Defending the HustleYou go to a strip bar and talk to the strippers. Every one of them is just passing through on their way to a better place. It’s a cliche.

And maybe it’s easy to cop an attitude of superiority because no matter how bad your own life is going they will feign an interest in you.  They’re easy. “Yeah, right, she’s going to school to be an attorney.” But, look around. Everybody’s got some dream that in their more exposed moments they might share with you. And strippers are just exposed to the naive observer, opened up, naked, but they’re actually safe behind a mask, under the unnatural light, late at night, maybe in a different town, safe behind a stage name.

And who are you, just another chump with a little money that they have their sites on. What’s it to them if they tell you a dream they might have? But should it be surprising that they’re no different than any of us. They have a dream. We all wear our mask and light up when someone shows an interest in who we are really – or who we’d like to be.

When I was just a kid I read an interview with the biggest rockstar ever, who explained his luck at landing at the top: “Good luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”  In other words, he was saying, if everyday you put your investment in the First National Bank of You, you will eventually be given an opportunity to cash in.

Conversely, if you don’t take those classes, or put that money away, or begin and finish writing that book and then start on the next one, etc… the opportunities will not materialize for you. You have to take the first step and march the parade and love it all the way to the end. Then you have to pick your instrument up and play it all the way home. Play it with your windows open while you’re cooking dinner. Play it first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night. You have to dream dreams about how to hit high notes that you couldn’t even imagine while awake, then wake up, pick up the horn and practice what you dreamed about.

Selling Out, Buying In

But, what about the whoring out that you do to make ends meet? Wow, while I was driving to work the morning to one of the nation’s biggest utilities, when I was walking the overly-air-conditioned halls looking at all the button-down walking corpses, while sitting in my uncomfortable chair under harsh florescent lights overhearing phone conversations of regret that life wasn’t turning out different, all this time I never let myself get comfortable.

Don’t be confused. I did my job and did it better than was expected of me. You gotta be a good actor. You gotta be a good whore while you’re turning tricks be they corporate or otherwise. And there’s nothing wrong with a  good whore. When you want a burger you want it cooked by and handed to you by someone who manages to  retain their dignity while still thoroughly serving you. Opportunity can tell if you’re not committed and don’t have a good work ethic. My corporate boss was a burned out corporate whore. She did less than should have been expected by her superiors who were themselves so burned out that they didn’t even notice. But she didn’t like my eagerness to do more. I get a feeling that’s why I got 86’d. The strippers who manage to genuinely have a good time, who refuse to get pulled down into the mire, get talked about backstage.

It was a contract gig. Good pay, no commitments from anyone. And now, I’m free of the cubicle that I called my kennel. It was like a little cage where I was supposed to be between the hours of 8 and 4:30. Shit, I always knew I was free-range. I always hated the feeling of stepping inside after the walk in from the farthest spot in the parking lot. Always felt my body coming alive under the sun when I stepped outside at the end of the day.

And, guess what, the money I saved is waiting in the Bank of Me.  I’ll have to watch my pennies as I step out into the life I’ve been dreaming about since long before I even started A DAY ON – since I first felt my confinement… back in grade school. But, for the first time, I feel like I’m setting the course.

Those little daily trips to the Bank of Me are the essence of what A DAY ON is. So, when whoring be a good whore. Be in the moment always. Good luck is the place where preparation meets opportunity. You might think that you have no control over opportunity but preparation means you’re always in the right place.

Today begins the paradigm shift to where all I’ve invested begins to enable me to live A DAY ON. I’ll keep you posted.