Let’s pretend we are face to face, having a conversation. You would probably ask “What Do You Do?” Let’s pretend that no one else is around, it’s just me and you. Want to know a secret?
In the past year (and few years to be honest), my idea of work, has gone through a 360 evolution. Seriously. I definitely can say it’s the experiences I had.
Recently, I ran into an acquaintance from grade school. She asked the usual question “Where do you work? How do you have all this free time?” Sidenote: I’ve had to learn to tolerate ignorance from people whom I thought would always have my back, and to understand quickly that it’s not their fault for their lack of understanding. They don’t get it. If they did, the emphasis wouldn’t be on where I’m working and how many hours I’m putting in somewhere.
I actually had my first official 9 to 5 type job at the young age of 12. Yes 12. I figured get a head start and get my foot in the door. This was around the same time I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship and investments. (My mom handled the numbers and stocks and such until I was old enough to legally do them on my own and have a basic understanding). I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed working summer camps, museums, working one job from 8 to 12 pm then running to my other summer job from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Double the hours, double the dough. Cool. The hustle felt good, baby.
Then I had some experiences that made me question if this was the path for me, despite what everyone was saying around me. I remember fellow employers trying to bully me into doing the jobs they were supposed to be doing, cutthroat politics because I was the youngest, and people thinking they can treat me anyway. The job I enjoyed the most was and to this day is Gen Con, just for the record. I always thought it was weird to put in a lot of time at a job, and still have a strong chance of not having enough bacon still. What in the world?
I remember someone mentioning to me that they spent 20 years at a local fast food restaurant job but still never have money. I didn’t mean no disrespect, but I was thinking what in the hell is wrong with her and why is this seen as a right of passage? Still she was saying how unhappy she was and wants to change. “Well, I’m still going to do the same thing for the next few years or so, she mentioned.” But you just said you wanted to change? I don’t get it.
I recently read a post called Stop Touting The Crazy Hours You Work: It Helps No One. RIGHT ON THE MONEY. I’ll explain this more below but instead of focusing so much on how many hours of work I’ve done, I have a tendency nowadays to look at the value I’m adding.
Getting back to the original point. I could use a degree to move up the corporate ladder and earn what may be considered top dollar, I guess. Some of my “outside of the box” thinking does not align with many of my peers and loved ones around me. I’m pretty sure they say I am impractical, lazy, bum, etc. I’m not afraid of being ridiculed. Social isolation is their form of punishment. Ice cold and perfect form of human cruelty right? Oh well. I learned in my experiences to not wait on other to give me a promotion, or make me CEO of their companies. I talked to someone who ran for president of a organization 5 times before getting it. I love the persistence and maybe if I ran that many times (or more) I could have gotten it, I suppose. I decided to be president of my own companies or take offers instead of wasting time with people that will come up with every reason under the sun why I shouldn’t or why I can’t. I just bossed up and created my own lane.
Where do I work, you asked me at the beginning of this conversation? I don’t work in the traditional way like most, if that makes any sense. I wrote the original post in my workout clothes. I spent my day training for the mini marathon in Indianapolis. I’m so behind on training, damn I’m worried. I posted it on Instagram recently, so there’s no turning back now. I went to a big network audition and hung out with musician friends. I don’t want to work in the traditional sense, either, meaning;
Uno. I don’t want to be responsible for showing up anywhere at the time I’m assigned to. I don’t want be controlled, meaning if I don’t show up, I won’t be able to bring in income, eat, and secure my future. Meaning, if I have a day where I just want to purely sit on my butt, I won’t have a big boss questioning where I was at that day.
Dos. Unfortunately, equal pay is still a major issue today. I don’t want to have a salary cap, then find out that I’m getting paid less because I’m a woman compared to the guys in the office. I think this is ridiculous bullshit. I do not want to have the chance of dealing with sexual harassment and being blamed for someone’s boyfriend looking my way or “he couldn’t control himself, do something so he doesn’t do that again.” Stop the madness and gtfo. Since when do I have the power to control other people and what they do? I DON’T! LOL!
Tres. I don’t want to potentially face cutthroat office politics, people doing less work and still getting paid, slackers getting away with the shit that I wouldn’t be able to get away with because I’m not in the good ole boys club, being held to a “higher” unrealistic and unfair standard because I had enough of that in my years in schooling, especially in the college. I experienced the rat race, TRUST ME and I have a low tolerance for the drama. I will say that my experiences in school don’t make a traditional job attractive to me. I hear horror stories from the grapevine through family, friends, and acquaintances and, nah, it’s definitely not for me. I actually hate the idea of getting up at 6:30 am to get ready for a job, when I actually don’t get up until after 9:30 am. (I will wake up for an job that I booked for music and auditions.)
Cuatro. I don’t want to be told I can’t do this or I can’t do that, and,for whatever reason, meaning someone else might try to sabotage or undermine my efforts; I don’t want to be told that I don’t have any vacation days left, that I won’t be getting a raise despite my best efforts or I’m being fired because of a bad economy. I don’t want to be told that I have no sick days left, and that I have to come into work to spread all my infectious germs on everyone else (YUCK). I don’t want to potentially be thrown away after being loyal and putting years into a company to find out later that they hired someone who they think is better and more adaptable. I don’t want to worry that I’m late or not meeting someone else’s standards, and as a result, have to rely on someone else to support myself. I don’t want to be forced to stay in a city and never have the chance to travel because I have to clock in somewhere.
Cinco. I have been really ill before and the way some people have treated me in my vulnerable state was not very nice. To be blunt, people did not care and thought I was making up the pain I was in just to get out of working. Those hospital and doctor notes are lies (crazy I know). I’ve seen people’s true colors, and I don’t want to be dumped out the door because I have an illness that is out of my control. I don’t want to try to explain myself to people that don’t understand or care to understand that I have so much pain that I don’t feel like moving. I don’t want to be bugged or prolong my illness over worry of losing my job.
Seis. “She looks nice, lets pick on her or get her to do a, b, c, and d, the jobs we are supposed to do.” I have noticed that some people have mistaken my kindness for weakness. When I speak up, people say damn I didn’t think she had that in her. I don’t want to deal with people thinking I’m a easy target because of my “babyface” thinking they will easily step all over me. I don’t want to become the office whipping girl and the boss says “aw you should just help them” while I get stuck with their tasks (not in my job description) while they play office games on the computer and still get paid. I don’t want to defend myself and then stress about the possibly of getting fired for not being a “team player.” I would pull my weight in the situation, but that shouldn’t give people the license to walk all over me like a doormat.
Siete. This one creeps me out, but sitting in a cubicle and sitting all day apparently can potentially lead to health problems. I don’t want to sit in one position all day, because I can get bored. I like to move.
Ocho. Like I mentioned above, I wanted to boss up and created my own lane. Too many times, for various stupid reasons, people didn’t want me playing in their court. So I decided to build my own court and run my own basketball games. I hated that politics and popularity games kept me out of positions while in school. I was never a sore loser and bought the winner a round of shots. I’m not going around being vengeful, but it adds fuel to my fire. I decided for the rest of my life, instead of getting mad, or even, DO BETTER. The irony is when you “do better” the people that didn’t give you a chance comes back around.
There have been jobs I’ve enjoyed (like Gen Con) but overall, the idea of harsh ridicule or potential firing for mistakes and not being flexible isn’t appealing to me. The idea of working while sick or in pain because people don’t think it’s real isn’t appealing to me.
When people ask me what I do with my time and days, I’ve learned to stop explaining and forgive their lack of understanding because it doesn’t fit their mold of what a job is “supposed” to be. But just an FYI: There are days when I don’t DO a damn thing but sleep and workout. NO SHAME. There are days when I audition for film projects and get ready for music gigs. There are days when I work on my guitar to post a new cover. There are evenings where I look over numbers for investments and startups I’m involved with. I post on my Snapchat for a close group of trusted friends so they can see what I’m up to. I’m not solely defined by skills I use to make money. I don’t overly obsess about how much I make or make a point to post heyyyy guys I made this much today! Look at me!
“If you plant trees just for the fruit, when the fruit comes, there will never be enough. Now if you plant a tree because you love to water the roots, then when the fruits come, there will be more than enough.”-Nick Anderson
Being desperate for money puts negative energy out about money, and keeps it away from me. So no, when it comes, and it has, I do not make a big freaken deal of it and post on all my networks. Everybody wants dough because of all the things you can do with it, I get it. Guess, what, it’s OK that I don’t get recognized for being a money maker yet alone a trailblazer in my circles. Assets, investments isn’t as popular or as sexy as posting dollar bills as a Facebook status. They don’t believe in me, and that’s ok! Dr. Matthew L. Stevenson III explained it perfectly: Being UNDERSTOOD, is not a part of your purpose! Lose that need. It is an amenity, not a necessity! Even if they think I’m not making money, who cares? I’ve fallen in love with the process, the discovery and the learning process and letting go of the outcome. Because of this, I have noticed opportunities like crazy coming my way. Many of my friends will also tell you I stopped posting on Facebook as much because I spent less time creeping lately, and more time IMPROVING MYSELF. I ask for forgiveness from my friends because I do care enough to like and creep, but personal growth is important to me. Sorry for liking important life events weeks later! After seeing some of my results, some of my friends are now starting to get it.
In most cases, it takes results to get support.
My happiness is not dependent on your acceptance. Ashley M. Munson 🔑
Favorite TV shows? I cut back on that to learn how to play guitar and get other things that I want more. How bad do/did I want it? In just a year, I’ve been able to get a record label, talent agency, and new labelmates to work with, etc. So yes, the sacrifices are well worth it. All the things I have now I spoke into existence a year ago.
But seriously getting back to the point.
What you do to make money is completely separate from what you do with your time. People spend all that time getting more money. Guess what? You get a job so you can afford to have a life, but then you spend all your time at work and end up with no time to live the life you’re working for. Do you see this sick paradox here? Or is it just me? I started to realize that the issue isn’t work, it’s with my out side of the box way of thinking. Like I said above, it doesn’t align with most of the folks around me. Which is why I face resistance, I’m going against the current! :)
And yes, personal growth is an area I work on on a daily basis. It doesn’t stop because I learned how to play the guitar or accomplished some goals within this past year.
I mean, we can keep it real right, can we? It’s just me and you talking between each other right? If you had your way, you would have slept in and not gone in to work today or the next day, would you? Would you love Mondays if you could sleep in? You would go out with your friends all night long on a Tuesday and face plant into your bed 12 noon the next day, simply because you want to? Why does the fun has to stop after you graduate (if you are an graduate)? Even if you love what you are doing at work, wouldn’t you much rather be doing exactly what you want to do at the pace you want to do it? Wouldn’t you rather put your energy towards your passions versus focusing your energy on what drains you?
“But Alesha. Oh my goodness, this is not the right way. I don’t know what has gotten into you. You need to get that job and save the fun stuff for after work. You gotta go through the hustle like everyone else. You can’t be a lazy ass, now.”
I’m pretty sure that is what most are thinking as I’m having this conversation with you. Only a small percentage of the people I’ve had this conversation with actually agrees with me and can process what I’m telling them.
That inner dialogue? Like I said, this is that sick paradox based thinking on the cultural norm that tells us that our jobs should be the center of our universes, with any passions and real happiness comes after that. By doing it any other way, I guess you are not paying your dues; “you have to go through that like the rest of us to move up.” Who are you to skip paying your dues and being able to eat your ice cream now rather than wait like the rest of us? But isn’t this altering what you want to really want to do in life?
What issues do I see with paying your “dues”? Where you spend less and save money from your paychecks for years, contribute to your 401k/Roth IRA/etc and when you’re retirement age, you hope to retire and live the last 15+ years of your life modestly, clinging to just purely existing as inflation shoots up and your savings continues to shoot down, despite doing what you were “supposed to do.”
At least now you have the golden years to grow old with your spouses to finally do everything you wanted to do? I guess? Sounds wacky to me, no offense. Why not do what you want now while you have the youth, time and health to do so, just saying? I have more and more people telling me that they will be working for the rest of their lives and not being able to take their retirement years to make them golden. What is up with that? Everything in the last paragraph may not even come true, because after the years of saving and paying off debts that still may not be enough to “live off of.” What if there’s a chance you are not living to see those golden years? Or not in great health? What if you don’t have enough money saved up even with putting all that time in? I hate to take a morbid turn, but I’ve had friends and family pass away in their teens and 20’s. They don’t have the second chance to live the life. You never know when you will leave this earth, why delay happiness and postpone what you really want to do to please other people? When I made my changes a year ago, I said to start living life now, live for moments you can’t put into words!
As I write this, I just came from a funeral, and tomorrow is definitely not promised! I’ve been hearing that over and over again.
Anyways.The issue is definitely not “work.” Confession: There actually may be other fun jobs out there besides Gen Con. It’s how I choose to see work and the problems came when I ran into people that thought I was a snob because of their misunderstanding. I’m not trying to poo poo on any one’s parade, or put my nose up in the air at a job offer. I’m just trying route 66 instead of the highway everyone else is mostly taking, the road less traveled. (You know, taking a stop at Radiator Springs and a few other cute small towns instead of skipping them- Kachow!) No, it’s not the popular choice and I won’t earn the popular vote for this. It’s really hard to believe this way of living exists when you don’t see examples of it. I’ve seen it both ways, the traditional “possible” way of living and I’ve seen people live that life, traveling the world, (taking 6 months out of a year to visit exotic locations) that most say is “impossible.” I’ve also wanted to say this:
What about residual or passive income? Making money even though you don’t have to necessarily be there? Isn’t that attractive? Why isn’t this embraced?
What about eating, loving, and living authentically in your truth?
I keep hearing from family how much they hate their jobs. And they complain about not having money after putting in all their time at work. I’m like, geez. What’s the thrill of working just to be working, spending all your days and putting in overtime making more money? Or, obsessing about money instead of doing the things are passionate about, because you feel shamed of following your heart because of the fear of being an outsider, an misfit? How about controlling money instead of it controlling you? I don’t usually mention my “radical” ideas to family, because being on the younger end they wouldn’t embrace an “different” idea. The irony is I always hear them saying “Omg I want another way out.” Do they really mean it? Nah. I keep it to myself and follow through on my end.
Do you look at others and don’t think the “rich” life can’t happen for you? Or do you look at it and say yes, I believe? Which group are you in?
It definitely took some soul searching and some major re-arranging of my life to have some of the things I have today. It hasn’t been the prettiest process or the undertaking that people would call “stable.” It’s not meant for them to understand because it’s my life. No one said it’s going to be easy, but has been worth while. As I write this, I’m still traveling on this journey and I love it!
One more thing as I write this: To win a bet with some people, I actually applied to a few jobs to prove that yes I can get a traditional job if and when I want to (don’t mean to sound cocky if I come off that way). I generally choose not to, but I think this experience will be fun. I already won one bet in the past and got the “job”, and I’ll let you know my job experiences go in a future blog post. Yayy interviews and jobs.
Any other crazies out there? We must stick together!
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