Opinions expressed by Minority Mindset contributors are their own.
“So you plan to quit by selling junk from thrift stores?” my coworker asked.
“Yeah, you got it,” I replied.
The room erupted in laughter. It wasn’t awkward laughter either, the kind where the person doesn’t know how to react to what was just said. They were laughing at me. They were laughing at my audacity.
For some reason, I felt the need to list off the things I’ve sold. I had a built-in reflex to defend myself, my ego. That feeling faded quickly. I left that meeting with a smile in my heart and flipped that laughter into a piece of content for Instagram.
I’m a funny guy I guess? It’s hilarious that ANYONE can go to a Goodwill, a Salvation Army, or any thrift store, buy some solid brand name stuff, and sell them on eBay for 5-10 times more than the original price. It’s downright entertaining to think of another way to make money outside of a 9-5!
I’m so amusing I should be a stand-up comedian!
If you’re reading this I have a feeling you’ve been laughed at for talking about your businesses, hustles, and side gigs. I hope you didn’t allow it to hurt you. Initially, I felt attacked and felt foolish. Then, something else set in: perspective.
The people in that room saw the world in a way completely different from my own. They believed in the safety of a job. They couldn’t fathom the idea of doing something outside the norm of classrooms, degrees, and a series of jobs. They were content with selling their time for money and making someone else rich.
If you’re an entrepreneur you see the world opportunistically. That means you see the internet as a way to brand, sell, and build an audience. You see a busy street as a place to put up an advertisement. You find the gaps in the market and you fill it. Above all, you see that there are a million ways to make money. All you have to do is pick one.
My empathy set in quickly. I remember thinking a job was everything. I remember thinking I needed more degrees to get more money. I absolutely would have laughed at someone who believed they could earn a living selling “junk” from thrift stores or creating online content.
Ignorance finds comedy in a lot of things. Some people aren’t open to new ideas.
If you were made fun of or laughed at for your goals would you stop talking about them?
I hope not. Your story, your motivation, your creativity, and authenticity might inspire someone. You might be able to liberate someone from their closed-off point of view.
I’m happy I got laughed at. I’m delighted that I could give those people a moment of joy. I know I’m not making a ton of money from selling things online or from YouTube (not even remotely big enough yet). Sure, in the short term focusing on a job and increasing my salary is a win. In the long term, 10-20 years, the work will result in an uncapped salary.
The choice is obvious to me. I hope it’s obvious to you too. The laughter is motivation.