If I were to sum up life, it seems like we spend much of our youth trying to fit in (or trying to rebel from our parents so we can fit in with our peers.) And then some place in adulthood, after we've spent some time making a living in one way or another and carving out our own way in the world, we realize on a whole new level that our life does not fit us. Somewhere among work/life/relationships/etc we become aware of the gap between that thing and how our ideal self wants to be.
I'm going to talk specifically about this shift in the world of work, but let me preface this next part: I'm a people person. I love people, being with people and helping people start their businesses. But I do not thrive in office environments, or non-profit boards, or group projects of most sorts. And I'm going to risk sounding anti-social for a minute: I can like people and not like working in groups. This is no failing on my part. I can be an excellent coach, and not like working in groups. I can be prosperous regardless of if I tolerate office environments.
And I'm going to take this one step further: YOU don't have to work well in office environments. You do not have to suffer through crappy bosses, oppressive work environments, offensive co-workers, company expectations that work is 100% of your life, regulated time off, and regulated time all together. It doesn't have to be this way. We trade so much of our power for the "security" of full time employment. But what is that "security" worth when a company can easily downsize you?!
If I were to start a movement it would be the Do Your Own Thing movement. We don't have to work in groups. Independence is not a problem. Earning a living doesn't have to be tied to employment and it's not a character flaw or a sign of laziness to escape office environments. It also doesn't have to be lonely. Instead of suffering through whoever HR decided to hire, I build community with the professionals who I choose to work with.
This path of independence is not for everyone, but I believe it is for more people than we tend to realize. We might think we have nothing to make a business out of, but I disagree. You are an expert at something and therefore you can sell that expertise, either as a consultant or a coach. It's amazing what you can build a business out of if you first believe in yourself.
So this year, join me in doing something radical: Do Your Own Thing. Maybe that means you do "business casual" in a more You way. Maybe it means negotiating with your boss for a more optimal work schedule. It could also mean making real strides towards making your passion-project into a real business. However you choose to embody Do Your Own Thing, your unique talents will shine brighter for it.