I Know What You Did Last Summer
by Tiger Todd
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”
~ Charles Richards
Refreshing Jackson Lake – Teton National Park, Wyoming.
During my recent road trip to Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, I had a rather enlightening conversation with the night manager at my hotel in Jackson. It was 5 in the morning and as I prepared a green tea from the service cart in the lobby, I asked if the manager wanted me to fix her a coffee. She said “no,” and then proceded to tell me about the 2 cups of coffee and the Red Bull she had already consumed after finishing her swing-shift job at the airport at 11pm, and then driving to work the graveyard shift at the hotel where I was staying. I think she was also a mom.
Everybody is going through something.
“The more things you do, the more you can do.” – Lucille Ball
I would have thought this “multiple job” scenario was as isolated case but just about everyone I met during my week-long trip was working 2-or-more jobs. A waiter at one restaurant said that he leads mountain bike and raft tours on the weekends while woman at the Albertson’s Deli moonlights in a sporting goods store. This experience got me thinking about the multiple lives of so many of my heroes and heroines…
“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” – Russel Baker
Have you checked yourself lately? You probably have more than one job, too – paid or otherwise. You may be an accountant and the church treasurer and a mom. Maybe you’re a realtor and a part-time professor and a Rotarian. Or perhaps you’re an entrepreneur and a social-networker and a (starving) artist.
Welcome to the 21st century. Welcome to the age of Giganomics.
Giganomics is better than Nothinomics
I’m pretty sure that musicians were the first to coin the term “gig” whenever they were hired to perform for a fee. Playing gigs was heaven for musicians for whom music was their life, even if gigs were not an economically capable form of sustaining life. Most of the musicians I once performed with by night were also working “gigs” by day as waiters, teachers, or construction workers. In fact, so was I. These kinds of gigs must have been the inspiration for former Vanity Fair, Tatler, and New Yorker editor Tina Brown to coin the term Giganomics to describe the ever-increasing portion of the population living by “gigs” to make ends meet. In her edgy Daily Beast blog, she writes,
“No one I know has a job anymore. They’ve got gigs: a bunch of free-floating projects, consultancies and bits and pieces they try to stitch together.”
Earn and Learn
“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.” – John Foster Dulles
There is an important distinction to be made between working multiple jobs – or “gigs” – and the growing numbers of professionals and entrepreneurs who are also reinventing themselves while gigging it. Reinvention takes time, but assures us that once the dust from the world’s changing conditions finally settles, we will emerge as the kind of people who have a safe and secure place in it. So should we be gigging it or reinvent ourselves?
Yes and yes.
“Maybe it’s both.” – Forrest Gump
The secret to reinvention, what I dub Earn and Learn, is learning your next position in life while earning in the current one, or three. Remember, every job we do is important. Let me say it this way: no job, no matter how low of pay or how low in the credits is without value. Why? Because regardless of the need someone has for the money from a job, every job exists primarily because it changes the life of someone else.
Did you hear that? Everything we do changes the future for someone else.
Teddy Roosevelt’s investment of 15 buffalo into OK grew to over 600 by 1988
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” – Theodore Roosevelt
But there is another important factor in the reinvention equation. Awareness. We should also be aware that package with every “gig” is not just an opportunity – like the potential to form a valuable connection with a future team member, client, or community leader – but also something to learn.
Holiday’s and seasonal breaks are great times for reconnecting with loved ones, especially those who have suffered through the rest of the year without you…while you were working two and three “gigs” to keep your life together. Summer, for example, is a great time to take trips, sleep in and work on your tan, and also provides a great opportunity to increase your health, your career education as well as your client and community member network – so you have more income and less stress throughout Fall and Winter. A scene from Disney’s A Bug’s Life goes here.
While you may have turned-pro at FaceBooking with friends and family – or playing Mafia Wars with La Famiglia – the struggling gigger must ask how much help friends and family are at keeping us employed, or keeping our mortgages paid, or at sending paying clients to us. Are family and friends important? Absolutely.
If friends and family are your rainmakers, great. But if not, then consider investing more time hanging out with your client connectors and Rotarian rainmakers. Look, if you find yourself investing the majority of your precious 168-hour week “friending” and “familying” when what your business needs is “networking” and “rainmaking,” it is probably time to ask yourself if they would rather you have your own place or live with them.
“The best way to get the most from every 168-hour week is to do the most important things with the first of those hours first.” – Tiger Todd
My hand. Newport Beach, California. Don’t be Hatin’.
Look at this number again: 168. Each week we are blessed with seven unique 24-hour days. That’s 168 hours with which to live our current life, clean up the past, and create a legacy for the future. Even after 40 to 60 hours “gigging” to pay for it, we still have 108-128 hours left! It’s the new math. So why not do the most important things first?
“For we are all connected in the Great Circle of Life.”
– King Mufasa, from Disney’s Lion King
Whether everything is operating on all cylinders, or you have decided to turn pro atGiganomics, the fact of the matter is that now more than ever, we need one another. We need best practices from one another and moral support from one another. We need to network (the verb) with one another and we need to do business (the action verb) with one another. And we need to befriend one another while we work to transform our community into one that has a place for us, our families, and the families of our friends, our clients, and our supporters. -TT
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