I have a bosshole. He has some redeeming qualities, but his faults have been screaming so loud lately that I can barely concentrate at work.
What makes him a bosshole? He has a drinking problem, becomes arrogant when intoxicated (the guy likes his long lunches), he is having an extramarital affair with a colleague (his second co-worker that I know of since marriage) and has become so vocal about his cynicism that it’s demoralizing. It’s been so hard to ignore that I even contacted the company psychologist to try to learn to detach from his idiocies.
Today I decided that enough is enough. I’m not the moral police. I wasn’t hired to judge this guy. I will just allow him to dig his own grave and promise myself to not be here to go down with his ship. Now his bossholeness and wine teeth will be fuel to start my own venture; he will be my muse.
I have been doing a load of research lately on lifestyle businesses, listening to podcasts, have joined facebook groups with like-minded individuals and am doing a lot of interesting reading. It’s all so inspirational and it’s time that I delve into a success plan, so I’m going to take a leap and talk about one of the things that I want to do.
I am going to find entrepreneurs within my demographic – those who have started from nothing, who didn’t have handouts, and who perhaps made some major mistakes along the way. Converse with their humble beginnings, they realised that there was something out there that gave them a charge, something out there that they could share with the masses, and then they took that idea and rose above their cubicle like a resurrection to bring it to life. Did you hear the heavens open up when that last sentence ended? I know, I know – you also want to be that person with the gumption to do what they did. That’s why I’m going to find them, interview them, study their formula and give it to you.
There. I said it. Now I have to do it. I’ve never interviewed anyone before. But I will. I will trip while doing it, but at least I can say I tried.
Maybe you also have a bosshole. Or a spousehole. Whatever kind of ***hole they are, rather than being your deflation, let them be your inspiration.
Full disclosure, I actually started writing this post two weeks ago when I was all hyped on choosing myself, then I defaulted back to my usual “choose everything but myself” mode. So, I’m finishing writing this just as much to kick myself in the butt as I am to kick yours.
Which of the following justifications to keep doing nothing about your health sound familiar to you?
- I don’t have enough time to exercise
- I’m too tired to exercise
- There’s no gym convenient enough to go to
- I haven’t been feeling well lately
Guilty as charged, right? I’ve been guilty of these ever since I became a parent. All of these and more, such as, “I can’t figure out how to work out in the short 30 minutes a day I have to spare because I used to go to the gym for two hours a day.”
Guess what? Whenever excuses come out of our mouths, we become completely naked to whoever we’re bullshitting. Like the Emperor With No Clothes. Remember that guy? It took a very candid child to call him out. I’m calling you out (ok, us out). Just stop making excuses. You’re a really intelligent person who has managed to jump over bigger hurdles than this in life, so you can do this.
After the mortifying experience of having to buy new pants in a larger size, I decided to stop. Here’s how I ripped through my own obstacles:
- Not enough time to work out? Find the time. I started going during my lunch hour. That 5 days x 30 minutes is 150 more minutes of exercise per week than I was getting before.
- I’m too tired to exercise. Too bad. I push through it anyway. It helps us to sleep better in the long run.
- There’s no gym close enough. Workout outside, find a home workout book or video or do what I did – I approached the hotel next door to my office to ask if they’d sell me a gym membership. They agreed. The facilities are smaller and less equipped than I’m used to, but it’s better equipment than I was using before, which was nothing. This is also a great opportunity to learn to get creative with workouts.
- Haven’t been feeling well lately? I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that this will change as soon as you stop making excuses and start taking care if yourself.
This “stop making excuses” diet can be applied to everything you want in life – finding supplementary income, finding a new job, starting a new business, leaving your miserable relationship, reading more books, taking a class, saving money, and our lists are endless. Start with your health though because the benefits to your confidence, energy, physical health, mental health and sleep patterns are incredible and all if which are the foundation for each one of your aspirations.
We’re all only one excuse away from dying an unfulfilled life. Every time you catch yourself making an excuse, flush it, then replace that with a list of solutions and implement them immediately.
Visualize defaulting to solutions instead of excuses. Imagine CHANELLING all of the ENERGY you burn making excuses towards your HEALTH instead. Your load just got a lot lighter. Powerful, isn’t it?
Don’t hesitate to contact me to be your free accountability partner and your official excuse assassin.
This visual quote is an excerpt from one of James Altucher’s blog posts. How much does it resonate with you?
What is your maximum limit of capacity before you break? How long before doing something about your work problems becomes your number one action item? What work problems? The problem is that you’re working for someone else and you don’t really want to be there. That’s our common denominator.
My back isn’t quite broken, but I can feel that if the cracks keep on crackling, I may do something rash like accept one of the other job offers I’ve received instead of holding out to start my own venture. If I do that, then I won’t have the time that I pilfer in-between my work projects to plan my exit strategy. If you’ve been at your current job long enough that you know your tasks so well that it feels like you’re in a hypnotic trance by the time five o’clock rolls in, then you can find time somewhere in there to map out your future. Stay there long enough so that you can squirrel away some knowledge, a fistful of start-up cash, and enough clients/dependable income to sustain you.
I have always wanted to do something other than what I was/am doing for work. Year after year. Paper push after paper push. File after frigging file. Ditto for you, right? My straw started to splinter during a performance review with my boss, which was going swimmingly until I told him that I had planned to apply for another job within the company, but due to a change in my health, I decided to hold off until things were more stable. His swift response was, “Oh, you wouldn’t want that position anyway…it’s not a cushy office job.” <insert car crash sound effect> Knowing that my reaction could profoundly influence my upcoming bonus, I had to swallow that jagged pill immediately. After years of working for this guy, my suspicions that he has no idea what my capabilities are, outside of being his underling, were suddenly validated. Therefore, he will never promote me. We have two choices in this situation:
- Accept it and get peed on through to retirement, whilst wearing a bogus smile all the way. If you choose this, you are also opting to renounce your right to ever complain about it.
- Pretend to accept it and use your time wisely to find a source of income that feeds your soul. If you chose this and actually work towards it, you earn the right to complain.
You may think I don’t like my job and boss. That’s simply not true, but since said review, a lot more splinters have surfaced – some almost too painful to turn a blind eye to. These are the pesky reminders that I need to gear for above selection number 2.
Fellow cubicle conqueror, how is your straw looking these days? Please share your story.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
– Maya Angelou
I’m in my early 40’s and am still trying to find a way to be myself and get paid for it. Now that that has been typed, it seems kind of desperate.
I’ve been doing months of research about marketing myself – how to doll up my skills into a product that everyone wants to buy in order to start my own business so that I can flip the bird once and for all to my day job. However, I’m starting to question the legitimacy of this whole, trendy “personal branding” shit and am leaning on just being myself instead in order to validate to others, like you, that being our creative selves is enough. Sugar-coating our true identities and proficiencies will inevitably combust. Magna est veritas et prævalebit.
Cubicle Interrupted is going to be an experiment in formulating an exit strategy to rise from employee to entrepreneur. An accountability experiment in being ballsy* enough to choose ourselves. And in the meantime, also a place to pen survival tips/office hacks while we’re still minions because we do need to try to stay stimulated in order to maintain our sanity, as well as upholding some pride in our work so that we don’t get fired before we quit.
Join the exodus. Undoubtedly, it will be your most richly deserved celebration when you do it, finally. Our call to action: Let’s start planning our party immediately.
*Would “vagi” be more fitting? After all, their elasticity combined with their post-childbirth resilience seems way tougher than balls, no? Vagi it is.