What I Learned From The Unconventionally Employed |

It’s Monday. And while many crack jokes and construct memes about the disappointment of the weekend coming to an end, I rather enjoy Sunday evenings and the anticipation of the week to come. In fact, there is irony in knowing I worked on Labor Day itself. I took a day off from work so I could write this blog, which is essentially work redefined. Apparently, work is my respite from work. And this is what I have learned from the unconventionally employed…from the entrepreneurs. Whenever I have worked too much and in need of a distraction….I do more work…I just change the scope of the work itself. 

Work | Life is a topic frequently discussed among peers, collaborators and complainers. When we were younger, we complained of being overworked and underpaid. Later you are paid what you are worth, and the more ownership you have over the work, the greater the compensation. 

I spoke to a winemaker/proprietor friend today who said he could never work for someone else, including investors or outside proprietors. To him, the growth of his labels had to be organic and not forced by an excel chart or quarterly reports. Indeed, winemaking is a fine balance of art, science and economics. He said however anyone makes it in this business is fine with him, but he would not sacrifice the integrity of his wine + palate for increased production opportunities. He is the unconventionally employed. And even after a month of working 4 am- 6 pm, the flicker in his eye, the passionate skip in his step is still there. Winemaking was a happy accident. He created opportunities by way of his passion and is now producing over 5,000 cases of award-winning, sommelier applauded wine annually. 

People have often said, “define yourself by something other than work.” While I believe that to be true, writing this blog post is work and yes, it is frequently “design” or “wine” related. I do not have to write it, I could lay down on the hammock and reclaim my rightful horizontal position if I wanted. Some days I want that more than others, but I feel some sort of responsibility to postpone my time relaxing – not forever – but for a bit longer in order to construct something that may be of interest to others. 

I am excited. I am exhausted. I am energized. I am stressed, I am anxious … I am alive. Quite literally the worst thing I could think of is having a job and a life where one only began when the other one ended. I hope you enjoy what you do enough that you have trouble separating one from the other as well. 


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