You become what you do

I asked a reader what the best thing was about becoming a 1099.

He is in the middle of his first 1099 gig so I thought he'd have some good insight about what to expect when you succeed for the first time.

He told me the best part is the mindset change from a corporate employee to an entrepreneur.

Lots of the profiles or stories we hear about successful people like to take the angle that that they were somehow destined to become successful in their field due to some innate personality trait that was identifable as a child.

  • The billionaire hustled and sold garbage bags door-to-door as a kid....
  • The brilliant engineer built his own computer before he could talk ...
  • The champion boxer punched his friends in elementary school and knocked them out ...

There is probably some element of truth to these stories, but I've found that in more cases than not, it's not you do what you are, but rather, you become what you do.

Our new solo 1099 sub-contractor became more entrepeneurial after he started doing more entrepeneurial things.

He succeeded and got his first sub-contract, which provides a positive feedback loop which will motivate him to do more entrepeneurial things, which will make him think more and more like an entrepreneur.

If you keep doing the employee thing, you will become more and more of an employee.

If you do the 1099 thing, you will become more of a 1099 entrepeneur.

So don't worry too much about whether you have the right personality traits or childhood experiences or whatever; just start doing and you will become the thing you do.

Exception: Most entrepreneurs and business types I know hate tedious paperwork. If you love paperwork you're probably destined to be a lawyer .... just kidding ;).


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