I’m wanting to start this by showing you what Nick Offerman said during one of his sets.
We’ve all heard people say this for a reason. We live in a society where the norm is to despise five out of seven of our everyday lives. Chances are we know at least one person that does not subscribe to the 5/7 mentality, and they stick out. They enjoy what they do, and that gives them a higher level of fulfillment in their life.
One person I never heard say, “thank goodness it’s Friday,” and then spend the whole weekend dreading the upcoming week is my dad. He’s worked construction for over 40 years, and 30 years of it has been in Arizona. He is the toughest worker I have ever met. At one point he owned his own successful construction company for 15 years. I saw him power through multiple recessions and countless other obstacles along the way.
During one recession he only had enough to afford a skeleton crew, while taking care of all other responsibilities, and running the business. A seventy to eighty hour work week was a constant for him, and I never heard him complain once. During the summer, I would work construction for him to help out, and make some extra cash. He would get to the office at 4 am and wouldn’t leave until after 6 pm. He was short on work trucks so I would pick him up from the office and I’d drive him home at night.
To this day I’m convinced that had that been anyone else, the conversations would have been different on the drive home. Despite the struggles, working so many mind-numbing hours, working the one hundred twenty-degree weather when he didn’t have enough staff, and maintaining all aspects of the business, he was always relaxed and positive about his life.
As an owner of a construction company that was going through tough times, he typically had work to do on the weekend, and on occasion, he would be able to take the weekend off. On one of our daily drives home, we were talking about how he was finally going to have a weekend without any work. I was surprised how he talked about it. I thought he would be really excited about not having to work, and that he would say something along the lines of, “thank God it’s Friday,” or, “I can’t wait to start the weekend,” but he didn’t say anything of that nature.
As we were pulling into neighborhood my parents lived in; I finally asked him if he was excited about the weekend. He just shrugged and mentioned something about getting some yard work done, reading a book, and taking my mom out for drinks. He was looking forward to it, but he didn’t put the weekend up on a pedestal. It wasn’t the relief from life that I expected him to say it would be. How could he not be looking forward to the weekend to escape the hell he was going through just to keep his business barely afloat?
We turned into the driveway, and I turned to him, “Don’t you need this weekend?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he responded.
“You’ve worked your ass off week after week for the last year. How are you not burned out? How can you not be looking at the upcoming weekend as the mini vacation you need from this business?”
One thing to know about my dad, he is very direct (you have to be if you run a construction business). He turned to me and said, “Brandon, I love what I do. When you love what you do, it isn’t work. If you are ever in a place where you don’t love showing up to work every day, if it doesn’t challenge you, and if you don’t get enjoyment from it, you need to find something else as soon as possible. Life is too short to spend most of your life hating the majority of your week.”
That’s when I realized that I never heard my dad ever say, “thank God it’s Friday.” He was too busy enjoying his life, and work happened to be a part of that. If the work wasn’t enjoyable, he’d find something that was. A decade later, I still have yet to hear my dad say something like that.
I’ll always remember when my dad told me he was proud of me. I had gotten a job as a trainer. It was a job I was not supposed to get when you compare qualifications of those I was up against. After a year of success in the role, my dad took me to dinner and told me he was proud of me, not because I had gotten the role, not because I was finally in a decent paying position, but because of how I’d gotten there. I turned down jobs that would have been higher paying than previous roles I was in, but they wouldn’t make me happy. Instead, I focused on where I truly wanted to be, and I only took positions that would get me there. He said, “most people would have taken the money, and been miserable, but you took the jobs that got you to what would make you happy. For that, I’m proud of you.”
Whether you work for a company, or you decide to open a business; do what makes you happy. That’s what I love about Solopreneurs. They tend to be at the point when they realize that what will make them happy, is to do what they love. Although it is scary to open a business, everything is on the line, and failure would be catastrophic for them, they are driven by their passion to do what they love. It will be tough work, and quitting will sometimes be the easier choice, but there is more value in loving what you do which will contribute to a happy life.
Be the Solopreneur that doesn’t give a fuck about Friday.