I strive every day to be successful in my career and personal life and make sacrifices to meet each goal that I set for myself. I’d compromise on a lot of luxuries that I enjoy in order to get shit done, but one thing that does not and never has settled well with me is the idea of outsourcing. The concept of hiring people outside of your community, or even your country and paying them a pitiful allowance to do your minutiae doesn’t make me feel good.
I’ve read several books where the authors rave and rant about how every person needs to break free from the socio-economic molds that inhibit us from growth and get out of our 9-5 day jobs where we get paid too little. It’s almost a battle cry for the humanity inside all of us to be unleashed by not being trapped in cramped, soul sucking cubicles anymore.
But, these types of authors also point to the fact that life can be just too hectic even when you’re self employed selling god-knows-what to anyone with disposable income to say, pay your bills, research your next vacation and design and develop your next business venture. No, by achieving the pinnacle of our own socio-economic nirvana, we must outsource all the bullshit that makes us miserable to men and women in developing countries who will work for pennies on our dollar.
My gripe with outsourcing is two-fold; the idea of not worry about certain skills and tasks because they’re below us or not worth our time is dangerous. We’ll wake up some day without the resources to pay someone to do small tasks for us and doing them ourselves will be painful or impossible. Say what you want about the cost of living in the countries that we out-source to, but I still feel like their profiting from our laziness, if they’re profiting at all.
The most beneficial thing for people who would outsource their needs to foreign countries is to have a dependable network of professionals to trade services with or pay while mutually expecting referrals and continued business from one-another. This way your community of businesses is developing rather than shipping its money outside its circle of influence.
Matt Cheuvront from Life Without Pants (http://lifewithoutpants.com) has been raving about this book called “New Day Revolution” http://www.newdayrevolution.com) written by Sam Davidson and Stephen Moseley who are the founders of Cool People Care. The book talks about the inconvenience of change.
I think the concept “the inconvenience of change” is funny and ironic because in my view, change happens regardless of whether we think it is convenient or not. Everything in constantly changing and moving. As a person who takes pride in all the things I’ve learned and experienced, I believe that the more I embrace change the better life can potentially be. Of course, there are no guarantees that life will be good or kind out of my inherent goodness (heh, I know a few who would debate me on that statement), but my perception of the world and of those around me is going to be far more enjoyable if I don’t expect or demand as much and act gratefully for what I receive.
Knowing what I have control over is a powerful thing and letting go of most of the things I don’t have control over is also a big feat that improves my quality of life immeasurably. Being fluid and realistically knowing what I want out of life brings more opportunities to me rather than simply planting my feet and expecting good things to be handed my way because I feel I am entitled for some reason.
When you’re happy with what you’ve got and happy that you’re able to go after what you really feel you need in life, then what’s stopping you? Suddenly you appreciate every moment for the snap-shot of happiness, sadness, excitement or fear that it is and you just move on and experience the next moment to its fullest.
As for this book’s message to do socially and environmentally conscious work? I think it’s just grand! No matter what the scale of work you do for the great good is, it’s still contributing. Sometimes the apathy that results from the general malaise of the media and day to day struggles can take people’s eyes off the greater idea that we’re all basically the same and can learn from each other. Taking the limitations off of who you’re willing to learn from and what you’re willing to do to help another will not only improve the lives and well being of those around you, but it will improve your own life and well being too.
Do a completely independent set of micro-chasms justify themselves as a sub-culture simply because they exist?
I talked with some freelancers that I’ve met through social media, some who are local and some who are national/international and I’ve gotten lots of great tips and advice regarding the career and techniques involved. I like to think that I come up with some fairly interesting and innovative ideas, not all of which are captured in my blog or professional interactions.
But, I question the value of my de-centralized lifestyle. I do not hang out with a group of tech-savvy, social media “gurus” in Worcester, simply because I have no time to get out and spend all my money at bars and restaurants. Instead, I place myself in certain, beneficial situations where I can cherry pick knowledge and offer my services and personality to anyone who can pick up what I’m trying to put down.
Rather than roll around town with the popular kids, talking and joking about pre-approved subjects and topics, I happen to wind up at the same party as them, have a drink, mingle a little and say whatever the hell is on my mind. I can tell, after some time, that there are certain topics and perspectives that are not pre-approved by the group or clique. That’s fine. I’ve never been one to mindlessly dedicate myself to any one group or identity. I do, however, always stick by my loyalties and I value honesty and innovation above most superficial thoughts and trinkets.
Tuning in, but not being hard-wired into a culture or group is probably the best way to move limberly about, benefiting from the perspectives of an involved outsider.
There are groups and ideas in life that are worth fully involving yourself in at some point in life. Health, family, religion (for some) and true love ground a person and can give them a whole new perspective on how they approach problems. But, simply put, keeping an ear and eye to every single post put out there by a guru in your respective field will not necessarily make you a revolutionary thinker.
I honestly believe that most of the greatest innovations and leaps in thought occur in some type of vacuum away from the teeming and ever cyphering status quo.
I enjoyed writing posts at JR’s Not So Literal Logging so much and got a little worried that my attempt to start a business could be hindered by the look and lackadaisical style of writing in it. Not that anything I said was super bad or controversial, but I definitely shouldn’t have put my personal blog information on my business cards (which I did).
So, moving my blog to WordPress is my attempt to keep my fun, hobby-styled writing going rather than giving up on my old interests all together. My business website has a blog post area, but all business posting and no ranting make James Ryan a dull boy.
Put your money up that I’ll keep blogging about sustainability, social issues and the economy as how I see it. I’m hoping this won’t be your typical blog. Rest assured, if there’s a rule book for how writing and community engagement is conducted, I’ll follow it… not so literally.