result of life-changing (painful) events.
In each story there was a common theme of being caught in a hamster wheel of needing to be on call, never switching off and having a Velcro-like attachment to an email. It all sounded a lot like slavery but with a bigger paycheck. Money aside, the biggest issue was a lack of control of their own destiny. And while owning your own business is, especially in the early days, no picnic, it has two key benefits – it’s all on you (responsibility) and you are the captain (control) of the ship.
Another major observation I note is that none of these entrepreneur stories are in an entirely unique business – by which I mean none of them had invested in new technologies or unique techniques for delivery. Each and every one of them was offering something that was already available, yet they had achieved both accolade and success in their own fields.
One great story is of Alex Smiley and his business that is fairly local to me personally. There are thousands of “Chippies” (fish and chip shops) in the UK for example, many running for decades and passing from one generation to another. Alex Smiley walked away from his 90 hours a week as a finance lawyer after realising he was in the wrong job and set up “Lucca’s” – a fish and chip shop which he admits is nothing unique, there are no funky gimmicks! Just the best ingredients cooked and presented at their best. This simple approach has taken Lucca’s from start-up in May 2015 to winning Independent Takeaway of the Year in the same year!! That’s a great start and really shows both Alex’s personal passion and what can be achieved with a clarity of purpose in your business. (For those interested, Alex Smiley and Lucca’s can be found in Kingston Upon Thames.)
The now very famous Levi Roots was a plumber with his grandmothers’ sauce recipe before hitting the big time in the Dragon’s Den – whilst most people have seen the “overnight success” story, he took 10 years to get there. Similarly, to continue the food theme, Colonel Saunders and his fried chicken recipe was a story of persistence driven by the need for survival. (The Colonel Saunders story may be familiar to you, if not here is a link.
While Levi’s story is inspiring there are many other “food hero’s” with equally inspiring stories, defining their own levels of success and winning awards, travelling a road so far removed from their starting point. These are the inspiring business heroes showing the hard work it takes to make the change, build a sustainable business and achieve both personal and professional fulfilment.
If you thinking “I’m in the wrong job”, maybe this article will give you some inspiration to getting you on to the right path for happiness.
Click here to contact Christine 0r by email alternatively you can book a call with the Business Mentor of the Year 2020, author and speaker. Who helps business founders get their businesses exit ready so they can enjoy a happier, richer future. She saves them THOUSANDS and increases the value of their businesses by MILLIONS.