What you produce, be it a product or a service, is from you and represents you. Make it count! So many of us work for others without considering if we are producing things that we are proud of and that we can enthusiastically claim ownership of.
Before you have the means to be an entrepreneur, be creative in any way you can. Contribute as much of your own, unique mind to your work environment as is possible. Take ownership (and responsibility). And here’s a shocker: exploit your employer. That’s right! If you are going to work for somebody else, make the experience your own. There is no reason that just because you are working in a company that you do not own, that you do not have to own your labor. Consider yourself a consultant, sought out for your unique skills and contributions (if you don’t feel this way, then make this a priority). You should be able to confidently market yourself and be proud of yourself in the process (check out this amazing story about marketing yourself). The more confident you are in your skills (again, acquiring skills to be proud of should come first), the more you will feel like you are the owner of your labor.
So why is it important to own your labor? Because, as the above article about exploitation states, you should always feel like you have skills that will help you to survive outside of your place of employment. Especially in today’s ever-changing economy, the notion of a “safe” career just doesn’t exist anymore. You must be on your toes more than ever. If you start taking ownership of your work and if you are proud of what you produce, you are simply better prepared than most people out there to survive if you ever fall overboard the corporate ship. Plus, the feeling that you survived by yourself in rough waters is unrivaled.