Picture yourself sitting on your porch when you’re 70.
Are you sitting alone?
Will anyone care what you did tonight? Last night? Last year?
One of my biggest fears is that as enter the twilight of my life, I will feel overwhelming sorrow that no one around me cares about my war stories from these “8pm Warrior missions” I fight every night.
I doubt I’m the only one.
You and I put our heart and soul into what we do. I see it every day.
However, if we don’t include enough other people in our adventures, we risk being that old guy or gal sitting on the porch telling stories to people who don’t remember, don’t know, or don’t care.
We risk loneliness when we become so lost in a personal war with it’s private battles, that we let everything and everyone slip away.
It’s Christmas Eve.
Go spend time with family. It’s nights like these when you fill up your future porch with more than your colleagues, partners, and clients. Let others see your battles. Share your world with the people you want on your porch when you’re older.
We sit up every night working, reading, writing, thinking, and dreaming. However, if we don’t share our life and involve others, we’re destined to be the lonely veterans of a one soldier war.
I don’t hate free markets, big business, or imported products.
However, every time we choose cheap goods over local products or services, we lose something. We lose a piece of our culture.
We lose a part of our community.
I’m one of the cheapest guys you know, but I’m starting to re-evaluate my buying habits. The race to the bottom must stop at some point.
The cheapest goods aren’t always good.
Black Friday may be the day to enjoy steep discounts at big box retailers, but Small Business Saturday is the day to remember the “little guy”.
It’s the day to remember the person who handcrafted that jewelry for the exceptional woman in your life, the person who bakes bread with love (not conveyor belts), or the consultant in that tiny office next door who puts their heart and soul into everything they do.
This Saturday is for the 8pm Warrior running the small business down the street.
I studied economics in college and know that cheaper goods mean more buying power, more wealth for everyone. Tonight I ask you to use the savings we’ve seen to invest in your fellow 8pm Warriors. Support their dreams. Support the American Dream.
Buy one thing from a small business on Small Business Saturday.
PS. If you don’t know any small business warriors, check out this one. She’s very close to me and I know the passion and skill it takes to do what she does every day. She’s doing what she loves and it shows.
Down in the dumps. Fired by the board. Doubting. Aching. Wondering.
Can I do it? Can I make it…
One of my inspirations was the story of a college dropout who started a company in his garage that grew so big it became the most valuable company on Earth. Along the way, he was fired from his own company, started two more, and eventually was asked to come back to his old company and save the day.
He was a warrior among warriors. He never stopped fighting.
Today he lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer, a disease that claims 95% of its victims within five years. He fought for seven.
Along the way he accomplished amazing things.
When he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2004 he was successfully running both Apple and Pixar. Barron’s declared that Steve Jobs was “without a doubt” the most valuable CEO in the world. Fortune magazine named him the Smartest CEO on Earth.
You know the story…iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It was modern magic.
It was inspiring.
In some of my darkest moments in business, his story has reminded me of what is possible when you don’t give up doing the work you love. His story reminds us to press on.
Here are some of the highlights:
Born & Adopted (1955)
Drops out of Reed College after one semester (1972)
Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne start Apple (1976)
Power struggle leads to his forced exit from Apple (1984), so he starts NeXT (competitor)
Creates Pixar Animation Studios (1986)
Serves as executive producer of the first computer animated movie “Toy Story” (1995)
Apple buys NeXT, Steve returns as CEO of Apple after 13 years (1997)
Pancreatic Cancer attempts a hostile takeover (2004)
Steve remains as CEO of Pixar until merger with the Walt Disney Company (2006)
Jobs undergoes a Liver transplant (2009)
Apple becomes the world #2 most valuable company and Barron’s declares that Steve Jobs is “without a doubt” the most valuable CEO in the world. (2011)
Thanks for the inspiration Steve. While any human life has it’s faults, few are as inspiring as yours.
I didn’t come up with the idea*. I’m not the first 8pm Warrior and definitely not the only one.
It is a fascinating tribe and I enjoy learning about what drives leaders to work while others play, chase dreams while others sleep, and push on when others quit.
You are an 8pm Warrior
My fellow 8pm Warriors are some of the best people I know.
How do you find one? Since I write this blog in the evenings (and you’re reading it), the easiest place to find an 8pm Warrior is by looking in the mirror.
However, it doesn’t have to be a lonely path. If you’re up this evening learning, growing, pushing, and planning, you are definitely not alone.
When looking for other 8pm Warriors, you’ll probably know one when you meet one. However, I thought it would be fun to have a guide. Just in case you can’t tell, I wrote this blog post for 12most.com about common traits to look for. I think you’ll enjoy it.
*An 8pm Warrior is someone who uses the evening or early morning hours to work on a project they love. This includes, but is not limited to leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, artists, writers, or any other person who is passionate about their work and doesn’t confine themselves to a 9 to 5 schedule.
Recently a group of scientists officially declared that time travel was impossible. However, I did find a group of 8pm Warriors that discovered a way to extend each day by about one to two hours.
That isn’t much time, but it should be enough to finally work on the things you’ve always wanted to do with your life.
I don’t think they’ll mind if I tell you the secret. I only ask that you promise to use it only for good.
It’s actually an ancient magic spell that you cast on yourself. It’s a bit different for everyone, however there is only one secret ingredient you must have:
Every day you must do work that you are passionate about.
That’s it. After that, you may want to add something to increase it’s effects. Some add caffeine. Others add nutrition, vitamins, hydration, natural foods, or other ingredients that give them energy.
It really works!
I find that when I’m under “the spell”, extra hours magically appear at the end of the day. It works the same way for kids. That’s why you shouldn’t get theme excited at the end of the day.
Personally, my day has been extend by about 3 hours. From 11:30pm until 2:30am are now magically available to me each night to do more work. I still wake up at a normal time each day and drink absolutely no caffeine except when I stay up even later. (For instance, I wrote this one at 4am last week and needed some Warrior tea in the morning)
Even though I’ve had people laugh at the idea and tell me it’s too much, I stand by my view of the 8pm Warrior world.
I know self employed warriors suffering from serious health conditions because they have no health insurance. Some are losing their homes to foreclosure. Others have lost their families, their friends, or the business they spent their whole life building.
Some have died.
All were chasing their dreams and holding on to their passion for a better world, a better life. It’s in their blood. It’s what they do.
For those still limping along in this economy while wondering, praying, hoping, and dreaming…I get it.