Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tom Waits quote. Explaining about not having a 'normal' job.

If you think you need to follow a prescribed career path, you've missed the train.  The world no longer works like that.

As this blog shifts over to writing with intention about the opportunities for those of us in the second half of life, it is especially relevant that we give up fixed expectations.  We need to go with what we have.  We need to make opportunities out of every hand we've been dealt.

So, a parable from Tom Waits.  Consider this when you are choosing options that don't fit molds that other people want to put you in...

Tom Waits:

My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other dads.  'Why don't you have a straight job like everybody else?' they asked me the other day.

I told them this story:

"In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree.  Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me... I'm straight, and I'm tall, and I'm handsome.  Look at you... You're all crooked and bent over.  No one wants to look at you!  And they grew up in that forest together.  And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.  So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper.  And the crooked tree is still there, growing strong and stranger!"


Today is the 13th anniversary of this Sustainable Work blog.  Growing stronger and stranger.  Thanks to all the great visitors over the years.  I look forward to sharing many more with you all.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Sustainable Work blog anniversary coming up. 13 years and growing!

The thirteenth anniversary of this Sustainable Work blog is coming up this week.

I've been neck deep in startup work for the last year or so.  It's time to catch up with the story and the goals I set up at the start of all this.

This is a moment in history when we need a revolution in entrepreneurial thinking.  Major parts of the conversation about entrepreneurship have been taken over by big money and academics.  There is a place for all that, but it leaves out the thousands of years of history that real people have been motivated to fix a problem, and small enterprises grow out of their solutions.

People can act entrepreneurially within their existing gigs, and we can also begin to plan and launch small community-oriented enterprises to fix the broken stuff all around us.

I'm reposting the original blog post from Sustainable Work below.  Thirteen years this week and I still feel just as passionately about the work that needs to be done.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I'm glad you've found you're way here. Welcome!

I've got this idea that I'd like to start a million more small, sustainable enterprises. However, I'm 50 something and I have a perfectly wonderful 90 hour a week job now. So I'm just going to have to talk about it here in my spare time. Hopefully I can help other people along this path. Can we get to a million new small enterprises? Come on along. Let's try. I look forward to sharing this site with you.

All the best,



You can link to this original piece below: