As seen in Forbes.
Can you imagine?
Sitting behind a desk, day after day, hating your job.
Is this you? Do you know the feeling?
I call it job jail.
If you’re currently stuck in job jail, don’t despair — there is hope. You can break free.
Oh but how you ask.
Well, I found someone who can help you. (Yes, this dude up here in the bottle.)
You see, after posting my last article on Forbes with my 7 Lessons From an Out-Of-Whack Entrepreneur, many of you reached out to me. (Oh, and if you’re one of them, please bear with me. I will respond personally to you soon. A little overwhelmed at the moment… :-)
But guess what I learned?
So many of you are in the same jail. Sick of it all. Having dreams of starting your own business. But not sure where to begin. Basically “stuck”.
So it got me thinking… Who do I know that has smashed their way out of job jail? A person who can share their story of escape?
Bingo. A guy named Dave Mayer flashed across my brain…
You see Dave was once like you. Chained to a desk; punching a clock; working for “the man”.
But Dave wanted more. He wanted to be “the man”. He wanted to break free and go after his own dreams of owning a business.
And guess what? He did it!
Dave is the founder of Clean Bottle; a company that makes this really cool sports bottle. Dave has appeared on the TV show “The Shark Tank”, been offered cold, hard cash from guru and investor Mark Cuban, been featured on ESPN, and is buddies with guys like ex-NBA star Bill Walton.
In fact, I received the following email Bill wrote talking about Dave:
From: Bill Walton <removed@removed>
Subject: Dave Mayer & Clean Bottle
Dave Mayer embodies all that I believe in and aspire to in life. He gave up everything to chase his dream. He is a great family man. He is a tremendous athlete. He is a passionate visionary. He is a tough, but fair negotiator and businessman. He is brave and bold. He is creative, imaginative and daring.
Dave Mayer is who I want to be!
Wow. Bill Walton wants to be startup entrepreneur Dave Mayer.
Good stuff right? Oh but wait a minute, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. I mean seriously, that’s really great and all for Dave, hanging out with Mark Cuban on TV and stuff, but how in the world did he do it? How did he get from his boring job to having his own business and being friends with guys like Bill Walton?
And more importantly, how can you do it?
Well, I got Dave on the phone one day and simply asked him. And boy did he have some good stuff to share.
So without further delay, let’s take a peek at how Dave broke out of job jail to start his own company. And most importantly, the 5 key steps you can take to do the same…
Key Step #1: Realize you can escape!
First, you’ve got to get it in your head you deserve better. That you can do it. You can break free to more fulfilling work. You see, it’s a mindset. Plain and simple. You’ve got to get it in that thick skull and know in your heart you deserve more.
Think – “mindset”. Grasp this like you would that twenty dollar bill blowing in the wind along the sidewalk.
Plus, you have to realize you’re not alone. Millions of guys and gals just like you have already broken free and escaped from job jail to a better life. And you can be next. You just have to believe it.
Dave believed it. He sat in his chair at a business unit of Cisco knowing he wanted more. Hey, Dave even told me he loved his bosses and co-workers. Yes, Cisco is a good company. But, even with all the love flowing, he still wanted more. He wanted to run his own show:
“I don’t know how to describe it. I just wanted to be in control of my own destiny. I didn’t want to have a boss who was telling me to do something; who was told by his boss; who was told by his boss. I wanted to decide everything and felt like I needed to be in control; making my own decisions. It’s like I could just feel it in my bones. I didn’t want to wake up at 60 years old and be in a cube-farm somewhere.”
So are you feeling it in your bones? Kind of like you don’t belong in a job? You’re not alone my friend. You want out. You want your own deal. And that’s a good thing.
So what next? Find out in Key Step #2…
Key Step #2: You must plan your escape.
No, you can’t just read Step #1; run down the hall screaming like a banshee; bust into your bosses’ office; and suddenly declare you quit. Where will that get you? Well, probably thinking twice about what you just did.
So what’s your next move then? Start planning your escape. Goodness, the guys in those prison movies spend 80% of the movie making plans on how they’re going to escape, and 20% of the time actually escaping.
Do you get the picture? The point is this: You have to do some planning before you just up and bust out.
So start here: Ask yourself (and write down the answers to) these 3 questions:
- What am I passionate about (what do you love to do)?
- What am I really good at (where are you naturally gifted)?
- What do I have experience doing (where have you used the gifts and talents you have)?
Hold on a minute… Did you stop and do this? Did you grab a piece of paper and write down your answers? If not, you’re missing the point. Seriously. Getting a handle on who you really are and what you were born to do is critical to long term success in your new business.
Like Bill Walton. He probably popped out as a baby; grabbed a ball; and tried to dunk it over the edge of the crib on day one. Just born to do it. And probably loved every second of it. (Yes, this was put in just for you Bill… :-)
You want an awesome formula? It’s this:
Your Passion + Your Gifts & Talents = Workplace Utopia
Simple huh? Well, you’d be surprised how many people never sit down to figure this out. Heck, it took me 30 years of stumbling around from business to business wondering what was wrong with me. Why it didn’t quite sync. Only until I asked myself the exact 3 questions did I finally get it: What I was born to do.
And you know what? My dear friend Dave did the same thing. He asked himself these questions, logged the answers in an Excel spreadsheet, and kept a list of his own strengths and weaknesses. Plus, he took it one step further:
“When you think of quitting your job, you don’t just want to run from something. You want to run to something. So every month while I was at my job, I would actually interview a different small business owner. Like, I would interview an exterminator, a garage door company, an ice cream shop owner. I would ask myself if this fit with my passion and gifts. Wrote it all down in my Excel file and tried to find the best thing for me.”
So please, start doing the same.
Figure out your true passions, nail down what you’re really good at, and then start researching different businesses, ideas and opportunities. Write everything down. I would recommend you even keep a journal. You know, just grab a couple of those composition notebooks from WalMart or Target. They’re like two bucks a piece.
The important thing in this step is to figure out and begin planning for what you’re going to do after you bust out of job jail. As Dave said above, you’ve got to have something to run to after you break free.
Oh, and what did Dave discover during this phase? I’ll let him explain it:
“Okay, so after spending a lot of time and energy doing research and figuring out my strengths and weaknesses, I got lucky and thought of an idea. Since I am a cyclist and triathlete (um, Eric here… this is Dave’s passion.. :-), I always knew there was a problem with regular sports bottles. You know, having to throw them away because of the gunk and junk in the bottom you can never clean out. So my idea was to create a bottle with a cap on the bottom too. So you can take off both ends and clean the entire bottle. Anyway, this was very nice because it scratched my own itch by solving a problem I was very familiar with and fit perfectly with the industry I love.”
Okay, so do you see Dave went through the process of figuring out what business he wanted to be in, while still working at his job? He kept thinking, interviewing, writing and discovering his own passion and gifts. Then boom. He got the idea to move forward…
Oops, hold the phone please.
Okay, time out called. Yes, we could keep trucking through the other 3 Key Steps. Keep right on cruisin’ down the road. But then what? You get to the end, see something else to read, then off you go.
No. If you are serious about breaking out of job jail to start your own company, you have to take action. The genie man is not going to show up at your front door with a special wrapped new business for you. You have to figure this out.
Let’s do this: First, let’s you and I connect below so I can let you know when Part II is live. I will shoot you a quick email when it gets published. (Early next week.)
In the meantime? Yes, start seriously thinking through the 3 questions and getting the answers. And, get started writing down some businesses you might be interested in.
So, catch you next week with Part II. You’ll love how it ends and best of all, you get to discover how you can be next busting out of job jail… :-)
Okay, do you and I need to hook up?
My name is Eric.
I’m a husband, father & life-long entrepreneur…
My email is: eric at mightywisemedia dot com.
Shoot me yours right here and let’s connect, okay?
You and I can then chat about where you are as an entrepreneur!
Plus, I’ll reach out to you early next week so you can catch the rest of this story on bustin’ out of job jail. :-)