The Mercantile Ethic: Changing your Attitude Towards Work

I am in the process of reviewing and ‘re-reading’ some of the books that I have read before. I am not much of a reader, to tell you honestly. The books that I love reading are those that give tips for entrepreneurs, personal finance management books, entrepreneur/start-up guides and branding books.

My collection in my IPAD :)

My collection in my IPAD 🙂

One of the books that I am reading now is Stephen M. Pollan’s Die Broke released in 1997. And in the first few pages of the book, specifically in page 23, he discusses the change of attitude towards work based on socioeconomic patterns. He suggests that we adopt what he calls the Mercantile Ethic.

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Most of us are defined by our work. I remember the time when I was still working for a corporation as an employee. I would obviously be proud that I was a product manager in one of the stable banks in the Philippines. In each seminar or event that I would go to (even if it wasn’t related to work), I would introduce myself as a banker. And in my day-to-day job, I would think of what’s best for the company even if it meant going home really late at night or sacrificing weekends just to finish a presentation or even skipping meals just to meet deadlines.

Now, what Stephen Pollan says is that in this day and age, their is no such thing as corporate loyalty. This is a reality that we all have to face. He suggests that we try ‘quitting in our minds’ today. What does quitting in our minds today mean? We need to start thinking of ourselves, too. This is one of the tips for entrepreneurs that I believe in.

Why did I bring this up? A lot of people ask me, how did you make the jump from the corporate world to become a momtrepreneur. It wasn’t an overnight thing, believe me. You don’t just wake up and resign and then viola! You start your own business. It will take a lot of thinking, self-control, decision making, analysis, reflection, self motivation and will power.

In January 2012, I already probably (in Pollan’s terms) quit in my mind. I knew that I wanted to have a baby already, so I was taking steps to start my own business and create extra income — income that would eventually take the place of my monthly pay. I was ‘intentionally’ steering towards that direction of being a work-at-home-mom. Being a workaholic, it wasn’t easy. I was still working late and working during weekends, but time management was a strength of mine. What I did was I created a schedule that would allow me to work on the things that I wanted to do in the future while still working for my employer. I was still doing a great job at work, mind you, but I was INTENTIONALLY thinking of my own bottom-line, too. Do your job exceptionally well during work hours and then go home and do what you love.

Weekends and evenings should be all about you. No working… stop yourself! And there are no such thing as dues to be paid to your company for providing you pay and benefits. This was one thing I had to learn. I’m a nice gal and at the back of my mind, I always think that I have dues to pay to other people for things that I should actually be expecting and getting. Your pay is the ‘pay’ment for the job that you do well. You don’t owe your employer anything, in fact, for those days that you needed to work more than the required time, they should have paid you more. I know it’s easy to say, but difficult to absorb.

Changing your attitude towards work will definitely be the first step if you are still working and thinking of becoming a work-at-home-mom or a momtrepreneur. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it can be done.

2 Comments

  1. joy tanag
    January 16, 2013 / 9:01 am

    AMEN ms ginger! i like your statement – ” DO YOUR JOB EXCEPTIONALLY WELL DURING WORK HOURS AND THEN GO HOME AND DO WHAT YOU LOVE”

    • January 16, 2013 / 9:02 am

      Thanks, Joy! 🙂 My first tweetable! 🙂 hehe!

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