Posted 2 months ago

The Modern Entrepreneur: Pipe Dream or Pipe Repair Man?

Waking up at 5am..

Working out.

Cold Shower.

Meditating..

Journaling.

Having a cup of ceremonial grade matcha during your morning call with your assistant to talk over your schedule, and day of meetings.

Then you put on your expensive suit pants, with your modern sneakers and, Mark Zuckerberg-eske hoodie, and head off to run your billion dollar tech start-up and conquer the world..... I guess..

I'm genuinely concerned that this is the life most think of when they dream of an entrepreneurial life.

But the truth is this isn't even a life most of us would want. (Take away the cliche morning routine which was described for effect) 

I certainly don't think of being a billionaire, or having meetings all day long for this massive company I run as being a success. 

I think like Ryan Holiday who explains, "To me success is freedom, it is the ability to live life on your own terms."

This is an entrepreneurial life. 

A life on your terms.

So if the billion-dollar tech start-up isn't the goal, then what is it?

How do we teach the younger generation success?

And show them how they can live a life on their terms?

The answer is literally all around you. You see the opportunities everywhere, and probably have one somewhere in your family.

It's learning a trade... A carpenter, framer, plumber, electrician, excavator, roofer, etc....

I know most tradesmen you know haven't quite done it right, but the reality is they are much closer to a successful life than tech start-up CEOs you daydream about.

I know.. I know... I'm like the stoner, hippie in yoga pants, and thong sandals telling you, you gotta try yoga man..

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But what I'm saying is true.

Let me explain.

The path to a life on your terms:

* Learn a trade - Don't pay to learn (academia), get paid to learn (a job).

* Add value to everyone around you, and expect no return for 10-15 years

* Treat any job you have like a masters degree. Study, write notes, practice what you are told, give yourself hands on homework.. re-wire some outlets (with the breaker off), re-roof a shed for practice, take apart your moms sink and put it back together..

* Realize where everyone is going (tech, coding, computer engineering) All jobs that can be outsourced or become obsolete because of computers.

* and.. "Go the other way." - Mike Rowe (trade jobs, professions where the workforce is dwindling, professions where you can work for yourself today, professions where you can specialize and charge a high rate for your work, and where careers are not going away anytime soon.)

But as a 27 year old myself, who comes from a family of tradesmen I realize... there are not many great examples of tradesmen living a life on their terms. So here's how to do that.

Couple your entrepreneurial mindset, with your trade experience:

* Keep learning your trade, but start thinking about how to inject your entrepreneurial mindset into your job

* Stay organized! Get your banking and accounting together and don't miss sending invoices, or paying bills.

CLAIM EVERYTHING YOU EARN!

    **- Remember you're not your uncle, or the plumber you used to hire. These guys and gals think they are outsmarting the government, and making more money, by lying about their income and paying less taxes.. But you are on a different path. You're working for the income, building a life on your terms, and rolling your income into performing assets that will earn you money long-term. To do this quickly, you have to claim everything and pay taxes. Keep in mind there are legal ways to greatly reduce your tax burden, but the only way to plan for these is to first claim everything. Then you can work with your account to determine a better business structure (LLC or S-corp), to determine if you need to contribute to an HSA, or IRA to offset taxes, or you need to spend more on business expenses... you'll figure it out. But to start. CLAIM YOUR INCOME.

* Don't work for free. Charge your rate, and be confident in what your services cost.

* Charge intelligently. When you start to learn more, you will know what jobs are difficult, what jobs you like, which ones you can make money on and which ones you can't... so adjust your rate accordingly.

* Learn to systematize your work. Sub-contract work. Learn to get comfortable being the GC of your trade, no matter what it is.

* Continue reading business books, attending meet-ups, learning online, taking courses, talking to successful business owners, and implementing what you learn into improving your business.

* Market you business if you need to, but do it in your own way! If you're younger, utilize websites, social media, youtube, podcasts.. try stuff out.

* When necessary.. Work your a$$ off!!! Sometimes.. actually most of the time, this is the answer, and it won't always be convenient. But when you are lucky enough to have the work, take advantage.

* Buy performing assets. Now, realize you have a massive lever you could be utilizing. Once you know a trade you likely have at least a basic understanding of repairing houses... so why not start leveraging your knowledge and rolling your savings into real estate investments. You can partner with someone who has more money, you be the labor, or partner with an agent who finds the houses, or get your real estate license and find your own houses... Either way, this is a big step to your life on your terms, that most people in the trades never utilize. Investing so that you can earn money in the future whether you are working or not.

* If you aren't comfortable with real estate, partner with someone who is... or... Get comfortable. But there are other investments of course you can do your own due diligence and try those.

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The list can keep going.. but from here you'll have to build your own list.

Keep in mind this isn't going to be this forever. You won't be working 7 days a week forever.. if you don't want to.


You won't be 75 still repairing sinks (if you don't want to) because you are the Modern Entrepreneur.. You are coupling a business intelligence, with a tradesmen skillset and work ethic.

If you're even reading this article it's probably because you have an interest in a life on your terms. You don't want to work for other people. You have multiple interests and passions. You want time with your family, and don't want to have to be killing yourself as an employee or as a laborer in your 70's..

So learn a trade.

Be a Modern Entrepreneur.

And share your story in the comments. Tell me about your journey thus far, talk about someone you know who is doing it, has done it, or ask more questions about a life in the trades.



Comments (2)

  1. You're the man! As a kid working in the trades. I'm super stoked to find other blue-collar workers who are willing to see the opportunities we have. Not everyone is a "dumb" construction worker or just someone who settles for an easy avenue to pursue a career. There is an opportunity in learning a trade most don't understand! The skillset, ability to problem solve, and of course the money, is there! Why wouldn't you take advantage of it?


    1. Thanks Ryan, I'm still just barely getting started on the path but I appreciate the compliment and it's a constant work in progress. But I couldn't agree more, and I think more younger people should be trying it out.

      And I promise the trades are only becoming more, and more valuable.

      Thanks again for the feedback,

      Keep working hard!