My Friends and Family Don’t Think I Have a Real Job
I work from home, or a coffee shop, or wherever there’s WIFI. I can’t really explain in a single sentence what I do.
When you’re surrounded by traditionalists or people that define a job, a career, or “a living” as something that has a title and operates between 9–5 in a company people have heard of, being an entrepreneur who works from home isn’t really perceived as a “legitimate job”.
When people ask my wife what it is I do, she can’t really answer that question. In fact, she’ll come to me, say what she said, and ask, “was that right?”. Not really. We’ve been together for almost 12 years.
When people ask me what I do, I can’t really explain it in a single sentence, or by saying a title and you’ll just “get it”. What I do isn’t defined by using terms like: reports, presentations, meetings, preparing, or administration.
What I do for a living isn’t defined by simply saying a title and a big company name to which that title belongs to. Somehow this means I don’t have a real job.
My friends and family are either teachers, lawyers, or office people who just work for big name companies. Ironic that for the people of which I have no idea what they do, but know they work in an office, I just call them office people.
And supposedly I’m the one without a “real job”. We won’t get into that.
I work remotely.
I’ve looked at getting an office, but it just doesn’t make any sense right now. I don’t meet with my employees because they all work remotely. We communicate via Skype, phone, email, Facebook Messenger, whatever.
Clients feel more comfortable meeting at their offices or just speaking via Skype or even at a coffee shop. So why do I need an office again? Yes, it would make me seem more “legit”, and maybe then I would appear to have a “real job”, in the real world right now, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Nonetheless, because I work from the comfort of my own home at my kitchen table, or on my couch (I’m in a one bedroom condo), or at Starbucks, I must be living the life.
I am actually working.
“Alexander doesn’t work”.
He’s just on his phone.
“Ask Alexander, he’s always around”.
When I don’t work. I don’t make money. In fact if I’m not running, in a sense, my business isn’t running.
When I’m on my phone, I’m working. In fact, if I’m working on my phone, chances are I’m working overtime (and I mean that if we were using 9 to 5 days as an example). It’s how I reach out to the people I work with, the people that help my business become better, and how I check up on how certain campaigns are going.
I use Facebook for work. I use Twitter for work. There isn’t much leisurely activity happening on my phone other than posting food pics/snaps on Instagram or Snapchat (yes, I’m a foodie) or replying to friends and family texting me.
Oh and following all of Gary Vaynerchuk’s shit. Then again, that stuff motivates me to get on with working more and providing more for people following me on my social media platforms.
But I understand why people may not think of me working from home, on my iPhone, on Facebook, as work. Unless you are working for a progressive startup, chances are all of these “activities” are frowned upon or even prohibited.
So I get where they are coming from, but then again, where they are coming from is an environment that is reluctant to change, or at least the hierarchy in their company is so thick and filled with irrelevant titles that change never really makes it to the people that can make it happen. So it doesn’t.
Change is good. Change is progress in the form of taking a step forward or having to take a step back first. Without change, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I feel like I’m always working, always thinking about building my brand, helping people, and creating income. It’s just how I am.
I don’t do just one thing.
The issue here (for others, that is) is I don’t do just one thing. In fact, I do a few things that make money, but are really even connected or related to each other.
I can say I run a business. I could even say I run an online marketing company. But still, this doesn’t tell people what I do other than running a business.
I sell things.
I help other people sell things.
I design and build websites for people have businesses or are starting businesses.
I design graphics like logos for brands.
I build strategies for businesses so they can use those strategies to get more people to become aware of their business and then buy from their business.
I help people start businesses with advice, strategy, guides, copywriting and my design services.
Explaining what I do takes more than a single sentence because I do a lot. I do a lot of different things that may not fall under a single job description. Sometimes two things are completely unrelated. However, they are all streams of income.
I am an entrepreneur. We do what interests us, what helps people, and what can create income. Our “job” isn’t defined by titles, hours, company names, or even location. What we do is defined by what we do.
Now, the point of this post isn’t to take anything away from traditional jobs. In fact, I understand that. I’ve been through it before (you can read here).
This is for you… the entrepreneur.
This is to help those starting out with just their laptop in their basement. I can assure all of you that they are working.
When they are posting something on Snapchat with a post to their newest blog post or Twitter, they are working.
When they are commenting on someone’s startup story, or how to strategy on Facebook, they are working.
When they are sitting at a coffee shop and we assume they are just enjoying life They are there literally trying to get some serious work done because they can’t focus at home.
The modern day entrepreneur may be in disguise more now than ever, sometimes using only an iPhone to close a deal with a client, check on stats, post a blog, or reach out to their audience. But they have a job more “real” than anything else out there.