I like to think that the Labor Party’s subtitle says it all: This is a lifestyle blog for the creative entrepreneur. And yet it’s also true that this blog is meant to be something of a companion site to Young Pioneers magazine, a print publication about creative and unusual entrepreneurs that is currently in the process of being researched, reported, written and designed. So I suppose that also makes this blog something of a promotional tool. In other words, I’m hoping that those of you who tune in to the Labor Party on a regular basis will eventually become readers and consumers of the products that will one day be associated with Young Pioneers Media — the umbrella group underneath which all my other creative projects reside.
If not, no big deal. I imagine I’ll be posting free content on this site for as long as Young Pioneers Media continues to exist, and it is my sincere hope that the articles, interviews and essays you’ll find here will somehow improve the quality of your lives — especially your independent business lives. All I ask in return is that you occasionally let me know how I’m doing. Which is to say, if I’m posting information that continuously boosts the ease and happiness of your waking hours, please do let me know. And let me know, too, if the information posted on the Labor Party is at least occasionally making you money, or saving you money, or making your business somehow easier to run. If there are specific posts you’ve found particularly useful, let me know about that as well; I’ll certainly be happy to dig again for information of that exact same sort.
On the other hand, if you at some point find my content slipping into the dregs of ho-hum uselessness, give me an occasional shout to that degree as well. The way I see it, there’s no point in spending valuable work hours on a project that isn’t achieving its intended goals. And after all, even the best of us have bad days and even bad weeks from time to time; sometimes a friendly but stern nudge from someone who cares about our success is just the thing we need to lift us from our rut. That’s certainly something I hope the Labor Party will manage to do for you from time to time. It’s also something I hope you’ll occasionally do for me.
So. For those of you who might be wondering why I’ve chosen to call my blog “The Labor Party”, I ask only that you scroll to the top of this page and take a closer look at the posted cartoon. See the guy wearing the “FUCK YOU” tie? That’s me. Well, it’s not me today, exactly, although it certainly was me during the many years when I was unlucky enough to have been employed by other people. The thing is, just like the vast majority of the interesting folks who read this blog on a regular basis, I absolutely loathe the idea of not being self-employed. And believe me: I have worked for an incredibly vast array of companies, corporations, entrepreneurs, and idiots during my 33 years on earth. And while almost every single one of those employment experiences has been more miserable than the one which preceeded it, I have nonetheless maintained a growing fascination with the world of work for almost as long as I can remember.
I realize that probably sounds like something of a contradiction in terms: A guy who has hated almost every job he’s ever held is nonetheless fascinated by the concept of jobs in general? It sounds strange to me, too. Personally, I’ve always suspected it has something to do with my realization that while almost everyone on earth is essentially forced to do some sort of labor in order to survive, it truly is possible for any of us — for all of us — to find work that is either amusing, or life-enriching, or truly interesting. Sometimes, on very rare occasions, it’s possible to find work that fulfills all three of those qualities. Sometimes even more.
So I guess that’s really the overarching idea behind Young Pioneers Media, as well as the Labor Party, and all the other projects I’m involved in that deal with the seemingly disjointed subjects of self-improvement and employment. In other words, the projects that attempt to convince others that while work is indeed a life sentence from which we will most likely never escape, it is nevertheless absolutely possible to create work ourselves that ultimately has the effect of making our lives incredibly rich — and I mean that in both the literal and metaphorical senses.
If you don’t believe me, simply read a few of the articles and interviews from the premiere issue of Young Pioneers, a magazine of mine which documented the lives and careers of over a dozen Independent Travel Icons. Almost every single one of the incredible people I interviewed for the magazine were just like you and I at some previous point in their past: They had jobs they hated, which means they also had lives they hated. But this is what ultimately made them much different than the average Joe: Instead of bitching and moaning about their horrific misfortunes, or about their terrible parents who screwed them up in childhood and thus forever ruined their collective futures, they instead chose to figure out exactly what it was that they wanted out of life — and they then went about the very difficult business of making that happen.
And here’s the really incredible thing: They succeeded. And so have many, many others. And even better, so can you.
How, exactly? For starters, keep reading the Labor Party. I certainly plan to continue posting stories about smart, creative entrepreneurs who have built incredibly successful lives and businesses all by themselves, or maybe with the assistance of family and friends. (But always by taking advantage of their God-given talents and intelligence.)
How else? Pick up a copy of Young Pioneers once it’s relaunched. (Believe me: I’ll be making a lot of noise on this site when that happens.) The content between the covers of YP will be relatively similar to what you see on this site, but of course it’ll be presented in a much different format, and it will emphasize slightly different aspects of the creative-entrepreneurial process.
Aside from that, I simply encourage you to educate yourself, and also to stay far away from negative thinkers. By educating yourself, I mean that you should consider reading everything you can get your hands on that covers the subjects of self-improvement, productivity, entrepreneurship, success … you get the idea. And in fact, if I find there’s a certain level of interest, I may even create a few posts filled with book and website suggestions for those who are interested in significantly improving the quality of their lives and careers, but aren’t really sure where to start. After all, there’s a good reason the self-help industry is largely seen as a joke in this country: There are more than a few charlatans involved.
There’s also a lot of useless junk, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of professionals in the field who mean well, but who happen to be poor teachers armed with bad information. Those are obviously not the folks you want to be giving your money to, or wasting your time on. So for the time being, I’ll suggest you heed the wise words of Bruce Lee, who once said, “Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it. Discard the rest.”
As for the concept of avoiding negative thinkers, I am a very serious believer in the idea that a person can very quickly become very much like the people he surrounds himself with. Think of it this way: We all agree that both good and bad attitudes are contagious, right? So doesn’t it also make sense that if you surround yourself with complainers and negative thinkers, you’ll likely become a complainer and a negative thinker yourself? And that if you spend time with the sort of people who don’t believe that difficult and seemingly-impossible goals can be achieved, that you’ll eventually begin to think that way as well?
Thankfully, the idea also works in the opposite direction: Spend time absorbing the thoughts and ideas of hard workers, and positive people, and the wealthy, the healthy, the successful and the all-around happy, and guess what will eventually become of you?
Thanks for reading. And good luck.