Corporate structures are shaped like a pyramid because they resemble pyramid schemes in many ways. A tiny fraction of people who ever walk through those doors will ever escape the multiple levels in the engine room to share in the disproportionate rewards of an organization. The odds of executing a successful startup? 1 in 20. If that sounds low, it is low. Running a start-up is harder than the outcome of overdosing on Viagra (make sure you take the right Pfizer). You know what’s low? The odds of becoming a Fortune 500 CEO. You’re looking at 1 in 135,000.
Make no mistake, if you’re talented you will live a comfortable life in a corporate. It buys you safety, some level of security and you can ease into autopilot after a while. At some point the line between comfort & complacency is non-existent. You’re no longer learning as much as you used to, the challenges aren’t very challenging & the impact you make on the world starts to hit plateau.
Many people fear the plunge because of the fear of failing, so they never end up living at all. It’s an uncomfortable truth but change requires courage. If you’re earning a decent salary in a professional firm, it’s hard accepting it will likely take a few years before you get back to those levels. Commitment makes courageous decisions even more difficult to execute. School fees? Expensive wedding? Extended family to care for? Massive bond repayments? A luxury SUV to finance? An expensive champagne habit? We’re fully responsible of unconsciously tightening the noose of our flexibility until we simply can’t make the tough decisions.
The truth is we’re always in control. By not making a decision to pursue something life changing, we’re making a decision by default. Corporates know this. They LOVE stamping on fancy titles, offering priority parking bays & filling up the fruit basket because they know we love being comfortable. Don’t believe me? Here’s a test:
1. If you had your salary right now doing something else, would you do it?
2. Would you explore a different career if you knew you couldn’t fail?
3. Do you feel you were put on Earth to do something different from your current job?
If you answered “YES!” to any of those questions, you’re squarely in the comfort zone. To get out you need a plan. A solid one. Planning your next chapter while having the fallback of a salary is a privilege – a privilege people don’t use nearly enough. To gain everything, sometimes you have to be willing to give up everything. At the risk of sounding like a better looking Deepak Chopra, attachment & material items cloud our judgment. They exert this bondage over us we will never break free from unless we’re conscious about change. I’m here to tell you the fast cars, models & bottles, private jets & luxury penthouse suites aren’t the end goal. The end goal is appreciating all of those are temporary. The only thing with longevity is living courageously.
You can’t expect the world to take a gamble on you if you never roll the dice on yourself.
Writer; Mark Twain