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How One Article Changed My Life Story

You get your first job out of college and you’re happy to land a decent job. You’re not passionate about the work, but you convince yourself you’re getting good experience. This paycheck is pretty sweet…I’m definitely building a skill-set that will help me in the future.

A few years in you realize that you don’t want your bosses job. She doesn’t want her job. But you don’t know exactly what you want.

You go to business school to take time to find something you’re passionate about. You discover the world of startups. You meet crazy people that are “changing the world” and for the first time you can see what it’s like to be passionate about your work. You hang out on the outskirts of the startup community.

You listen. You learn. You help where you can.

At business school you become entrepreneurship club president. You intern at a startup and spend more time in a dry cleaning warehouse than at an office. You start to experience the passion. You volunteer at a startup accelerator and become Director of Startup Grind Charleston.

You end up working at the largest company in the world. You are the ultimate wantrepreneur.

You start a side project. It’s all you can think about. It’s working.

You cut your corporate safety net. You become one of those crazy people :)

This is my story.

Several years into my first job after college I came across an article, “Congratulations You Have Not Been Fired.” One passage jumped out and slapped me in the face. It was my current story. And I hated the ending.

Your expectations were low. You were fresh out of school and fell into the job, and it was good enough for now. Your dreams and aspirations didn’t square with your present circumstances, but you pursued them in the off-hours, and that sufficed. The day job paid decent money. You put in enough effort to keep it coming, if only to make the most of your weekends. At some point, you decided to put in a little extra effort, which got you noticed. Money and notice, they weren’t so bad. You got a little older, you grew into the work. They gave you a raise. They gave you a bonus and a bump in title. You acquired adult things, ate better, took advantage of the dental plan, enjoyed a rapport with your superiors, and found unexpected pleasure in the work. With effort came reward. With reward came reason to work harder. You committed entirely to the idea of yourself as a certain kind of professional. You could not remember a time when there was ever any doubt.

“You could not remember a time when there was ever any doubt.

That was the knockout punch. The modern day equivalent of giving up on a childhood dream.

F*#& that.

That article is what changed my story. It made me want to go out and find a job that I’m passionate about. For me, that’s starting a company that does well by doing good. A purpose driven company.

2015 was the year I put the pieces together to make this a reality.

I’ve grateful to be able to spend 2016, and many more years, turning this passion into a successful company.

Jeremy Berman is the Director of Startup Grind Charleston and Founder of inKind, a platform that helps nonprofits create more personal and meaningful relationships with their donors.