Don’t wait for someone to pick you

I started volunteering in a local nursing home when I was 12 years old. I had barely stepped foot inside a nursing home before. And yet somehow I understood that the residents and staff needed my help.

By the time I was 16, I launched a youth-led home care company called The Senioritas. Companionship, cooking, grocery shopping and setting perms were popular requests. But I’ll never forget providing overnight respite care for a few elderly clients who were dying at home.

As a teenager, I had no authority to be doing that kind of work. But I saw it as an opportunity to take responsibility and help people in need.

What I learned from these early experiences was that I could make a difference by simply picking myself. I didn’t have to wait for someone to tell me what to do. I could decide.

It’s been seventeen years since my first taste of entrepreneurship and I’m finally realizing that the days of having a steady job, a job where you can just show up and do what your told, are over.

Thanks to the Internet and it’s marvellous tools, every single market is in chaos.

How we shop, where we eat, how we listen to music, where we access health care, how we travel, how we connect, how we work, and where we learn – it’s all changing. 

Technology is replacing the middlemen jobs faster than we realize. And it’s happening in health care too.

It makes no sense anymore to stick with a job you don’t like, to get paid to change who you are when there’s so much opportunity available to you.

Why bother applying to graduate or medical school and hope to be picked out of thousands of people, if all you want to do is learn how to help people?

If you want to start your own health care company, go ahead.

If you want to create a service, build it.

If you want to write a book, publish it yourself.

If you want to teach, you can teach.

If you want to improve health care, organize a group of people who want the same thing.

If you have a computer and access to the Internet, you own the means to learn and produce anything you want.

We don’t need directors, bosses, employers, managers, or publishers to make a living any more. Now is the easiest time in the history of humankind to go directly to the people you wish to serve.

Figure out what you love doing, what you’re good at and what the world needs – and go do that. There are so many problems that need fixing.

But first, pick yourself.