Just finished Dan Miller’s No More Mondays, his follow-up to 48 Days to the Work You Love, which I wrote about here. No More Mondays is similar to his previous book, in that his goal is to help you find the work you love, but this guide focuses more on starting your own business. I love how Dan points out the opposite ways that employees and entrepreneurs view risk:
I frequently hear people say they are afraid to apply for a new job, try a new sport, buy a new car, or launch a new business because of the risk involved. When people are considering a new career or change of position, they often ask themselves, “Why leave the predictable for the unpredictable? Why take the risk?” And yet there is a core issue regarding risk that must be clarified…if you find yourself in a negative work environment, have checked out your options, and are planning to move to a higher organization with a higher income, how can that be called risk?
This is how Dan summarizes an employee’s view of risk: the fear of the unknown, fear of leaving what they are used to, even if leaving means going to a better life. Now see him describe an entrepreneur’s view of risk, how it is the polar opposite of an employee’s:
In my many years of life coaching high-achieving people, I have observed that they view risk differently from those who fear it. They think it’s risky to be trapped in one company; they view security as having the freedom to do what they love on their own terms–the exact opposite of the average person’s perception.
They view security as having freedom to do what they want, instead of freedom from uncertainty. They see staying at one company as imprisonment. In case you couldn’t guess, Dan Miller sides with the second group in his views of security and risk:
In today’s traditional workplace, security is an illusion. When you are working for a company, your fate is in the hands of one person–your boss (or even worse, the shareholders and executives who see you as fixed overhead, not a person). A decision by one person, who might not even know your name, can put you out on the street. But in your own business, if you are selling hot dogs on the street corner, every one of your customers would have to fire you before you’re out of business.
I know what you’re thinking, “But I don’t want to be an entrepreneur!” That’s fine, you don’t have to change your employment status, just change your mindset. Don’t think of your financial and vactional situation as being at the mercy of your employer. Don’t live in fear of the unknown, fear that your life will fall apart if you are laid off. Remember that your job security hinges on your ability to produce and get results.