Entrepreneur Beginners Guide
“You Can’t Keep a Job”
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. . . . It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
—Steve Jobs, cofounder, Apple
I have never been able to keep a job for more than five months. I have had five jobs and internships in my life, and most have ended faster than it took to actually secure the opportunity. Most of the jobs were summer internships or short-term positions, but a few were long-term, 9-to-5 jobs. Regardless, I figured out early in life that having a traditional job wasn’t for me. Little did I know that my nomadic experience was typical of a budding entrepreneur.
According to a recent study by Linkedin, a professional social networking site with over 100 million public profiles, entrepreneurs stayed at previous jobs for about 2.5 years compared to the national average of 4.4 years. The study reveals the restless nature of entrepreneurs who cannot stay in any position too long. The desire to move on can come from several sources.
For me, the restlessness came from the inability to drop my own projects. I always had an idea or business that I was developing, and that was my priority. I felt that working a job instead of working on my own business was a bad choice. No matter how enticing the job was, I always ended up choosing my own projects. Even when my employer allowed me to work on my own projects, 1 eventually left because work was taking away from the precious time I could devote to pursuing my own ideas. Having a job was not helping me to grow. It was nothing more than a paycheck and a that’s enough, sense of financial security. For most people, but I wanted something different, something more.
Some of the most famous entrepreneurs couldn’t keep a job either. One of my favorite reject stories is how billionaire Mark Cu-ban, founder of Micro Solutions and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, was fired from his job as a computer salesman. When Cuban failed to open the store on time, his manager fired him immediately. It was Cuban’s last job. In fact, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg, J. K. Rowling, Thomas Edison, Bernie Marcus, and Arthur Blank were all fired, too, before they became fearless entrepreneurs. They would all go on to build billion-dollar enterprises. Many of these moguls still identify getting fired as one of the best things that ever happened to them and believe that the experience ignited in them a tire to follow their own path to success.
There are many signs that you are an entrepreneur, but not being able to keep a job for long is perhaps the biggest sign. If you can’t hold down a job, the cosmos may be trying to tell you something. Instead of running from job to job, run full force into your entrepreneurial destiny. I did, and I have had a “job” for over twelve years straight.