Mental Breakdown of a Nation

The anti-preneur manifesto

I want to be a curator of myself, an anti-preneur, a person.

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I don’t want to be a designer, a marketer, an illustrator, a brander, a social media consultant, a multi-platform guru, an interface wizard, a writer of copy, a technological assistant, an applicator, an aesthetic king, a notable user, a profit-maximizer, a bottom-line analyzer, a meme generator, a hit tracker, a re-poster, a sponsored blogger, a starred commentator, an online retailer, a viral relayer, a handle, a font or a page. I don’t want to be linked in, tuned in, ‘liked’, incorporated, listed or programmed. 
I don’t want to be a brand, a representative, an ambassador, a bestseller or a chart-topper. I don’t want to be a human resource or part of your human capital.

I don’t want to be an entrepreneur of myself.

Don’t listen to the founders, the employers, the newspapers, the pundits, the editors, the forecasters, the researchers, the branders, the career counselors, the prime minister, the job market, Michel Foucault or your haughty brother in finance – there’s something else!

I want to be a lover, a teacher, a wanderer, an assembler of words, a sculptor of immaterial, a maker of instruments, a Socratic philosopherπ and an erratic muse. I want to be a community center, a piece of art, a wonky cursive script and an old-growth tree! I want to be a disrupter, a creator, an apocalyptic visionary, a master of reconfiguration, 
a hypocritical parent, an illegal download and a choose-your-own-adventure! I want to be a renegade agitator! 
A licker of ice cream! An organizer of mischief! A released charge! A double jump on the trampoline! A wayward youth! A volunteer! A partner.

I want to be a curator of myself, an anti-preneur, a person.

Unlimited availabilities. No followers required. Only friends.

Danielle Leduc

44 comments on the article “The anti-preneur manifesto”

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I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
- Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything


I can relate very closely with this article and agree at the deepest level of my being. The irony of twitter and facebook buttons at the bottom of the post is rather stinging, however.


It could be a song from the 60's. That's a compliment!

I just want to do less, work less, love more, and absorb the clouds, the sky, the sun and life so much more.

Leisure is a virtue. Work is a necessary evil best diminished.

the runs

arbitrarily naming dissatisfaction at large with buzz words for an anti-cap market. i'd just try to make the problem clearer. but, i'm also not the target audience for this.

Danielle Leduc

I can see what you mean, but I actually didn't write this as an 'antri-preneurial manifesto' - it was more of a poetic rant written in frustration from combing through the online job market. I meant it as less of a takedown of capitalism and more of a critique of how we are told to sell ourselves as brands, to self-promote, in order to make it in this world, and as such we allow our job titles to define us to a certain extent. I think all of us are many of the things I listed towards the end, but these things don't appear as marketable skills in a neoliberal economy with a tight and precarious job market. We are not our resumes, is all. But the fun of writing is hearing other interpretations!


Thanks for sharing your poetic rant Danielle. It's as though you got inside my head and shared my thoughts, which tells me that there are many of us who feel this way. There are a growing number of us who have a longing to be valued, appreciated and to be understood as more than a commodity. We can do our best to avoid advertising, to create change, to subvert, to be our authentic self but we can still find that we are cornered into selling ourselves, often for the attributes that we feel matter least. There's an exhilarating, rebelliousness to 'A licker of ice-cream'. An organizer of mischief. A released charge. A double jump on a trampoline' that conveys desire to resist being a human brand beautifully.


I adore this work. It really reminds of the sentiment in Charlotte Cavatica's post "In which I commit professional suicide."

There are so many of us who are feeling this way; we're all in the same mood. Getting a job often means conforming which makes everyone else happy except for you. It also means listening to someone else's voice at the expense of your own. I think what's needed right now is leadership, that doesn't mean doing yesterday's work more efficiently it means inventing a future and being the change itself rather than being afraid of it.

I see signs of that leadership in posts like this and I am grateful for it.


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