Everyone knows that part of the reason the Super Bowl is so popular is because of the commercials that air during the big game. And while this year’s offering certainly served up plenty of laughs and “awe moments,’ there’s one commercial I’d like to specifically focus on—and it’s about a lady named Gwen.
The commercial started with actor John Turturro walking into a house as he said, “Let’s talk about dreams and the people who choose to pursue them.” He then introduces Gwen, a machine engineer (of 18 years) from New York who is currently pursuing her dreams.
As Turturro sits next to Gwen, he tells the viewers that she has a message for her boss, Ted.
“I quit,” Gwen says via a Muppet she’s holding. And the interesting part about this ad, besides that fact that it was very different from a typical Super Bowl commercial, was that it was real.
That night, Gwen really did quit her job in front of the 100+ million viewers of the Super Bowl. Talk about going out with a bang!
Gwen later appeared on the “Today Show” and explained that her boss’ response was epic, as he laughed and told her he thought the commercial was great.
So, after seeing this, I checked out Gwen’s website, which like her Super Bowl ad, is sponsored by GoDaddy. On the site, Gwen writes, “I traded my job for my dream, bridging the gap from engineer to puppeteer.”
She traded her job for her dream. This is interesting. Gwen now does shows with her Muppets for a living. And the fact that she was able to promote her new business to a Super Bowl sized audience should only make her endeavors that much more successful.
Seeing this commercial made me think of how it seems to be a new trend for people to publicly quit their jobs to follow their passions.
Remember Marina Shifrin? The girl who quit her job by making a dance video while in the office? She quit her job via YouTube (which immediately went viral) because she wanted to do what she was passionate about.
Although I’m not sure what Shifrin has chosen to do now, it does seem like many Americans are making the decision to pursue their passions and go into business for themselves. In fact, according to Forbes.com, Babson and Baruch Colleges reported that adults involved in startups in 2012 increased to 13 percent–which is a record high since Babson began tracking the nation’s entrepreneurship rates in 1999.
And Ernst & Young’s annual survey revealed that the U.S. was ranked as having “the top environment for entrepreneurs among the world’s 20 largest economies.” It scored well for having the best access to funding, the best entrepreneurship culture and best education and training environment.
And this recent trend will only continue as more and more millennials, the future of America’s workforce, opt for startups and becoming entrepreneurs over Corporate America. A study by Millennial Branding and oDesk found that a whopping 71 percent of millennials who worked at “regular” jobs said they would prefer to quit their current job to work for themselves, while 60 percent of those millennials said they plan to do so in the next two years.
And the infographic, “Economic Envy: Millennial Entrepreneurship Ascending,” by Rasmussen College, there are key reasons millennials are choosing to become their own bosses versus typical jobs. Some include:
- Freedom (69%)
- Ability to choose projects (66%)
- Unlimited Income Potential (63%)
- Control over their own work (62%)
Gwen and her “I quit” Muppet-style commercial was a unique way to resign to follow one’s passion, but I’m sure actions like hers won’t be the last. But even though this new trend of publicly (and humorously) quitting your job may be “in” right now, is entrepreneurship really the right way to go?