Twenty-eight year old Elizabeth Anne LeGear from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada found herself in a soul-crushing nine-to-five accounting position in the banking and financing industry. This was, nonetheless, her targeted career, of which she worked hard at receiving a degree. Like many, Elizabeth considered her work a job, but not a description of the person she wanted to be. The thought of roughing it out until retirement was disheartening. She thought there had to be a better way of using her time creatively and productively. That was, though, not her only problem. Her handbag was filled with make-up, ID, credit cards, cell phones, and many other things most women need to function outside of the home. It felt weighty and burdensome.
On weekends, when she went out to the clubs to unwind from her mundane work week, she had to empty out the contents of her purse before she was allowed into the establishment. Inside the club, when she wanted to groove with the tunes, she then had the annoying task of carrying her handbag onto the dance floor or imposing on a friend, to be a watchdog. Elizabeth decided that the best thing to do was to leave her purse at home. Lucky for her, she liked wearing boots. So, she shoved her credit cards, ID, make-up and cell phone into the side of her boot, and the next time she went out she bypassed the drudgery of security and the cumbersome task of dragging the handbag around all night.
One may find Elizabeth’s handbag dilemma, not as dramatic as she may have experienced it. But, the truth of the matter is that she, like many, desired to rid the shackles of a nine-to-five. She wanted to be free to grow. She wanted to manifest unique dreams. She wanted to make her life meaningful. For Elizabeth, this meant stepping into the spirit of entrepreneurship. What if her boots could serve more than one function? What if her boots and handbag were no longer two things, but one? Perhaps a purse in a boot? Why not? Many great inventions came out of necessity. As the prominent American architect Louis Sullivan once wrote, “It is my belief that it is of the very essence of every problem that it contains and suggests its own solution.”
While trying to solve the problem of job discontent and her handbag dilemma, Elizabeth was inspired by the wisdom of Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Workweek.
Fear, a person’s best friend, is what Ferriss believes should be applied to big dreams. He warns that wage slavery should be avoided at all cost. The trick is to break away from the conventional assumptions, find a better way to seize the opportunities that others do not. He promotes working less and living more.
This principle worked for him, a Princeton Graduate whose salary increased by one hundred percent.
For Elizabeth, this meant quitting her job and investing $20,000 to design an attractive boot whose interior would take the place of a purse. A gamble for her, but one Elizabeth felt had the potential of producing an ideal lifestyle. Of course, she would have to reconcile with the conventional assumptions of a 40 plus hour work-week and the security of a steady paycheck. But—taking the weight of her handbag off her shoulders, and living a life of which she has tailored was worth the exchange.