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Thread: Life ambitions, occupations, entrepreneurialism

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    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
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    Life ambitions, occupations, entrepreneurialism

    When we are kids growing up we often envision what occupation we want to hold, as it seems very interesting to us. We aspire to get educated in that field and then turn it into our career. That was also true for me in the first ~20 years of my life, but has become less so since then. Now I still have personal ambitions and goals and intentions for my life, but I do not feel like they need to be tied at all to what my job is or where my paycheck comes from. Instead those can be 2 entirely separate domains of life. I wonder how common or unique that attitude is. Most people hold rather mundane jobs, and I wonder if they feel partly unfulfilled in life because of those jobs and the fact that they did not get their dream job, or they are completely satisfied with their life and job as long as they are taking on other roles in life that interest them (having a family, being an activist for some cause, being a donor or volunteer, having good friends, etc.)

    Actually, I have held an even more extreme position than the above, but lately have been rethinking it. I am an activist by nature and want to become more real-life socially active in certain political and social causes, once my life circumstances allow for it. If I was involved in activism and getting paid for it, I would feel worse than if doing it for free. Any contribution I can make to the cause feels more genuine and sincere and charitable if I am volunteering, rather than getting a paycheck in return for it and making a personal financial profit from it. Getting paid for it would cheapen the experience for me. That has been an attitude that I have held for many months at least, but lately I did get involved in a local political cause and was compensated for it. I expected to feel some guilt, but it turns out I was wrong and I felt completely fine for getting paid for that civic work. It was not much income, but it felt like it is something that is just expected of workers for a cause. Now I feel more comfortable receiving a paycheck for doing work that I previously would have wanted to only volunteer for.

    Do you have any preferences either way? Does it emotionally matter at all to you whether you are paid or unpaid for social work that you do? How much do you tie your life’s meaning and value and purpose to what your job title is?

    Also, there is an idea that I had some time ago for a particular nonprofit service, basically an interactive website and online support group for people with certain categories of medical illnesses (I have one of them myself). I do not want to give much detail about what it is, in case I ever decide to act on it myself. Will note, however, that I have mentioned it to some family members who agreed it was a good idea, they did some research and were stunned that there was a void on the internet for this service, that nobody else is doing it already. So the originality of this idea and filling this void for people who could greatly benefit from it appeals to me. Still, I do not have a hint of an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and that pretty much ends it there. I like having low-level jobs where I am not in charge of anyone or anything, but just do some tasks and then go on to pick up a small paycheck and do other things in life which actually are enjoyable. Even if I had broader ambitions, I am much more interested in becoming activist towards pro-secular and pro-atheist causes than I am in this medical nonprofit idea that I had. Still, I do not want to see that idea go to waste and this massive void remain. That makes me feel even some guilt for having this idea and not going forward with it, especially when so many others could benefit from it. So I am very uncertain what to do.

    How much of an entrepreneurial attitude do you have, and have you always had that level or has it changed over time? Part of me wishes that I had some, part of me does not care and is not bothered. If I did have more of it, it could certainly help me out more with my personal financial problems as well. So there are also those selfish motivations that I have too.

    Easy questions, yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian63 View Post
    When we are kids growing up we often envision what occupation we want to hold, as it seems very interesting to us. We aspire to get educated in that field and then turn it into our career. That was also true for me in the first ~20 years of my life, but has become less so since then. Now I still have personal ambitions and goals and intentions for my life, but I do not feel like they need to be tied at all to what my job is or where my paycheck comes from. Instead those can be 2 entirely separate domains of life. I wonder how common or unique that attitude is. Most people hold rather mundane jobs, and I wonder if they feel partly unfulfilled in life because of those jobs and the fact that they did not get their dream job, or they are completely satisfied with their life and job as long as they are taking on other roles in life that interest them (having a family, being an activist for some cause, being a donor or volunteer, having good friends, etc.)

    Actually, I have held an even more extreme position than the above, but lately have been rethinking it. I am an activist by nature and want to become more real-life socially active in certain political and social causes, once my life circumstances allow for it. If I was involved in activism and getting paid for it, I would feel worse than if doing it for free. Any contribution I can make to the cause feels more genuine and sincere and charitable if I am volunteering, rather than getting a paycheck in return for it and making a personal financial profit from it. Getting paid for it would cheapen the experience for me. That has been an attitude that I have held for many months at least, but lately I did get involved in a local political cause and was compensated for it. I expected to feel some guilt, but it turns out I was wrong and I felt completely fine for getting paid for that civic work. It was not much income, but it felt like it is something that is just expected of workers for a cause. Now I feel more comfortable receiving a paycheck for doing work that I previously would have wanted to only volunteer for.

    Do you have any preferences either way? Does it emotionally matter at all to you whether you are paid or unpaid for social work that you do? How much do you tie your life’s meaning and value and purpose to what your job title is?

    Also, there is an idea that I had some time ago for a particular nonprofit service, basically an interactive website and online support group for people with certain categories of medical illnesses (I have one of them myself). I do not want to give much detail about what it is, in case I ever decide to act on it myself. Will note, however, that I have mentioned it to some family members who agreed it was a good idea, they did some research and were stunned that there was a void on the internet for this service, that nobody else is doing it already. So the originality of this idea and filling this void for people who could greatly benefit from it appeals to me. Still, I do not have a hint of an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and that pretty much ends it there. I like having low-level jobs where I am not in charge of anyone or anything, but just do some tasks and then go on to pick up a small paycheck and do other things in life which actually are enjoyable. Even if I had broader ambitions, I am much more interested in becoming activist towards pro-secular and pro-atheist causes than I am in this medical nonprofit idea that I had. Still, I do not want to see that idea go to waste and this massive void remain. That makes me feel even some guilt for having this idea and not going forward with it, especially when so many others could benefit from it. So I am very uncertain what to do.

    How much of an entrepreneurial attitude do you have, and have you always had that level or has it changed over time? Part of me wishes that I had some, part of me does not care and is not bothered. If I did have more of it, it could certainly help me out more with my personal financial problems as well. So there are also those selfish motivations that I have too.

    Easy questions, yeah.
    I'm an entrepreneur! For me, it's a real love/hate enterprise. On one hand, it's thrilling and emotionally rewarding to be in control of your destiny. However, it's also extremely stressful with long hours. Please don't undertake it you are looking for a shorter work week! When you're your own boss, there is no down time. I have to be on 24 hours a day. You'll make hundreds of decisions a day. You need to be prepared to risk everything. My plan is to build it up keep it going, and then sell in two years. If possible, I'd like to keep a salaried position when I sell someday. Some cheap advice, talk to as many people as you can to get their advice. Anyway, I look forward to watching this thread and hearing about your progress over time. I hope that you keep us updated!

  3. Top | #3
    Deus Meumque Jus
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    My career goal has always been security and work/life balance - I want enough money to live a comfortable life, be married, have kids, retire, and along the way have enough free time to pursue personal interests. And that's exactly where I ended up. I work 40 hours/week, but when I punch out that's it, I'm free to do what I want with the rest of my day. When we're not busy with chores I'm free on weekends too. This has meant that I've spent the past five or so years reading hundreds of books - what I'm really passionate about. Financially my wife and I are well off, and should have a comfortable retirement save any health issues between then and now.

    Contrast this to my sister-in-law and her partner who own one of the premier wedding venues in our city, along with a distillery that they just opened last year. If my estimates are correct they make roughly 700k/year, but the kicker is that they have little to no free time. They're always working. Don't even have time to have kids.

    Would I take their life over mine? Probably not. We have one life, but money can only buy you so many meaningful things and experiences. And I think the whole concept of early retirement is overrated - people evolved to do meaningful work.

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    Veteran Member Brian63's Avatar
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    In the OP I mentioned a particular idea for a website that would benefit people with certain medical illnesses. I have done some more searching on the internet and see occasional similar resources that are more particular to specific illnesses. The one I had in mind though would be broader in what it covers and affects extremely large numbers of people. The particular website domain name I had come up with does not exist at present, but others have told me they have found it very funny, clever, and catchy.

    If any of you here would be interested in this website idea, please feel free to contact me via PM. I would be eager to discuss with you. I do not want to see the idea go to waste, but also would not be interested or capable of handling it on my own. Many much more willing and competent people could do well with it. I could purchase the web address, give you some more info, and then we could discuss terms for you to purchase and proceed as you wish. Details would be worked out privately and elsewhere over time.

    Thanks.

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    I've wanted to open a restaurant that serves vegetarian foods, mainly pot pies and pies. Keep it simple a la Mildred Pierce. No extras, no waste, just the main dish. But making with a successful restaurant is about as common as winning the lottery. And you also need a good deal of capital.

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    Passions I had in the first twenty years of my life are mostly gone now. These were mainly horticulture and art. I sense the interest is still there but not enough to act on it. Though I could see myself drawing, painting, and tending to plantings a bit later in life, a tired old liberal almost completely disconnected, which isn't too far away now. Somewhat content but I think unfulfilled at the same time.

    Today I have that low level job I am happy with. I can take a day off whenever I see fit. I did so today for no other reason than the weather is foul and I did not fancy driving in today. What I do not like is I am counting paychecks. I feel as though I am marking time in those two week increments. That I am not fond of. I tasted the freedom of lengthy unemployment (which I label retirement) and I want to be there again. I was just getting by financially. I got up when I wanted and did what I wanted. Today, the paychecks are a backstop for mom's and to a lesser extent, daughter's financial needs. Soon mom will pass and it will be decision time again.

    I'd like to stay here in my hometown. My memories are warmly relived here. I feel comfortable here. But there is part of me that wants to go live out west. Unfortunately this would almost certainly mean collecting paychecks again due to the disparity in housing costs. If I stay here I can do as I wish. Work or not work. The paycheck would be an afterthought. I've had stuck in my head for some months now, "Society grows when old men plant trees." or so the quote goes in my head. This is where I am at. I could take that literally and plant trees and be content. But paycheck or no paycheck, I want to do some good for society. I'm just not sure what that something is. I'd like to help children but do not think I am emotionally strong enough for the kind of help that would be most satisfying to me.

    If I had an ounce of entrepreneurial spirit I would have a food truck with all my Filipino favorites. This place could use some good Filipino food. It's not something that is off-putting to those with a basic American diet. In another life, this was accepted and even preferred Superbowl fare. But I don't want to work that hard. Day in and day out? No way. I'd probably only take the truck out two days a week and need a Filipina or two to help.

    The more likely scenario is the same old same old. But I'll try.
    Dwight

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