Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:00

Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs Defends Freelancing

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Mike Rowe is well known for his series ´Dirty Jobs´ where he travelled around  the US doing some of the dirtiest jobs around.  What started as a regular media opportunity has evolved into a mission for Mike Rowe who has discovered a huge skills gap with lots of traditional jobs available and no-one to fill them. As a result of Dirty Jobs, Mike went on to launch several websites to help people get back to work and challenge the idea that the school-university-job route is the only path to success.
The first 15 minutes of the interview talk about freelancers and entrepreneurs and he has some interesting things to say about freelancing:
  • For a long time people looked at freelancing as what you did if you couldn´t get a job, but as an expression, you know where freelance came from? The word? It´s actually an old medieval term, and it was applied to knights who were skilled in their trade but served no Lord and they were free lancers. 
  • The way you choose to approach your vocation is 100% a choice. Obviously there is inertia from what your parents did, the other people in your family, your friends. You take your cues from stuff that is around you...
  • There are enough examples of both (freelancers and entrepeneurs) for people to say "Do I have that entreprenuerial gene? Do I have that freelance gene? Am I going to be more comfortable with certainty or security?"
  • Part of the grown up conversation is this idea that security still exists in the workforce the way it always has. I think it´s pretty clear it doesn´t. 
  • I think alot of people are realising they were always a freelancer, they just didn´t own the identity.
  • I´ve always thought certainty was overrated. It´s critical, but the idea that you fall so in love with certainty that you start making all your decisions based on a known or quantiable outcome, that´s a suckers bet. The truth is, if your life is filled with certainty you´re going to be bored.
  • In the same way, if your life is filled with uncertainty you are going to be a nervous wreck.  Most people, if they really step back and think about it, I think will agree, you need equal parts of certainty and uncertainty.
  • You need uncertainty, which is just variety, and you need certainty, which is just security.
  • I don´t  think there is a one-size fits all solution.  I think everyone has got to try and figure it out for themselves, and that means getting bumped around a little bit.
  • I joked about that (passion) with a pig farmer back in 2004 and he said "The thing about passion is, you gotta have it, but only a moron would follow it. Bring your passion with you in all things, but never, ever follow it."
  • At least half the people we featured own their own business, they were entrepreneurs, they were inventors, they were very, very much outside of the box. They were just covered in crap, or something worse. It´s interesting that people don´t equate success visually with that particular image.  
  • When I think of all the plumbers I´ve worked with on the show, all of whom were very successful, they all say the same thing. It wasn´t their life´s dream to be a plumber..... what they did, they got to a point in their life where it was time to make money and they looked around at where everyone else was going and they just went the other way. 
  • First they identified the opportunity, then they got good at it, then they figured out a way to love it.

Find out what Mike Rowe is doing at and

Read 1894 times Last modified on Monday, 14 April 2014 17:55