Have you heard about the entrepreneur lifestyle?
There has been a lot in the news over the last few months about “the great resignation” — approximately 33 million people quit their jobs in 2021. Traditionalists were baffled. What? Why? What are they going to do for work? These 33 million people figured out something I’ve known for years; you don’t have to work a job that doesn’t make you happy. Some of these people went on to find other 9-to-5 jobs in companies that were more compatible to their skills, desired income and work culture. However, many decided to scrap traditional employment and go to work for themselves; choosing an entrepreneur lifestyle where you can set your own hours, determine your income and design a life that is right for you.
The entrepreneur lifestyle means so many things. It means working on Sundays or holidays. It means sitting in boring tax seminars in Las Vegas when you’d rather be at the pool. It means constant travel, meetings, funding, saying yes when you want to say no. It means deciding between your healthcare payment or your car note one month and paying off 3 credit cards the next. It means spending Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve in South Africa and taking your niece to an art museum on a Tuesday afternoon just because. The entrepreneur lifestyle is any and everything you want it to be because it gives you the one thing that you don’t get from a 9 to 5… Freedom.
One Sunday afternoon I was sitting in a board meeting for a real estate holding company that I started with my brother and my 4 first cousins on my dad’s side. The next day I was on a video conference call with my SJC Financial Solutions business partners, one of which is my first cousin on my mother’s side. After the call I asked myself, “how did I end up in business with both sides of my family?” I guess the answer is if you can’t trust family, who can you trust? Now here I am some 6 years later fully invested in 2 businesses with 2 people that are the definition of Ride or Die — Melina and the Urban Farmer, Terry.
Terry and I have a special relationship. We have HUGE, what some would consider incredibly unrealistic dreams, that NO ONE believes we will be able to fulfill but us. We see the vision; we have a plan. We are the entrepreneurs. One day I was talking with Terry’s mom, and I told her I wanted to retire by the age of 45. She literally laughed in my face. My aunt, like my mother, spent over 35 years working for LA Unified School District. She was an elementary school teacher. Probably the hardest job ever. She put in her time and retired at the age of 62… like you’re supposed to. But Terry and I had other plans. In 2010 he left his job with Marriott. In 2015 I left my job at IRS. We were ready to put our plans into action. Although no plan is without pitfalls, for the most part we are both doing the things we set out to do. Although I couldn’t retire at 45, I was able to design a life for myself that makes me happy and fulfills my passions as well as my pocketbook.
Terry lives in Florida but often travels to LA. When he does, he stays at my house. Not only is Terry a morning person, but he is also operating on east coast time. I am neither. One day he gets up around 7am and decides he wants to go workout. He comes in my room all happy and chipper and says, “Hey get dressed, let’s go work out!” I tell him to get the hell out and leave me alone. He quickly retreats. I instead decide I’m going to go to a hot yoga class at noon. So later, as I’m getting ready to leave, he says “it must be nice to be an entrepreneur and just go to a yoga class in the middle of the day.” And I said, “you’re damn right!”
Once I was visiting Melina in Kansas City and she tells me that I need to start answering my phone (which I never do) because I’m going to be getting a call from a game show. Huh? What? “Yeah, I signed us up for Celebrity Name Game.” Okay, I’ve never heard of Celebrity Name Game. “Then you better start watching it.” So low and behold about 6 months later I get a call. “Hi! This is Lauren from Celebrity Name Game!” A telephone Interview. An Audition. And BAM we are on a game show. We lost. But that’s not the point. The point is Melina wanted to be on a game show and we went on a game show. She flew from KC to LA for an audition with less than a week’s notice and then came back 2 weeks later to tape the show. She didn’t have to ask her boss for a day off or arrange her schedule with anyone. She wanted to do it and she did it. Why? Because she’s an entrepreneur.
I went to yoga at 12p in the afternoon because I wanted to and because I can. I’m not getting up at 5am to do anything. Because I don’t want to (unless it involves a plane ride). The crazy part was when I got to the class, it wasn’t like the class was empty. There were at least 20 people there. I went to a 12pm class. There was a 1:30 class after mine. They had classes all throughout the day. We are no longer living in a 9–5 world people. Have you driven on the 405 at 2pm? It’s packed! People are out roaming the streets at all hours of the day. The entrepreneur lifestyle is a real thing. And take it from me, it’s fabulous!