My “day job” was different from most. I worked from home 90% of the time (100% during covid), and I worked for several companies at once. I was on the payroll for one company and they accounted for 75% of my pay… and then several other companies paid me by the hour for my time. I did pretty well, especially considering I could do the work from home while in my pajamas. Nobody questioned my time or made sure that I worked 9-5 every day… they just wanted the work to be done by certain deadlines, and everyone was happy. I was the “go to” guy for getting shit done in timely manner with no drama (a rarity in the creative field I’ve been in for 20 years).
It’s no secret that the DSO world has taken up a great deal of my time. 2021 has seen a huge boom with the DSO Fraternity, book sales, coaching, the podcast… a whole lot going on. Some days it was absolutely way too much work alongside the “day job”. But… I somehow managed to make it work and keep everyone happy.
Out of the blue one day, while on a road trip to Texas, I get an email from the boss of the company that paid me 75% of my pay. In a nutshell it read, “Due to covid and other assorted nonsense, we decided that you’re not really worth the extra expense of your salary anymore. Your last paycheck is in one week. Thanks.”
I’m not gonna lie… that stung a little. Now, keep in mind, I have been mentally weighing the option of dropping my “day job” for quite some time. I told myself that when we get to 1,000 paying DSO Fraternity members and X number of total sales dollars every month, I can comfortably call it quits. Well, I guess Mr. Bossman beat me to the punch!
After the sting of the email wore off, I was left wondering what REALLY happened here. Was it really “covid” or just a strict “financial decision”? Well, to be honest… that’s not the complete picture.
Basically, I was dumped. Like with any relationship, there are two sides to the story. On my side, I’m saying that the quality of my work has never suffered… and their financial situation wasn’t THAT bad. In fact, I was there for this company through several severe financial swings… some worse than this. It was only months ago that this company was bragging that they were NOT adversely affected by covid, because much of the work that they did was considered “necessary” and employees were allowed to leave their homes and come work on the factory floors since day one of covid lockdowns. While everyone was cutting back, they were putting out help-wanted ads. Doesn’t really jive with, “Because of covid we need to let you go”.
I think if they were honest they would say, “You’re just not that attractive of an employee anymore.” Why? Well… because of the DSO world! My attention was elsewhere. Pre-DSO me would get an email asking if I’d like to attend an employee meeting (I was on the payroll… but wasn’t really there for the day-to-day stuff like most) and I would be there 30 minutes early. Of course, I would just sit and stare and say nothing for an hour and leave saying to myself… “Well, that meeting could’ve been an email.” The new, post-DSO me gets that email and replies, “Is there anything for me to contribute in this meeting? If not, I’d prefer to stay home and attend via Zoom. That’s a two-hour roundtrip and I have a lot to do that day.” The same work is produced, same quality, same attention to detail… but obviously I’m not as gungho about being part of the team as I once was. There were lots of little examples like this that I interpreted as, “Good for me… not taking as much bullshit and getting stuff done”. They probably took it as, “We’re losing him. He’s not all-in like before.”
You know what? They were right.
Like a bored housewife who starts flirting with her hunky Crossfit coach… or the guy at work who gets dirty texts from his sexy secretary… “coming home” to the old ball and chain just doesn’t have the same appeal. Something else is getting all of my attention. Something more rewarding and something quite a bit sexier than the reliable day job. That’s great for me… but not so much for my partner/employer. Nobody likes to think that they are playing second fiddle to somebody else.
You know what? I would probably fire me too. They can spend all that money elsewhere and get somebody who is just happy to show up for meetings, willing to play the corporate game, and be an all-around better team member. He or she will make everyone FEEL better about that paycheck that they send out the door. That’s just not in my wheelhouse anymore. I’ve turned the page on that guy.
So… things just got real for your boy DSO. The cord has been cut. I have removed the golden handcuffs of a regular paycheck and benefits. Now it’s up to me to get this DSO thing amped up a few notches. Now, before any of you yahoos email me with, “Yeah, but your wife is a DOCTOR, dude!” Man… have I taught you nothing!? That means absolutely nada. If I were to say to her, “Hey, I’m gonna take some time off and stay home with the baby”, you would be able to hear the audible “CLICK” of the marriage countdown clock. She’s with me, in part, because of my ambition and hard work ethic. She loves this DSO thing and the fact that I’m so passionate about it. Now it’s just a matter of proving to her and the world that this is not just a cool side gig, but a sustainable business that may be something I can pass down to my sons.
With my drive and passion for this business being so high, the sudden urgency for more success has taken my stress to even higher levels. As any entrepreneur will tell you, I can quite literally fill every single hour of every single day with work. There is ALWAYS something more I can do. That is not a great recipe for a guy who needs to take his stress down a few notches. I may see it as “good” stress, but it’s stress none the less. The brain isn’t meant to be churning away 24/7… but mine has been for a while now. I’m feeling the effect with less sleep, less patience, an inability to be still for more than five minutes… and it’s no bueno.
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