Please visit alex-pepper.com for original blog
Noel Fielding - The IT Crowd
In this blog, I felt like telling a few of my employee stories. I've written out a general timeline of my work life from when I started at 14 to the present day, where I'm now running my own digital business and also helping others to go from goth to boss.
Text blog taken from original source: https://alex-pepper.com/online-business/goth-2-boss/
Shop Assistant/Bicycle Mechanic
I got my first job when I was 14. It was at a bike shop called Trak Cycles in Norwood, near where I grew up. I kept the job for a few years, starting out building and servicing bikes, and eventually moving onto the sales floor and behind the counter. To this day it's actually the longest I've ever worked in one job. I would go to school Monday to Friday, and then get up Saturday morning, ride to work, and work until 5:30pm. The 6 day week was very different to what my friends were doing, but it's what I wanted to do at the time.
Escaped School Early
I left school when I was 17. I was in the 12th grade, the last year of school. I was a serious night owl and often I wouldn't be able to sleep easily, researching on the internet and socialising over MSN instead. I stopped getting out of bed in the morning so persistently that one day when I woke up, mum told me she had spoken with the school and pulled me out. I can remember being completely unbothered by this, and before too long I went into my first full time job.
I worked 5 and sometimes 6 days a week building homes all over Adelaide, stacking bricks, building scaffolds and mixing mud. I got my driver's license when I was 16 and bought myself a car with the money from my first job, so I was quite independent already and enjoyed the feeling of responsibility that came with working. I was in this job for about a year but I eventually was fired because of the punctuality issues I had learned while I was attempting to go to school. Once again, I wasn't too bothered by this, even though at the time it was a bit embarrassing..
I did work some odd construction jobs for a terrible boss temporarily before I left Adelaide, and moved to Sydney when I was 19. After only a week living on the east coast, I landed my first salary job as the office administrator for JB Hi-Fi Warringah Mall. My intention for this job was only to support my expenses while I played drums with a band that I moved to Sydney for, but the band dropped me almost straight away, leaving me solo. I didn't know anyone in Sydney but I'd already done the whole move.. so I kept the job and stayed there. This was 2013, I was 20 years old and this was when I really put a lot of time into my YouTube drum channel.
The office job eventually sucked out just about all of my will to live, and combined with the social isolation my mental health turned into trash. In January 2014, I was 21 and I quit the job. In the next couple of months I returned to live with my mum in Adelaide after a pretty awesome road trip down the east coast and back through Victoria. My uncle was doing work as a contractor with a local sign company. We had a lot of big contracts with petrol stations and chain restaurants and it felt more familiar to be back in a construction related job, but then my uncle left the country suddenly to relocate to London, leaving me without work and back in Adelaide where I started.
Driving Steel & Building Homes Again
Suddenly without work or a plan, I quickly readjusted and decided I would try moving interstate again. I moved to Melbourne to live with someone who at the time was one of my good friends I had met through playing music. I had been driving trucks since I was 19 and managed to get a job collecting and delivering structural steel. I learned to drive a forklift and then got my 20 tonne crane ticket, eventually both delivering and installing steel full time. This was a really cool and intellectually challenging position for me. Some weeks I would work as many as 70 hours and I enjoyed a period where I was making the most money I'd ever had available.
Back To The Office
My home situation in Melbourne collapsed thanks to relationship issues (not my own) and a combination of factors had me moving firstly to a friend's couch as an emergency, which turned into getting our own house which we shared, but ultimately I actually ended up getting fired from my crane operator job too.. thanks to my lack of punctuality. In fairness I've always found routine to be a difficult concept.
On top of all that, I got a speeding fine which had a public servant coming after me from Adelaide, because now I was about to lose my driver's license. I had little choice but to move back to Adelaide again, this time in with my dad. I sold my ute in Melbourne, and I sold my BMW 540i (a sad time) to a guy in Adelaide after I drove it back. I got a job in the machine room managing data for a local production company called KOJO, where I would ride my new bike every morning. It was the first time back into an indoor office environment since being in Sydney. I worked this job until I was about 24 at the end of 2016, while I served my 12 month driving suspension. The silver lining was that being home with dad and riding a bike meant I was banking just about all of my wages every week.
The Factory Nightshift
I worked the data managing/timeline editing/file delivery job until I couldn't bare it any longer, it was about 18 months. I put in my notice and decided I needed a change again. I had served my 12 month driving suspension and I bought a car. I was back in the game, or so I thought. After a while being unemployed and having some time off I got myself a factory nightshift job making car parts.
I had always wanted to try working a night shift as I'm naturally a night owl, but it wasn't really what I expected. The night shift salary was quite amazing, and the work was pretty simple, but simple doesn't translate to easy when you factor in all the other elements. I quickly realised how soul destroying repetitive tasks and a lack of sleep can be to your mental health. I think I lasted about 2 or 3 months before I quit in the first quarter of 2017, and that was the last time I worked as an employee.
Start A Local Business Instead?
My dad helped me out getting my own place while I worked at the factory so now even though I was unemployed, I was feeling very comfortable at home with my car, plenty of money in the bank and all the time freedom I could want. After I recovered from being messed up by the nightshift and more relationship issues (this time my own) I was looking to move onto something else. I was doing some work freelancing my photography skills and working with KOJO again with little contracts, but I still had a lot of spare time.
I had the (not) brilliant idea to start a local audiovisual business with someone I knew through music, and they moved into my house so we could get started, but the whole thing was ultimately a trainwreck. I can look back on it fondly now, seeing everything I took from the experience as pure growth. I learned a lot of great lessons during 2017. Just to be clear, my idea was actually brilliant, but I found out you can't rely on anyone but yourself.
The interesting thing to me is that there was even an attempt at starting a company, an entrepreneurial side to myself that I hadn't seen before came out and I didn't even recognise this at the time. From my perspective now, this was a clear sign of what was coming on the horizon.
Well That Didn't Work..
During 2017 & 2018 I didn't work very much. I lived off of my savings, got comfortable, did everything I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it, looked after myself, spent a lot of time alone, and studied all my interests like crazy. One housemate moved out (thankfully) at the end of 2017, and the other followed a couple of months later, leaving me in the ultimate personal development environment. When 2018 came around I didn't have a plan for how it would play out. I started to feel like everything I tried ended up getting me into some sort of crazy trouble and I really had enough. I wanted a new life and I wanted it to be good for me.
What I never expected was to have a completely profound and earth shattering spiritual awakening on Feb 11 2018. I was never a spiritual or religious person at all, but without warning I suddenly felt an enormous shift of energy in myself, a change in priorities and focus, and a change of the way I perceived my self and my life. I shed my entire identity from the inside out, shaved my head, donated my clothes, burned piles of books and old belongings, sold my cars, and moved back in with my mum at age 25 in the middle of 2018.
My Introduction To Online Business
At this point I had no idea what to even attempt or which direction to head in. I knew everything I had tried up until this point had not worked out for me and I wanted that to change so badly. My family planned to go to London for christmas in 2018 and I bought myself a ticket with the last of my money and waited the few months it took to get to December 6, when I left Australia. What happened next came from completely off the radar..
Long story short, I was in Amsterdam when I saw a YouTube ad which sparked my interest, which ultimately led to me joining an incredible online community of digital entrepreneurs. I started studying a whole new skill set full time and connecting with people all over the world who were in such similar situations and could understand completely what I was going through, even before I could.
My return flight from the UK was at the beginning of February 2019, but as I write this from Long Island, New York on July 31 2019, I still haven't been back to Australia yet. I attended a conference in London in March where I got to see my online community face to face and meet my mentors for real. We had a challenge put to us and I was totally up for it. From mid March to mid June I completed an intense 90 days of inner work and goals purely chosen to grow myself in areas where I could see I needed it. I worked for my uncle (remember he relocated to London) from March until May and saved up money, which I've been using for online training and my USA travels. So far I've been to North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey and Long Island.
Thinking About 2020
I don't know what's going to happen from here, but I do know for sure that I am never returning to a normal employee lifestyle ever again. Since I found out how much I didn't know about digital business, I've been hooked on the idea not only of working online, but also the idea of helping others with this realisation. I know I'm not the only one who has had a really hard time fitting into the systems and conventional lifestyles we have in our modern post-industrial societies. Now that I have my own online business, there's really no reason to look back into the old way of life, other than to reflect on the things that have shaped me and brought me to this point today.
What's Next Tho??
I'm travelling to Canada in about 3 weeks to attend another of the conferences that I was at in March. I've grown so much as a direct result of going to my first one in London so I can't wait to see the shift I'll experience this time. I wouldn't be here in America if I didn't make the choice to take myself to the meeting in March, and I would have gone back to Australia in February if I never saw that YouTube ad..I'm going to continue growing rapidly, ultimately I have the vision of becoming a mentor to others who want to make this kind of lifestyle shift for themselves. I want to be the person for other people I sometimes wish had come along for me earlier.
Truly, anything could happen next.
It's Not For Everyone
When you're an employee, you start work at a designated time, you are assigned specific tasks and responsibilities, you work in one area, and you either complete the work or you don't. It's really a matter of learning what's involved and then ticking every box every day. After the learning phase of the job is over, it actually becomes very easy to do just like any habit or anything you practice consistently. You're often part of a small team or maybe even a very large team. You might even be a tiny piece in a massive machine. You're expendable and replaceable, and while you rely on the job for stability and income, the company doesn't really rely on you, just on the fact that the work you do gets done.
When you're the boss, you've taken on the responsibility of the performance of the business from the ground up. You choose when to work and how much, you choose what areas to expand into, you decide every small detail of what goes on in your lifestyle which by extension is reflected in your work. This kind of obligation to consistency is not a mindset that everyone has, so it's not for everyone, but I will say this: if you can use a computer or a smartphone, if you can post a facebook status or post a picture on instagram, you can operate an online business. We live in a time now where the technology comes with an easy user experience, and this extends into the services and software options we have available to us. Everyone does have the potential to do as I and many others have done and are doing now.
That's where I'm at so far, let me know if you feel me. If you've found me at a time when you're feeling like it's time to shift gears out of the employee lifestyle, I know exactly where you can start the journey and I'll be more than happy to back you up.
Text blog taken from original source: https://alex-pepper.com/online-business/goth-2-boss/