I was shooting a mini-documentary of my buddy, Steve B of Steve B Leatherworks, who has built a nice business creating custom leather products for bikers, housewives, executives and everyone in between. Steve, a marketing veteran who started Steve B Leatherworks as an invigorating hobby, now combines his thriving leather business, marketing consulting and journalistic writing as a career. As I was shooting him over the sewing machine working on his latest belt, he summed up his career by saying, "These days, we're all stitching it together."
Sometimes, the perfect pun appears when you least expect it.
Back in the day, you chose a career, then a company, and basically stayed with that company for most of your career. That evolved into choosing a career, and trying to stick with it even as you bounced from company to company.
Today? Everything is up for grabs: the career path, the company, the industry, and everything in between.
You might start out as an accountant with a passionate hobby of collecting baseball cards, only to be deemed redundant and unemployable in a shrinking industry. Then, those baseball cards you've been collecting? They could become your best new source of income.
Maybe the baseball cards become part of your income through a consignment booth at a collectors mall, along with contract work in accounting, and maybe a bit of teaching at the adult ed center. And while the transition from one steady job to a series of disparate gigs may seem frenetic and fearful, you may discover you like the action and adventure of reinventing yourself. You may love turning a lifelong passion into a career. And you may find that the chaotic entrepreneur world actually gives you more control than the now tenuous nine-to-five thing.
That's what stitching it together is all about. And like Steve B, that's what more and more of us are doing — and having fun while we're at it.