It’s been another tough week for me writing wise. I’m my very own worst critic; I’ll sit here and pick and pick at bits and pieces of the article until there is nothing left. Kind of like those edges. I’ve been staring at this blank page for a few days now. You know when you end up logging on to the laptop for a little bit of motivation, and before you know it you are on that weird part of YouTube again with the dancing goats and grime freestyles that turn out not to be freestyles, but press conferences you wish you hadn’t started watching, but because you’re here now and you’re not really doing anything productive, might as well keep going, the porn can wait. I even found myself staring at a ‘would you like to share to Facebook’ tool on Pornhub, I’m sure my mother would love that one. Share. That’s about as confusing as those “tired of looking at porn?” ads at the beginning of the video. If I was fucking tired of watching porn, I wouldn’t fucking be here now would I? But yeah, I can’t lie; when I watched Chip’s ‘Fire In The Booth’, I did not expect to be listening to Azealia Banks preach for 16 minutes. But hey, that’s neither here nor there. As I scoured through the interwebs, I eventually landed myself on an article on the SkyNews website about IBM’s plans to cut 100,000+ jobs and that reminded me of something someone said to me a long time ago about getting a real job. So much for job security ey.
When you finally take that big step in your life & you make the conscious decision to go against the script and go the other way, the ‘unconventional’ route as many would refer to it, get ready for almost everyone around you to constantly ask you why you don’t go to school, get a degree and then get a real job.
“Defining a real job may seem obvious to some people – a profession that means good pay, promotion possibilities and working in an office.”
According to those I’ve asked what a real job is:
- Whatever job you need a degree for
- A full time job with set hours
- A job that pays a salary
- A job that requires a suit or professional dress code of some kind
- Anything that is not fun. If you enjoy it, it can’t be a real job
- A job with paid sick leave and holiday
- A job with room for a promotion
- A job at a big company
- A position with a job title and job description
- Anything that has a steady pay cheque every month
What is fascinating about these responses is how nearly all of them focus exclusively on job details. That is, there is a common expectation for the job to satisfy the requirements for being “real.”
I’m African, so “get a real job” (and it’s many renditions) is something I’ve heard a fair few times over the years. For many African families, becoming anything less than a neurophysicist or the president of the United States even though you’re a British citizen that has never even been to the United States, is a fail and you need to revaluate your life because you my friend are a piece of shit.
“Is this what I bought you ticket to come to London for Tolu, to come and play kickball and do rapping rapping with your friends?”
I know a lot of guys that lost out on promising football careers because their mum was not having it. There was no way you could go to football trials on the day of the lord, a day that could’ve been better spent asking God for guidance in your education. “Are you mad?”
Be it music, acting, starting your own business, personal training, fashion design, freelance journalism, photography or whatever it is that you choose to do, you NEED to be headstrong and focused because the doubt will come at you from more angles than you knew existed. It is difficult to explain to someone who values the security of a ‘conventional’ job, why YOU may not want one. People will never see your plans and visions the way you see them and until you make something of yourself, they will look down on you. And even then, if it is not their definition of a real ‘job’, you’re still a failure that is stealing a living.
“A man that has time to text you all day isn’t doing anything with his life!”
I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the quote word for word but it stuck with me because it’s how a lot of people view the world. It seems like for many, unless you are working 25-hour shifts, 8 days a week in your 3 piece suit and shiny shoes, you are not considered a contributing member of society and there is no way you could be successful. You are more or less bacteria.
“I wanna be so busy that I don’t have time to tweet”
Shit, I wanna have all the free time in the world to tweet while still meeting all my obligations!
Maybe I am weird, but for me, being “successful” has always had a lot more to do with how much I enjoy what I do and how much free time I have left to do all the other things I also enjoy doing, than anything else. The more fun and free time I have while still being productive, the better. What is the point of working all day everyday in a job you despise, slaving away, for money you probably don’t even have time to enjoy?
For many people, being busy is the universal measure of productivity. If you are not busy, how the hell are you successful? It’s that common misconception that being productive leaves you with zero time for anything else and if you do so happen to have a lot of free time, it must be because you are a degenerate with no ambition. My time is way too valuable for me to only get 28 days a year to do the things I enjoy. The wealthiest people in the world have figured out how to stay productive without doing much of the heavy lifting themselves, and it’s called OPT, OTHER PEOPLE’S TIME. Your 12-hour shift puts a lot of money in someone else’s pocket and they’re probably lying on a beach in Turks & Caicos multiple times a year. We’ve been programmed to believe that being busy all the time is our purpose in life; that working HARD, in a conventional manner, is the ONLY route to true success. That’s how people end up bitter towards those that find alternate because they deem it the ‘easy’ way.
“What does Kim Kardashian even do?”
You find yourself mad at the world, questioning the actions of others and yearning for more ways to take up your time to fit in with all the other ‘hard working’ and ‘decent’ people. That’s why you find people pretending to be busier than they actually are, because they want acceptance, they want you to see how much they look like they’re doing, so that you can give them a pat on the back. That’s when you start seeing the “meetings all day” memes and tweets on social media. A disciplinary at work isn’t a meeting you should be bragging about bruh.
“The money doesn’t sleep, so why should I?”
Probably because you’re on your final warning at work for falling asleep at your till all because you’ve been staying up late at night to pretend you are doing shit for all of your followers on twitter. If you are not up late tweeting about how busy you are, how will they know? Or maybe the fact that you are not an inanimate object and the money is, no? Life ain’t a meme nigga, waking up to tweet “rise and grind” before turn over and going back to sleep is not going to get you anywhere in life.
“Spent all night in the studio #WorkRate”
You say that like the “studio” isn’t also your bedroom
I went on a bit if a tangent there, but the point of this blog for me was to talk about not being afraid of doing what you want to do with your life. Not everyone will understand why YOU want to do what YOU want to do, but they are not you. You’ve got to look past the negativity and power forward.
I’m an A student that went to private school for a lot of my early life and when I told my dad that university was not for me, he more or less cut off support for me in what I wanted to do because he didn’t respect it, which makes it that little bit harder to do. Going to university just because I can is like becoming a pornstar because you have a big penis. I LOVE my dad to bits and I value his life advice but if I took on board what he said to me on this subject, I’d be working 80 hours a week in a job I despise, just to get paid. A lot of parents refuse to support their kids when they go down the other path because they believe it will lead to failure, instead of helping them along this new path to make sure that they DO succeed. Sometimes you start feeling like they want you to fail, so that they can say “I told you so” and remind you that you should have listened to them because they are always right and they are never wrong now go and wash the dishes because you are not employed and you don’t pay electric bill in this my house. Any path that you choose that doesn’t have a degree in it that your parents can show off to their friends who don’t even have degrees themselves, is a waste of time. If there is anything I want for my children, its for them to succeed in what they want to do and it’s my job as a parent to support them as best I can, not drop them out the moment they decide to do something I don’t like.
I was stuck in a never ending cycle of self doubt until Brad Burton (bradburton.biz), my mentor and a man I respect very much, showed me that there was more to the world than the conventional route, there is more than 1 way of doing things. Speaking at hundreds of business events every year, commanding rooms full of established ‘business men’, in their expensive suits, wearing nothing but a T-shirt, jeans and some Adidas kicks. Hell, I even saw him in a dead pair of Sean John trainers once, but I’m not judging. You want a Lot29 tracksuit and a durag with that Brad? When you see him in action, you would never guess that this is a man with no qualifications, was addicted to drugs twice and was on job seekers benefits for 4 years. With a CV like that, he was basically a nitty by definition and most people would’ve written him off as a failure right there and then. He was about 25k in debt, delivering pizzas on the side to support his family just to turn his dream into a reality. And it was not an overnight success, now 10 years and some declined bank cards later, he has the biggest and most successful networking business in the UK, something most people told him was never ever going to work. He’s also the author of 3 successful books, 2 of which are titled “Get Off Your Arse”; something they also told him would never work. A professional business book with a name like that? Shut the front door!
There will be ups and downs, hurdles, you’ll hit walls but you should NEVER give up. You may even be so broke that you are living on the crust on your lips, but remember, It doesn’t come overnight; success can takes YEARS to build. Don’t give up at the first sign of adversity. You will get to places in your life where you feel like you should’ve listened to all those people that told you that you weren’t going to amount to anything, but you still power through. Keep your eyes on the prize and never lose focus of where you are trying to get to. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself and try again. Unless your career is skydiving, then well, sorry about that.
I am nowhere near where i want to be in life, i know it won’t be easy, but i’m getting there. Failure is one of the best teachers you will ever come across.
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