Eight years ago today, I woke up a different person. I awoke as a boss for the first time. No one appointed me that title. There was no immediate pay raise, as a matter of fact, I was at a couple of grand from a tax refund and a couple of measly commission checks left from the television station and that was it. I didn’t require permission from anyone to make myself my own boss. No one gave a shit about my education (which to this day, no client has ever asked me about where I was educated) or asked me what my biggest weaknesses are. My CEO from my advertising agency days didn’t make me a boss, nope I was fired from there…well I think they softened the blow by “eliminating my position”. My sales boss and my station boss from my tv days sure as hell weren’t going to put me in any kind of seniority position, I couldn’t even get people to buy local tv ads consistently. All I had were some skills like graphic design and some sales knowledge on how to get clients.
When I woke up that morning, I had the name 3Zero but definitely didn’t feel like a business owner, I was just basically a freelancer out on his own. All I knew at that time was, I didn’t have an alarm clock to wake me up…I happily awoke even before my alarm would normally go off. It was February and I didn’t have to clean off my car, warm it for 20 minutes, or drive in a snow storm to get to work. I didn’t give a shit about my monthly or quarterly sales goals at the tv station…all I looked at was the next bill on the calendar. Professional tip, National Grid and Spectrum I routinely tell to go fuck themselves on payment dates…so far, I still have both. No more stressing about internal meetings, fake deadlines, made up budgets, bitchy coworkers, forced fun or any of the other shit that goes along with being an employee and having more than 25% of your life and time dictated by others.
These eight years were built on the motivation to never want to work again for someone else. To never have anxiety because of a job or if I will have the rug pulled out from under me again. To never have to lie about not feeling good because I just wanted a day off. To never be told, you were 2 minutes late, you better stay 2 more minutes. To never have to “hope” that I could get that vacation time off and someone else didn’t take it.
To think it was made this far though without challenges is laughable. Every single day is a hustle, but not that shitty hustle where you’re screwing people over to make a living. And every day you’re not hustling, you’re falling further behind your goals. I spent many days struggling to recover from failed personal relationships and friendships, general anxiety and panic attacks, pain killer abuse along with quitting those cold turkey and also starting on anti-depressants and all that goes along with those side effects. The waves of depression that come suddenly without warning. Having my best friend, my Dad die suddenly and coping with that change. I’ve had months where I made more money than I was used to making in 6 months…and I’ve had months where I didn’t make a single penny. I’ve sacrificed vacations and fun at times for work and responsibility because there was no one else to do it. I’ve sacrificed my once perfect credit score to realize that credit is ultimately for suckers and we shouldn’t have any money owed to large corporations. I’ve sacrificed the thought of “retirement” to live right now. My friend Scott told me, “people work their entire lives for a day that may never come.”, and that really hit home with me, especially after my Dad died. He fought for his country, he drove trucks cross country, and he worked his entire life to enjoy a few short years of retirement. I have vowed to not be that. I’ve chosen to make certain sacrifices in my life to enjoy the freedom of time, because that is the one thing you can never make enough of.
Of all the things I’m most grateful for over these last 8 years, it’s not just that I’ve built an actual company and I don’t just feel like a freelancer trying to survive anymore. It’s not that I’ve increased my revenue every single year since I started, even during the great refuckening of 2020. It’s not that I have over 150 clients in Quickbooks and probably even more quick projects that involved the beauty that is the barter and trade system. It’s not even the numerous amazing connections and friends that I’ve made as I couldn’t even begin to thank them all. It’s that freedom that I know I own every single second of my day. The first thing I thought about after my Dad died, once that shock wore off, was how thankful I was that from 2013-2018 we spent more time together than at any other points in my life. We had coffee together during the week, we’d work on projects together, we’d go to camp together, we got the dogs together all the time, we talked business all the time….all those hundreds and hundreds of hours, would never have been had I been working my career type job. Time is the one thing you can’t obtain more of, you can’t purchase it, you can’t steal it, you can only take what you’re given and work within it.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, I still get told that. Most of my friends and family work for corporations, or the government, or the state, or in education…we need all those things…except politicians, for the most part they’re useless twat muscles. But I simply can not stress this enough to those of you that bounce from job to job, or you truly hate where you are at…make those sacrifices for a few years to build what you really want, because it’s true, once you find your passion or your “why”, you really do never have to work another day in your life.
Thanks for reading everyone.