Incarcerated In Plain Sight But Never Free – Bill Nicholson

According to a 2021 study, 75 percent of respondents said they feel stuck professionally. Stuck is defined as being firmly positioned. Jail or prison is stuck.

Bill Nicholson is a thought leading entrepreneur from just outside San Francisco in the US. Bill is a solution focused expert in his field and sees thing many do not. When we talked to Bill, he had the following to say.

‘It’s no wonder I always felt working for companies was akin to being in jail.

For over four decades, I worked for fifteen different companies changing jobs for the next opportunity. Departing with no animosity towards the companies I left.

I grew up 40 miles outside of San Francisco in a small industrial town in the United States with a goal to one day become a businessman. My folks migrated from the South to California. Neither completed high school. We weren’t indigent, but we weren’t exactly wealthy either. My parents were kind and considerate yet could offer little guidance to the ambitious child I was.

I trusted my curiosity, gut feeling, and desire to guide me as I worked my way through college.

I spent two years at my first job in a manufacturing plant’s mailroom. Everyone entered through a guarded gate and had to bring their lunch. This was my first encounter with feeling imprisoned.

It was a glimpse into other companies I would later work for. Each a duplicate of the other. At each company, I felt trapped.

While others faithfully stayed for the retirement benefits, I abscond to that trend, my goal was straightforward: I wanted to be next in line for opportunities. If not just move on.

I had greater expectations and always thought that everything would change once I reached the managerial level. Over the years I began to advance finally as a Vice President. I nevertheless still felt constricted, but this time it was worse and more unpleasant.

Politics at work proved to be the cause. I reasoned that this wasn’t a big problem because I’d just learn the game. However, it wasn’t just any old game. It was business and politics.

I quickly discovered that regardless of your job position, you are not permitted to participate in this elite game unless entitled. “If I’m not entitled to play, I’ll just retreat from it”, I reasoned.

I rapidly recognized that politics has no retreats, boundaries, or sidelines and that politics was what was “next.”

In the late 1900s American rapper, Ice-T released the song “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Meaning the frustrations with a system or activity should be blamed on its weaknesses, rather than on the individuals who operate within it.

I eventually grew tired of waiting to be next. I needed a ‘get out of jail card’! My ‘get out of jail card’ was something that was always within me. At heart, I have always been an entrepreneur. I simply had to honor it. Unlike others, way more astute and courageous than I am. I was masking it with traditional workforce ambitions. I was next, not ever first. I advise you that entrepreneurship is a spirit within and your get-out-of-jail card. Embrace it and get unstuck. Don’t be next. Be first.”

You can connect with Bill here