Young serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber is not the product of a wealthy family or storied entrepreneurial heritage. Nor is he the outcome of a traditional business school education or a corporate executive turned entrepreneur. Rather, he is a hard-working, self-taught 26-year-old hustler, rainmaker, and bootstrapper who has survived and thrived despite never having held the proverbial “real” job.
In Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business, and Not Go Broke, Gerber challenges the social conventions behind the “real” job and empowers young people to take control of their lives and dump their nine-to-fives—or their quest to attain them.
Drawing upon case studies, experiences, and observations, Scott dissects failures, shares hard-learned lessons, and presents practical, affordable, and systematic action steps to building, managing, and marketing a successful business on a shoestring budget.
The proven, no-b.s. methodology presented in Never Get a “Real” Job teaches unemployed and underemployed Gen-Yers, aspiring small business owners, students, and recent college graduates how to quit 9-to-5s, become their own bosses, and achieve financial independence.
Q&A with Author Scott Gerber
|Author Scott Gerber
The title of your book is “Never Get a Real Job,” but are you suggesting that there’s an entrepreneur in everyone?
Millennials are no longer beneficiaries of the hand-out, resume-driven society of old. Boomers and Gen Xers need to stop training Gen Y to believe that the mantra of ‘work hard, get good grades, go to school and get a job’ that they were told to buy into, is alive and well. It’s not — it’s dead — and now it needs to be buried for good.
Fact: there are over 81 million young people unemployed worldwide. And this number does not account for the tens — if not hundreds — of millions more that are underemployed. It’s becoming more and more apparent that in today’s world, young people will need to create a job to keep a job. Millennials need to re-train themselves to become self-sufficiency experts capable of generating their own incomes. I truly believe everyone can become entrepreneurial and partner with individuals whose strengths fill in gaps and weaknesses. The key is for us to stop thinking “Facebook” and start thinking about practical, nuts-and-bolts, income-generating, on-the-ground businesses. When we finally turn that corner, Gen Y will truly become the most entrepreneurial generation in history.
How should young entrepreneurs go about determining if their “passion” can become a scalable business?
The Hollywood-esque scene for most young entrepreneurs, where two guys are sitting at a bar, write their idea on a napkin and then proceed to build a gazillion dollar business is fiction — at least for 99.9999% of us. In truth, every entrepreneur needs to have a gut-check moment. They shouldn’t simply “believe” their idea will work as a business and get started. Rather, they need to prove it to themselves, poke holes in it, determine if it can generate real revenues — as well as how fast those revenues will start rolling in — and be able to defend their assumptions to their harshest critic. I know my detractors will mention “revolutionary” and “game-changing” companies such as Facebook and other Silicon Valley darlings that went on to raise millions, get acquired for billions, or go public. However, I would never advocate to young entrepreneurs, especially in our current economy, that jumping right into a business on passion alone is an advisable way to start a business.
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
The thought of working for someone else gave me chills. Office politics, dress down days, cubicle life, water cooler rants, a lack of real decision making ability–they all made me want to reach for Vodka and a bottle of Xanax. If I was going to fall flat on my face or go bankrupt, it certainly wasn’t going to be because I let myself end up in a position where I could be underpaid or downsized without any warning. “Real” jobs, and the quest to attain one in the first place, didn’t make sense for me–and they especially don’t make sense now in the new, post-recession economy. I found all the arguments that “real” jobs are stable and secure to be ludicrous. After all, how stable and secure is ANYTHING that you don’t control, own or have a real say in? And with ever-growing rises in outsourcing, globalization, on and offline educational institutions, and recessions, I know I absolutely made the right decision and have absolutely no issue telling others they should do the same in order to take control of their lives and financial futures.
Jobs are not going to materialize out of thin air just because politicians say they can make it happen.
The only job that is remotely safe for young people in this new economy is one of their own creation and design that they own and control. However, even though we live in a world of an over abundance of collegiate institutions, enhanced automation, increased globalization, and ever-growing outsourcing options, Gen Y is still being force fed that this age-old “send out resumes to get a job” is still relevant and applicable to today–when the reality is that this notion is anything but the actual reality. Yet there hasn’t been any real action. Just empty promises and words from politicians and pundits. Nor has there been any sort of helping hand to teach Gen Y about the new way forward they must learn in order to stay competitive and effective. This needs to change.