I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed with a question I’ve been asked lately. The question is this, “But do you make money?” Upon hearing that I have started my own business, many friends, family, and strangers ask me the above question. Or my favorite, “But where do you really work?”
Being the aspiring entrepreneur that I am, it’s hard to answer such heavy questions. I have a day job that pays the bills. I work for a mid-size startup based out of Indy called New Ink and I recently started Spontaneous Combustion. I am also in the process of creating a program that teaches entrepreneurship methods to young students.
That is a lot to unload on someone when they ask, “What do you do?” Sometimes, I want to lie and simply answer, “I work in sales.” It’d be so easy. I wouldn’t get that look of confusion because they see what I am doing as crazy or stupid.
Sure, my day job may financially support most of my means. But it is a basic necessity that I must have before my other ventures take off. I am too committed to New Ink, Spontaneous Combustion, & my other projects to just put them on hold until I am financially ready. The fact is, I may never be in a financial position where I can only focus on unique projects. So if I wait until my day job is over for the day, I’ll never see my entrepreneur goals take flight. Or worse, if I stay with my day job forever.
The ROI of Entrepreneurship
It seems that when people talk to early stage entrepreneurs, they always want to know how much money that person makes. What other profession allows this? Do you walk up to a physician and inquire about his or her salary? Or do you ask a stripper about how they file their taxes? Probably not.
While I do adore talking about what projects I am currently working on, I do not adore the money question. The amount of capital which I put in my own pocket is none of your business. Unless we’re talking about IPO issues but we are not. We are not talking about that at all.
Just because you do not technically “make money” or even a certain amount of money from a job does not devalue the job. Many ambitious entrepreneurs work for nothing for years until they see any signs of financial return. The secret is that most entrepreneurs are not working for dollar signs. They’re working towards a goal because they can’t not work towards that goal. They are fighting every damn day and totaling up every expense so they can see their goal live up to their own expectations.
Sure, it’d be easy to stick around at a day job that promises a steady paycheck. That’d be the safe path. But, I have no interest in that path. I know I’m broke most days, I know my business may tank at the end of the year, and I know more than you’ll ever know that my own drive may very well be my demise. But I still refuse the safe path. It’s boring.
So to answer your question, yes. I do make money. Some of the values are high and some are very, very low. But that is my bank account you are inquiring about.
Do you wonder how much New Ink pays me every week or month? Hop aboard our team and find out for yourself. If you want to know how much Spontaneous Combustion charges for social strategy services then why don’t you sign up for our services? But, if you are simply asking what kind of money I make, then I expect you to answer the same question.