Being an entrepreneur is the most fun job you can ever have
I can say without a shadow of doubt that being an entrepreneur was the most fun job I have ever had. I started my entrepreneur career as an adult when I was 31. It became obvious to me that the only way I was going to make enough money to take care of my family was to do it myself and not look for someone to hire me and give a little raise every year. I thought, hell, if my father could do it, and my Italian speaking grandfathers could do it, (both were born in Italy) I could do it.
Was all my time as an entrepreneur fun? NO. There were many times when I had no idea what I was doing, and it took me about 6 years to figure it out. It got so hard for me that one day I found myself in a Catholic Church near my office, looking to God to help me figure it out a huge problem I had with a bounced check. Father Holland, the parish priest came by where I was sitting and said “is everything all right?” I said “I wasn’t here to really pray, or anything like that, my business is just a mess, I am going to bounce a check tomorrow.” He smiled and said, “you know, life is like a bounced check, you have no guarantees that you will even be alive tomorrow.” For some reason, I found that comforting. Then he suggested that I get a good bookkeeper. I took his advice and got a great bookkeeper, she was awesome (and Jane you know who you are).
Sure there were a few hard and bad times, but the good ones so outweighed any of the bad ones, by a million miles.
I learned how to surround myself with people who were better at the things I was not very good at, like bookkeeping, organizations, cutting material, sewing, finishing, shipping, packing, etc etc. Of course I had to do all those jobs at the beginning, but as I began to figure things out, I became so much happier. The people I worked with were awesome and they liked to have fun too.
It was fun for me to see my co-workers get wage increases and bonuses. I loved handing them out. I always wished I could give them more. My rule was that as CEO, I would not pay myself (I could have paid myself whatever I wanted to) more than 3 times the lowest paid full-time employee. For me that was fun to see the people I loved to work with, making a good wage, where they could get a new car or things for their family.
I tried to make the workplace a fun environment too. We had music in every department that wanted music. At first we had one cd player and 4 speakers. I think we grew to 8 cd players and 30 speakers. We all would take turns being the DJ and sing out loud to some funny songs like Oklahoma, and my favorite Minnie the Moocher, by Cab Calloway. You know the song:
Folks, here’s a story ’bout Minnie the Moocher She was a red-hot hoochie-coocher She was the roughest, toughest frail But Minnie had a heart as big as a whale Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi (hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi) Whoa-a-a-a-ah (whoa-a-a-a-ah) Hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-hee (hee-dee-hee-dee-hee-dee-hee) He-e-e-e-e-e-e-y (he-e-e-e-e-e-e-y)
We also tried to have 4 events a year for the whole company, a summer picnic, Christmas party, a get winter get away, and a fall community party. A day or two before Easter we had legendary Easter egg hunts. Each one of these events is worth a blog past on its own.
Our Bocce Ball tournament was so much fun too and really completive. If your team won, you got a week off from work paid, 2nd place, 3 days. We had odds posted all over the factory for each team. The finals were placed at the company picnic, and everyone would watch and cheer it on.
The single biggest reason that being an entrepreneur is fun is because it is your baby that you put together, your business that you become extremely proud of. I smile everyday thinking of how lucky I am to have picked being an entrepreneur as a profession.