In Hawaii there is a generally accepted requirement that you must be comfortable with all sorts of insects and critters.
A small price to pay for living in what is generally considered one of the finest places in the world…(as long as you don’t mind parking yourself in the most remote archipelago on the planet)
One of the most common critters is the ordinary house Gecko.
They are harmless, if a little bit messy (they like to poop little Gecko poops)
As far as I can tell, their preferred living space is on a wall, in your living room.
Sometimes when I’m the only one in the house, working hour after hour, I will notice one above the door, just staring at me. An odd moment, when you realize it’s just you and a Gecko, sharing the same space.
Jesus I need an office, don’t I?
Anyhow, Gecko’s may be cute, but they aren’t the sharpest tool in the toolbox.
Turns out one of their favorite hiding places is inside your door jamb.
Smart if you’re trying to avoid detection.
Not-so-smart if you are in the vicinity of the whirling vortex of energy, otherwise known as team grind (my 9 and 11 year old boys).
As they tear through the house frantically trying to locate a missing lego ‘guy’, or shoe, or whatever, they slam doors as if they are escaping Alcatraz after a 30 year jail sentence.
Bam, Wham, Smash, Rattle……Slam!
It shakes the whole house, rattles your formerly calm bones, and causes you to sit up for a second and say, “What the….?”. Until you realize, oh yes, that was Team Grind, my children.
I am safe.
Caught in the worldwind, and dying a brutally quick, violent, but painless death, is Mr. Gecko.
Sitting, cautiously, indecisively, in the door jamb. The Gecko instantly becomes thin like a bookmark. Like a science project.
- Lack of confidence
These are the traits and characteristics of things that get smashed, run over, abused.
You see, the Gecko has nothing to be afraid of. He can climb anywhere and hang from the ceiling and I can never reach him. He should be taunting me for my lack of climbing ability.
Instead, he is afraid and cautious.
Kind of like the person stuck in the job they hate.
They poke their heads out every once in a while, but ultimately climb back into the door jamb of a cubicle, hoping that Team Grind doesn’t come by.
I left my door jamb in 2007 after Gecko’ing for 12 years.
I’d had enough, and realized that I was only realizing a fraction of my real value by building other people’s dreams.
I was responsible for hundreds of thousands in revenue and many of the major clients within an online directory company that was on the fast track to acquisition. The company was eventually sold to a fortune 500 company for millions.
The owners, who were my age, got the big payout, and I got a check for $5,000.
That was it for me. I decided immediately I was no longer the Gecko. I was going to become my own apex predator.
How did I leave the door jamb?
- Side Hustled
- Full Hustled
I had a skill set at the time that was and still is, in great demand.
- Create and manage paid advertising campaigns
- Manage clients
- Sell when I had to
That’s more than enough to venture on your own.
I picked up a client on the side. It went well.
Couple weeks later I picked up another, that went well too.
The agency that was feeding me clients kept sending more, and within a couple months I was out-earning my Door Jamb salary.
I was grinding like a maniac. Working until 5, hopping on the train. Eating dinner and going back to work until 10, everyday. All day Saturday and Sunday, too.
Did I mention we had just had our first child? Oh, and we were moving to another city?
Talk about stress. Could you pick a more risky time to quit your job?
Well, it wasn’t a hard decision as I remember it. I was so laser focused it seemed insane NOT TO QUIT.
I couldn’t wait any longer. I gave my notice and started the move. They begged me to stay. Work remote, just help us out a little, we’ll pay your full salary…
I said no.
I wanted a clean mental break. No safety net.
I honestly believe that was the key to the whole thing. If I had kept their salary I would not have progressed. I would’ve been tied down for a chunk of hours every week and only keeping a fraction of the profit.
Once I committed, I was out for good, and the parachute simply had to open. There was no other option.
The next year or two was a whirlwind. The business Grew From $10,000 a month to $20,000 a month to $100,000 a month within 2 years.
And that was just the beginning…it’s been a roller coaster ride since then.
I’ll cover the transition from building a successful business to diversifying income in another post.
The point is, you either sit in the door jamb or you move to your own space. The illusion of the door jamb is that you are safe. The reality is, you are at the mercy of everyone else. Nothing is in your control. You can be fired, acquired, railroaded, or smashed at any time.
You may or may not see it coming.
Wouldn’t you rather own the ground you are standing on?
Wouldn’t you rather keep more of the profits you generate?
Wouldn’t you rather build your dream, and make your own choices?
As they say in Hawaii, Chance Um.
Don’t be the Gecko.