The following is a guest post from Maren Kate. Maren is an entrepreneur, aspiring internet marketer and avid writer. Do yourself a favor and follow Maren on her journey by reading her blog, Escaping the 9 to 5.
One of the reasons I’ve always loved Matt’s blog is because he encourages us to live a life that is less restricted and the idea of no pants is as unrestricted as it gets. But why just lead a life without pants? Why can’t you build a business or be an entrepreneur while maintaining a state of pantlessness?
Now I’m not, necessarily, encouraging you to go to work without your pants (but if you do PLEASE send me photos!) nor am I saying the fastest way to entrepreneurial success is to go slack/skirt-less. But the concept of building a business that helps you live a life without restrictions is at the heart of everything I do and one of the best paths (I believe) to fulfilling all your dreams.
Now listen, don’t get all holier-than-thou on me, you and I both know that currency (regardless of what form it takes) is what drives the global economy. Money is not evil, nor is it good. It just is. It’s a placeholder for value and in our world we trade perceived value for perceived value every day. Your dollar isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on without ‘perceived value’ and I hate to break it to you but neither is that Coke you just spent 2 bucks on.
So you can either throw a hissy and say how ‘unfair’ it is that you can’t just live in a society where money doesn’t matter or you can say ‘hey I want to do X, Y and Z’ and for some of those it’ll take money… thus I need to make sure money isn’t an ‘issue’ in my life anymore.
If you guessed MONEY you’d be right! Ask 10 of your friends what they’d love to do if they could – 9 of them will say something related to money (and that one hippy friend will say ‘world peace man’). Now ask them “why haven’t you done it then?” and they’ll look at you – smirk – and respond with “Money Bro!” (maybe they won’t say bro, but you get the point).
Most people, whether they admit it or not actually think that tons of money would bring happiness. The fact is this couldn’t be further from the truth. I know this sounds weird. It’s hard for people to here that for most to live the life of their dreams they need some amount of money but if you pursue money as your main goal you won’t be happy.
Let me explain: for most of my young life I was obsessed with getting money. For me money = happiness because I thought ‘well with money I can do all the things I’ve always wanted to do‘. It took me a lot of soul searching and reading several pivotal books to realize that if I had a million bucks I’d buy some crap, take some trips but then be just as unsatisfied as I was before – just blowing my nose into hundos instead of Kleenex.
It took me realizing that money wasn’t my goal but instead I was chasing freedom before I could break free from this awful belief cycle and start living my life. I realized that I didn’t want money necessarily, it was just the means to the end, the end was freedom: the freedom to pick up and travel Europe if I wanted to, the freedom to not be in debt, the freedom to provide for myself and others who may need help.
These goals were far more enlightened than money for money’s sake and the craziest part is AS SOON as I realized I wasn’t fighting for money but for freedom the money started pouring in.
I consider myself a freedom fighter. Why? Because I fight for my freedom (obviously!). I refuse to work 9 to 5 for a corporation who sees me as a replaceable drone and I don’t like living the one precious life I have on someone else’s terms. Now I could be a freedom fighter and hide out in caves fighting the insurgents or I could be an entrepreneurial freedom fighter (much safer and no foxholes) and fight the man while building up an amazing life for myself through the means I have available.
Starting your own business can be anything from selling your artwork on the street, to consulting, to starting a website that becomes the next eBay. A successful business gives you enough to live on (and then some) as well as fulfills you because you are doing something you’re passionate about.
So let me ask you this? Are you completely happy in what your doing now? If not then you must get out now! Life is too short to work a job you hate and do mediocre things. You must fight for a life where you can be fulfilled, be successful and help others do the same! If it takes you the next five years of hard work to build a business that will last a lifetime it’s worth it. Think of the trade off? You could either stay in your ‘golden handcuffs’ slaving away in the corporate world, or you could break free and chose your own path.
So what does this have to do with living life without pants? Well it means that you chose a path that not only fulfills your creative side but also gives you enough money to live a life unhindered. It means you don’t answer to suits all day, nor are you forced to wear one yourself (unless you want to of course!). Being a pantless entrepreneur means that you see the status quo (the state of being fully dressed) and go in the complete opposite direction.
Do you have what it takes to rip off the pants that bind you and drop your drawers in protest (hypothetically of course)? If so you have an amazing life in front of you. One that isn’t defined by what’s ‘normal’ but instead one that is defined by freedom, by fulfillment and most importantly by getting the most out of life.