There are numerous ways to become an entrepreneur. If you’re Italian, you might be born to it. Just as homes stay in the same family for generations, Italian business-owners commonly pass their enterprises down to their children. If your family made wine, there’s a good chance that you’ll make wine. Even some Venetian gondoliers are following the career path of their fathers and grandfathers.
As much as I love the Italians, I’m grateful that finding a career by inheritance isn’t such a common practice here. If it was, I’d be an electrician.
Paradoxically, there’s a Tuscan proverb that says: “Whoever does another’s trade makes soup in a basket.”
While it may not be so common elsewhere to hand down careers and businesses today, family pressure often plays a role in career choice.
When I went to have an ultrasound, I noticed that the technician was obviously a weight-lifter who seemed a bit out of sync with the hospital environment. Since I feel obliged to interrogate everyone about their livelihood, I asked him how he’d chosen this profession.
He laughed and said, “Well, I was 18 and didn’t know what I wanted to do. My sister was a nurse and thought this would be a good line for me to get into…and my parents wanted me out of the house, so I became an ultrasound technician.”
It was all I could do to keep from jumping off the exam table.
The world is full of people like him who are making soup in a basket. Finding our perfect livelihood is too important to our well-being to overlook.
Happily, more and more of us are awakening to the truth that it doesn’t have to be this way…that we can discard inappropriate choices and make new ones based on who we have become and what we want our lives to be now.
Clothiers talk about bespoke garments, meaning made-to-order clothes that are fitted to the wearer. I think it’s time to talk about bespoke businesses, one-of-a-kind undertakings that are perfectly suited to the owner’s values, talents, and dreams. You’ll find stories of folks who have done just that in every issue of Incomes Abroad.
Whether it’s opening a bagel shop in a part of the world that hasn’t had such a thing, putting a passion for photography to work or running a global business from a laptop, you’ll meet people who are making a living while making a life.
It takes a lot more time and energy to create such a business, of course, than to just pull one off the rack. Like a master tailor, we can only produce a bespoke business by knowing our personal measurements, making numerous adjustments, and investing pride in our work.
In a world that often seems determined to do things fast, creating a bespoke business requires a willingness and discipline to slow down, take things one step at a time, and pay loving attention to details. The rewards for such willingness are huge, although they may not be quick.
Incomes Abroad is the best resource out there out there to help you succeed.
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