Goodbye, cruel (business) world?

I found myself worried about the future of business today.

I was thinking about two millennials I know. One is brilliant and one is … not.

The brilliant one works for himself, more or less. And the other is somehow maybe going to learn how to run a business if A) he can retain any of it and B) he could keep a job for any other reason than an employer being worried he’ll sue.

Now, I worked for myself for a while. I was OK at it. But I hated it. I wanted to be part of a bigger cause. I also wanted someone else to worry about keeping the lights on.

One thing over the past 20 years I’ve had a love-hate relationship with is being a supervisor. Of the last eight people I helped to bring on board at various places, seven have been amazing.

But I let eight destroy my well-being. Enough to make me want to give it all up and return to freelancing so I never have to supervise a soul again.

I think that’s what most of my friends have done. They work alone. The collaborate only at gunpoint or, at least, when they’re lonely.

But that’s the the thing. They aren’t forced to show people how to wipe and feed themselves. They call their peers. People they respect. People who make them smarter.

They don’t have to work with those who refuse to learn. Who just want to collect a paycheck and be left alone. Who think that just because they showed up at the race (probably late), they deserve a corner office and a parade.

I was taught that you had to grow the next generation. But for most of us, making sure people wiped their poopy butts takes more time than doing something real or creative that makes the company money … and puts us in line for a promotion or bonus or both.

This is why I worry about business. I think those of us with aptitude and good experience and a lot of creativity and heart and good ideas will wake up one day and go NOPE.

In other words, nope — it’s time to do this on my terms. And my terms don’t involve carrying dead weight.

I think there’s a lot to be said about the freelance economy. Multiple income streams are a glorious thing. I sweat having only one paycheck.

Of course I worked with some real assclowns and tap-danced for paychecks that way, too.

But that’s the thing, too. People who have no business running businesses are … well … running businesses. How the hell do you learn from people who couldn’t find both ass cheeks with Siri and a flashlight?

So, yeah. Business. I haven’t had the opportunity to work with a Jack Welch or Elon Musk or Richard Branson. And most people won’t. But people like Eight wouldn’t appreciate greatness if they fell over it, either.

And if it’s the “me”s of the world that have to simultaneously learn and teach, we’re all doomed. I think I’ve done an OK job of learning … and I think I’ve helped to produce enough success stories to justify my existence.

But let me tell you. If my financial plan — i.e., marrying a rich husband — works out the way I want it to, goodbye cruel business world.

When Mr. Prince Charming with the big bank account comes along, I’m going freelance.

And I’m only talking to my esteemed colleagues and friends. Moreover, I am not going to go near anyone I don’t respect or who has no plans on respecting me.

Perhaps then I can be the next great business leader. I just worry that it might be the only way.

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