A year or so ago, I was driving through Yellowstone National Park with my brother.
Snow had piled up quite high and there was an avalanche warning in effect as long as the sun was up – so all the cars coming into the park had to wait until sunset to pass through.
We parked the car outside the gate and got out of the car to stretch our legs. We had a good amount of time (over an hour) until the sun went down so naturally, we started talking to some of the people in neighboring cars.
One of our chats was with an older couple from the car in front of us.
After the basic formalities, we went back and forth for a bit and somehow the price of the park’s admission came up. They mentioned they got a senior discount rate of $10 for the yearly national park pass. We had just spent $80 on the standard pass fare, so in a joking manner, I said something to the effect of, “Oh, I wish I could get that.”
They responded quickly:
“We worked 50 years for this! We worked too hard for this. I’ve wanted to do this my whole life – you need to wait.”
We chuckled a bit and walked away, but as I did, I got really sad for them.
The national parks are cool…they really are, but there’s no way I’m waiting 50 years just to get $70 off.
I know it was meant as a joke, but there was still part of the conversation with a “we put in ‘our time’ and now we finally get to enjoy life” mentality that simply didn’t resonate with me.
In entrepreneurship, every once in a while you have a realization that you’re different than you were – that you can’t go back to how you once did things.
That conversation made me realize that I can’t go back to how I used to do things when I was living in my parents basement or working at a corporate gig – waiting for things to happen to me–putting in my time and sticking to “the plan” so that it will all finally pay off “some day.”
- I don’t want to wait 50 years to start doing the things I want to do.
- I don’t want to spend the majority of my life making someone else a ton of money.
- I really don’t want to sit around an office for 50 weeks out of the year, just to get 2 weeks of vacation and only use one of them, and only truly travel when I finally retire.
I’d rather live my life now rather than continually put it off over, and over, and over again–even if it means I’m paying $70 more for an annual park pass 🙂