HOW TO BE AN APPREPRENEUR, OR RESOLVING THE CRISIS OF CREATIVITY IN THE 9-5 DESK JOB: by Adam Mieuli - Jul 17, 2013
What do you do when you get home from work? Most of my friends eat dinner, and then melt into the couch, eyes glued to the TV for the next 4–5 hours. Sure, you’ve had a long day; you “deserve” to relax. But I think this is the wrong way of thinking. You really deserve to do something for your self.
This way of thinking revolves around the saying, “Work a job that achieves your own dreams instead of working to achieve someone else’s.” I’m not saying quit your job and start your own dream business—although you could. I love the company I work for—and I’m not just saying that because I’m writing this post for them. But I’m sure there are other activities, ventures, projects, etc., you’d love to work on, but simply “can’t find the time to do it.”
Consider this though: If you put all your energy into your 9–5 job, and don’t do anything else outside of it, that job becomes your life and dominates your emotions. You can feel creatively stifled, having put your entire creative mind into your day job. Maybe that’s why you feel you need a break when you come home, because you don’t have anything else to look forward to working on, nothing else motivating you. So you’ve become emotionally consumed and look for something to do that involves doing nothing but staring, breathing, and sitting—TV time!
If you spread yourself out into multiple ventures, when something goes bad in one department—you get chewed out at work for not popping the daily company popcorn right at 3:00—you have the other projects to keep you emotionally balanced. These projects can be getting your body into shape, meeting new people, painting, photography, making music, cheese, beer—really, whatever floats your boat.
Right now I have several projects I’m spreading myself out on: building a spec ad copywriting portfolio (although this technically is part of my 9–5 job), writing two short films, a few photography shoots in the works, planning production on a YouTube series, traveling, going out with friends, and various art and design projects. I just finished building a headboard for my bed! There’s always something I can work on, post work. But chief among these is an iOS app a friend, Aloysius Reyes, and I have been working on for Apple since, well, let’s just say a while.
We had no experience creating apps, no programming background, and not a lot of expendable cash. But we chose to be brave and venture into the unknown, reaping the rewards that starting a business and creating an app would afford us.
We’ve started a company known as The London Gentlemen; conceptualized an idea, hired graphic designers, and finalized the artwork; interviewed programmers in China, Europe, South America, the United States, and hired a team in India—that’s right, The London Gentlemen is a global company—hired a lawyer; and composed a soundtrack. It’s been both challenging and fun, filled with letdowns and hoorays.
So where are we now? Where has all this work towards a job that achieves my own dreams gotten me? Straight through the app approval process and on to app glory. Today, I officially have an app in the app store with nearly 1,000 downloads just over one week into its launch. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
Is the app everything I want it to be? Am I finished working on it, and will I never touch it again? Am I 100% satisfied? No. But that’s what this is all about, continually learning, working, and striving to do something to get me closer to fulfilling my life’s dreams and ambitions rather than sitting around and being complacent.
I could have just come home all these past weeks and zoned out, thinking I deserved a break from a long nine-hour day at the office. But instead, I thought to myself, “Hey, I still have at least five hours before I need to go to bed. What can I work on?” Maybe this doesn’t seem all that brave of an idea but, truthfully, working hard and making things happen, especially if it’s outside your realm of current experience and knowledge, is brave.
Now I am able to say I’ve started my own business, hired workers internationally, created advertising for a real product, and successfully launched that product into the world. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be the next Angry Birds. But truthfully, it doesn’t matter if we are or if we even make a cent from this. What matters is that we bravely took advantage of our creativity and ventured into an unknown enterprise to do something with our time.
Be brave. Create something.
Our app, Party Cats, a fun game for all ages, is currently available in the Apple App Store for your iOS device. Download it right meow!