Really this blog post is for myself more than anybody. Things are always more official in writing, and documenting these thoughts will give me something to look back and hold myself accountable against. Accountable for what, you may ask? Doing what I need to do to get out [of] the Matrix.
“The Matrix” is a term we use to refer to the corporate world or a “normal” job, and I credit my friend Will Brannon for coining it in this sense. The Matrix provides a steady paycheck and security. Often it provides health benefits and a retirement plan. As long as you’re not an idiot with your money you don’t have to worry about anything. The Matrix also sucks big, hairy monkey balls. All of my friends who work a corporate job complain about it, even if they like what they do. We’re all tired after we get off of work, even though all we do is sit on our asses all day. The Matrix sucks the life out of you.
The sad truth is the overwhelming majority of people do NOT like their job. Most tolerate it, many even hate it. Why do we CHOOSE to live like this? Why do we CHOOSE to spend the majority of our lives doing something we don’t really care about?
I can’t accept this way of life any longer. Truth be told I was getting comfortable in the Matrix. I have decent hours and don’t work much overtime, good pay (especially considering how much effort I actually put in), and I can pretty much afford to do most of the things I want to right now. But for 8-10 hours each day I am sitting in a place I don’t want to be at, doing something I don’t really want to do, when I could be doing so much more with my life. It’s time to hop up out the Matrix.
Last Monday I got the wake up call (i.e. email). Investor relations at the company I work for sent out a notice that we are being bought out in a merger. Although the deal won’t be done for several months, I am fairly certain I will lose my job. So a decision had to be made. I could choose the Blue Pill, get my resume ready, look for another IT audit job, and stay in the Matrix. Or I could pick the Red Pill and open up my own business like I’ve been wanting to for the past 3 years. I choose the Red Pill.
Hopping out the Matrix isn’t easy, and that’s probably a big reason why most people don’t do it. Even Neyo got his ass kicked during training when he first stepped out. Starting a business takes planning and money, but more importantly it takes discipline and commitment to stick to the plan that’ll make the business possible. Setting goals are easy – doing the dirty work to achieve goals isn’t. I am, however, ready to put in work. The initial cost estimate and business plan has been drafted. I cut off my cable to save money. I’ll be taking bartending classes next month because I’ll need a night gig while the store gets off the ground, and if I start bartending while I’m still working the corporate J.O. the extra cash will be helpful. I ain’t just bloggin’ about it, I’m bein’ about it.
I know being a store owner does not necessarily translate into a lucrative profession. Best case scenario the shop pops off and we open stores in Austin, LA, Chicago, NY, etc. Worst case scenario I work the shop everyday, but at least I’m working for myself. If the shop fails, at least I’ve developed the experience and know-how to be self-employed so that I don’t have to resort to the Matrix ever again.
Like I said, this blog is really going to serve as a reminder to myself of what I’m working for. The work is already underway, I just have to stay committed. However, if you’ve read this far, I hope this post also inspires and encourages you to do whatever it is you fucking want with your life. This is your life. LIVE IT.