Charting our course in life is really about picking our problem set. No matter how appealing an occupation or career opportunity may appear, with it comes a problem set. Being a forest ranger may be quite appealing to those young folk who love spending time in the woods communing with nature. But I would imagine the pay may require some serious sacrifice to some and the monotony might wear heavy on others.
Running a charter boat certainly has appeal with those in love with the sea. But the pressure of producing satisfactory catches day after day, the wear and tear on knees and joints, the ever decreasing catch limits, over fishing, maintaining a complicated craft in a harsh environment, and seasons in which the weather makes it difficult to make the necessary number of trips to pay the bills are all problems that come with the territory.
Even being a famous actor or actress has it’s headaches. Not being picked for a key role, falling out of favor with Hollywood, and the problems which come with fame such as not being able to go to the local grocery store or restaurant without it becoming a media event are all real problems. Name a job and you can immediately think of a down side.
The key is—some problem sets we find easier to deal with than others. Most people would find the headaches of being a doctor a profession plagued by over-regulation, constant patient demands, and constantly evolving technology over the smells and filth which come with being a “sanitation engineer.” Fortunately, for every problem set there seems to be a taker. I ‘m just glad not to be an embalmer.
In my case, I gladly chose the entrepreneuring path. For me, the thrill of building something, the excitement of success and having my compensation truly be performance-based was what got my blood pumping. But being an entrepreneur is no different from any other career path. While many find the freedom and opportunity for financial success appealing, many fail to appreciate the down side. Just like there is, theoretically, no limit to your upside; there is also no limit to the down side. You are the one responsible for making payroll each time, for dealing with IRS audits, for dealing with frivolous lawsuits.
It is the entrepreneur who often eats peanut butter sandwiches when it’s payroll time and funds are short. But with all of the headaches, it was the problem set I most enjoyed facing.
Disclaimer: Frank Wilem is an author, speaker, and all around funny and entertaining guy. On this blog, his stories are based on his real life experiences, often with a satirical twist.
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