Despite the fact that “Dead Poets Society” is my favorite movie, and “Carpe Diem” is my all-time favorite quote, I don’t really go in for all that cliché motivational crap. And unfortunately, clichés run rampant in freelance/entrepreneurial circles.
This is why I shared this quote on the white board at The Amory last week:
“Some people follow their dreams, others chase them down and beat them mercilessly into submission.” -Neil Kendall
I know I’m not the only person who dislikes simple inspirational-type quotes. Remember “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy” on Saturday Night Live? One little ditty I found:
If I lived back in the Wild West Days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster I'd carry a soldering iron. That way if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like, "Hey look, he's carrying a soldering iron." And laughed. I could just say, "That's right. It's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everyone would get real quiet and ashamed and I could probably hit them up for a free drink."
I get annoyed with people who say or write things like, “follow your passion,” or “do what you love,” and “quitters never win and winners never quit.”
While there are kernels of truth in these platitudes, they are also misleading. If your passion is playing Halo 2 for 22 hours a day… well, I think you get the picture. And no, I’m not making fun of video games, I think they rock, but let’s face it, some of us have passions that just don’t pay the mortgage, but this post isn’t about paying the mortgage.
My point, in this rambling post, is that entrepreneurs and freelancers should be honest with one another. Doing your own thing is rewarding, but it isn’t a cake walk. I follow Nick Armstrong, owner of WTF Marketing, because he’s honest and doesn’t look at the world through rose colored glasses. I read his blog because he says it like it is and that’s refreshing.
As small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs, we don’t need to be told to follow our dreams, we’re already doing it. And most of us haven’t followed it, we’ve beat it mercilessly into submission. It’s time we start getting real about the world in which freelancers and entrepreneurs reside. It isn’t peaches and cream, it more like eating a gristly turkey leg at the Renaissance Faire - difficult and messy, but so gratifying in the end.
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is a freelance writer, small business owner and founder of HeidiTown.com. She has been coworking since 2010.