A Playlist for Self-Employed Folks

               I’m a serial entrepreneur. It’s in my blood. There’s a long line of entrepreneurs in my family. Even when they were spending time working for ‘the man’ they were also busy working overtime on their own ventures. My dad has started several companies, the most successful of which is still going strong at 24 years. My uncle Lucky Powers started several companies. My grandfather did the same, starting many small ventures over the years. Among my scattered family relations are trailer parks, mechanical hoist factories, realtors, contractors, accountants, candy shop owners, and even more.

                I don’t know what exactly it is that urged us to start our own businesses, but we did, over and over. A lot of it is equal parts a desire to chart our own paths mixed with the need to be our own boss. As my good friend Mark Priganc says, “Fire your boss.” Right now, even as I write this article, I’m listening to a recording of a class from self-employment guru Kevin Miller’s venture known as Free Agent Academy. He’s the son of best-selling author Dan Miller, who wrote 48 Days to the Work You Love. The self-employed bug bit their family hard as well.

                I listen to a lot of music in great varieties from gangster rap to classical Mozart. I use music to set a mood when I’m working, working out, or not working at all. In the spirit of both music and self-employment I put the word out to the Free Agent members and my Facebook friends. I wanted to create a Self-Employed Playlist, a list of songs that you can listen to for the mood you need to either start your own venture or keep trucking on the one you have. I hope you like the list. It’s in no particular order and the notes after the entries are mine. If you have any to add, feel free to send them in to me.


Not Afraid by Eminem. (Do what you feel called to stand for.)

Working for a Living  by Huey Lewis and the News. (Some of these songs remind us of what we don't want.)

My Way by Frank Sinatra. (This one was played at my grandpa’s funeral.)

Back On The Dole by King Kurt
Money by Pink Floyd

Learning to Fly by Tom Petty

Billionaire by Travie McCoy with Bruno Mars. (What would you do with it?)

Career Opportunities by The Clash

Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves by Aretha Franklin and The Eurythmics

Get Rich or Die Trying by 50 Cent. (What dream are you willing to die for?)

Working Class Hero by John Lennon

Rich Girl by Gwen Stefani

99 Problems by Jay Z. (Watch out for the unedited version.)

Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) by Bill Conti

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Living in America by James Brown

Find You A Job by Eddy Clearwater

Take This Job and Shove It by Johnny Paycheck or David Allan Coe (depending on which one you like better)

Working for the Weekend by Loverboy

Money for Nothing by Dire Straights

Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. (This one is how all of feel at times.)

Taking Care of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

On the Road Again by Willie Nelson. (The open road has long been a metaphor for making your own way.)

Working in a Coal Mine by Devo

Welfare Line by The Highwaymen
Down And Out In Paradise by John Mellencamp

Unemployable by Pearl Jam

Skills to Pay the Bills by the Beastie Boys

She Works Hard for the Money! by Donna Summer
9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC
The River by Garth Brooks
Whipping Post by The Allman Bros

Crazy by SEAL

Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Pork & Beans by Weezer


3 thoughts on “A Playlist for Self-Employed Folks

  1. Great post David…I dig it. And calling me a guru…I’m blushing. My brother is self-employed, other than that amongst all my family I don’t know there were many others before my Dad, other than farming. Which in all honesty…I think is pretty darn honorable. My vocational calling is writing and communicating, but I could make a go of manual labor in the right setting. I’ll have to check out a few of the songs you listed. A recent one I’m digging that fits is Tyrone Wells “More”

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