He (Hunter S. Thompson) often wrote about something he called “The Fear” which became nearly its own character in his work on many occasions. Masked as paranoia from substance abuse, “The Fear” seems to be much more than that. It is a crippling condition, for a writer especially. What happens to us when we can’t write? How many of us worry that, no matter how hard we work, we won’t “make it?” This effect is compounded especially by those who believe in us. Failure means we let them down as well.
This got me thinking about The Fear in my life. It has only taken me about 27 years of life to come to the realization that I would ultimately like to work in the golf industry, but I am not sure in what capacity.
To give you an idea of the internal monologue that I take part in almost daily, I'm going to borrow a portion of my coworkers blog post (hey, imitation is the finest form of flattery, right?).
What do you want to be when your wife finishes law school? A golfer. But how will you make money? I want to own a small business in the golf industry. Tell me more. I want to have a club-making business. Isn't that a niche market? How many people buy custom fitted/built clubs? I'm pretty sure, not many. But what if I was a traveling club builder and traveled to the golfers instead of them coming to me? Is that a feasible business plan? Probably not. I've found very few in my online research. You could be a golf pro/teacher. Sure, that is a possiblility, but to be certified I'd have to go back to school, and the only program of the sort in Colorado (where the wife and I would like to live after law school) is in Colorado Springs and is a 5 year masters program. Plus, there is the hurdle of getting my handicap low enough to even get into the program. And do we want to saddle ourselves with more student loan debt? Why not work for one of the big chains, like Dick's Sporting Goods or Golfsmith? Maybe, but will it fulfill my inner desires? It would get your foot in the door of the industry? Mmm, okay, that sounds like a good compromise. But I'd probably start out at about minimum wage, as a 30-year-old, while my wife kickstarts her law career. Do I really want to restart our lives like this? You could work at a golf course. Sure, but I don't have any real training for that. I'm not very mechanically minded and have no knowledge of the inner workings of golf course management, so I doubt I could be a part of the grounds crew. How about working in the pro-shop? But I'm not a pro, so I'd probably have to go the school route for this one, and the pay would be similar to working at a large sporting goods company, with an equally large portion of the public vying for very few openings. You could always play the lottery, win a huge jackpot, and buy your own course. EUREKA!!!!
So, my options pretty much boil down to three categories: go back to school for 5 years, rack up more debt, and hope for the best; start at the bottom of the food chain with a large sporting goods company and try to climb the corporate ladder; and/or start my own small business that has a statistical probability of failure. And the wild card option would be the lottery route.
So.........the score is currently "The Fear": 1, Eric: 0.