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Business, Community

Do what when I grow up?

It’s only half a joke – all of us seem to be searching for what we “want to do when we grow up”.  I think I just joined the ranks of the blessed ones who have found their muse, and their focus.  First, some background info so I can explain.

Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) writes a lot of good stuff, including a description of 4 quadrants you could work in.  These are the E=Employee, S=Specialists, B=Big Business, and I=Investor quadrants. As one’s financial education progresses, you tend to float up through these stages.

E=Employees work for somebody else, follow their instructions, take home a paycheck, and don’t really have to take responsibility at work for more than their own job.  The more highly trained they are, the more they are paid.  Most of us begin our careers as employees.

S=Specialists generally have taken a higher level of risk and responsibility in their jobs.  They may be Small Business owners or contractors, doctors and lawyers, etc..  They are still selling their own labors though, and if they get sick and stop working, their income stops.

B=Big Busines and here we’re talking about managers and owners, where typically there are hundreds or more employees.  These folks direct the actions of others, buy and sell businesses to operate them, and build up business systems and procedures for the employees to follow.  If they get sick, what they built continues without them.

I=Investors make deals to move around their money, and other people’s money, to make money from the deals.  These folks know tax law, and are benefiting from tax incentives the government has set up to promote certain kinds of businesses, creating jobs, etc.  These folks play in the political arena and manipulate congressional appropriations.  These folks are the super rich you hear about, and who operate at a very rarefied atmosphere.

So, I am not an “I=Investor” and doubt I’ll ever gain enough financial education to become one, because it just doesn’t interest me.  I spent 17 years as a “B=Big Business” manager, and excelled at it.  I created new products, new business systems and practices, guided and shaped the organization.  I built bandwagons, got people on board, and launched them to victory.  But then I was told, that to advance any further, I would have to become a politician and make my “superiors” look good, so I left and started up a small business I could control – Missing Octave Insights.

And yet, I was uncomfortable operating in the “S=Specialist” mode.  I did NOT want (on an emotional level) to pick just one project and dedicate myself to following it through to the end and making it work, even though I knew this is what you have to do to succeed as an “S=Specialist”.  Yes, I wanted to make money, but I also wanted to create meaningful jobs, and benefit the world environment.  I did not know “what I wanted to be when I grew up”.  Profit, non-profit, investor, or evangelist?

But finally, it has come to me.  I can use Missing Octave to continue to build and launch “bandwagons” that benefit the community.  I can create the procedures, and help people on the way.  I can be the facilitator, or coach, to turn frustrated “E=Employees” into dedicated “S=Specialists” working on things they believe in.  This way we all win, and I can watch a parade projects move forward, and nudge them onto the right path.

Sounds like a great way to spend my life, to make a difference to the world, and have some good fun along the way as well!


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