What do you want to be when you grow up?
At age seven, the answer was easy. I was a dreamer. I want to be an archaeologist! I want to wear a cool hat and creep through cramped tunnels! I want to chase bad guys and speak funny languages and eat monkey brain soup! You should have seen me, digging through my school’s playground, claiming strange rocks as fossils, my hands caked in dirt, knees colored brown.
Back then it wasn’t about money. It was about the important things. The lifestyle, adventure and mystery. What invigorated me. What made me feel…alive. Naturally, of course, as I grew older what I wanted to be became harder and harder to define. I made things complicated. I thought about careers and money and having to save up vacation days. This whole growing up thing was serious business. Where would I fit in?
People generate income in all kinds of ways
It wasn’t until recently that I realized something. It’s not about fitting in. People grow up in all kinds of ways. They become doctors and lawyers, poker players and public speakers. Some work one job, others have several streams of income. Some travel, others stay put.
In a post-New Years effort to realign myself and think about the future, I participated in a fun exercise. I thought about all the jobs I have ever had. Maybe, by tracing through my income history I can get a better sense of where to head next.
Age 6 – sold origami fortune tellers and paper airplanes for $.05 and $.10 [was stopped by teacher after two days]
Age 8 – sold lemonade with my friend Price
Age 12 – exploited a loophole with AllAdvantage, a short-lived infomediary company and made $200 before canceling my account
High School and College
Maggie Moos – scooped ice cream part-time for one year
The Temple Religious School – helped teach kindergarten once a week
Valet Parking – for a month [they found out I didn't know how to drive stick]
Cutting Onions – a one-night gig for $100, chopping onions for four hours [I was scammed and never paid]
Carraba’s – hosted at an Italian restaurant for a summer
O’Charley’s – served at an American restaurant another summer
Online Poker – FAIL.
Kaplan – taught an SAT prep class and did private tutoring and exam proctoring
KROLL – interned at a background screening company and worked on a data mining project for a summer
homeWUrk – co-founded an e-commerce site (now defunct) for dorm room products, targeted at incoming out-of-state freshmen
Moving Off Campus – helped populate city data into their back-end system
What interesting things have you done to earn income? Do you find this exercise helpful?
image credit to kapgar