I know it is a little odd, but as a youngster I had a fantasy of being a Gentleman’s Gentleman. Of serving and helping a great man, well, be great.

Maybe this fantasy wasn’t so odd. After all, who wants the burden of being great themselves? Isn’t it better, safer and easier to bask in the reflected sunlight of the Great Man?

You bet it is. It is the choice of many, if not most.

After college I had a series of jobs. I worked for a bank, in an insurance agency, as a staff appraiser and as a tax assessor. To varying degrees I ended up unsettled and unhappy in each of these jobs because I never felt that I got paid what I was worth.

On some unconscious level I was carrying out my fantasy, playing the Gentleman’s Gentleman. Letting others take the lead and all the risk while I hid in the background, expecting reward for repetitive work and some modest contribution.

I learned that it does not work that way.

If I expected compensation equal to my value I had to go out on that thinnest of limbs and take all the risk, create all the value. No hiding. No repetitive work. No salary. No guarantees.

Was it worth it? I don’t know, I have no way to compare.

Because now I am utterly unemployable.