Stop Grinding! How to escape the 9–5 and actually make more money doing it.
If you’re currently working for someone else and grinding away at a typical 9–5, 40 hour workweek job this article is for you.
In this article you’ll learn the following:
- The origins of the 40 hour workweek
- The financial pitfalls of having a 9–5
- How anybody can escape this grind and make more money doing so
- Important mental perspectives you need to change in order to realize your full potential
- The math behind passive financial freedom
Do you know about the origins of the 40 hour workweek?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, If you’re reading this you’re currently part of the system we describe as the 9–5 working class. Or at least have been subject to this way of working at some point in your life.
So you understand that most people are working at least 40 hours a week grinding it away at someone else’s direction. You’re probably familiar with the feeling of working for the weekend. As soon as Friday kicks in, you’re giddy with excitement at all the stuff you get to do over the weekend.
Realistically, you’re not actually doing anything remarkable with your weekend, because one of the days is usually spent, relaxing, winding down and getting chores and errands done that you didn’t have the energy to do throughout the week.
It’s the most common system of working globally.
In fact, based on data collected by Gallup in 2013 and 2014. A whopping 92% of Full -time employed Americans work 40 hours or more a week. It gets even scarier, 18% of those people actually work more than 60 hours a week!
With such a large percentage of the population accepting this reality like it’s the only way of doing things, there is a surprising amount of people that don’t understand the origins of this dated system and why we actually work 40 hours a week.
So let’s take a look at the origins of the 40 hour workweek.
The 8 hour work day was first proposed by a socialist labor organizer in the UK named Robert Owen in 1810.
During that period it was very common for laborers to work 12 to 14 hours shifts, 6 to 7 days a week (imagine living through that?!).
This was not taken up right away, but eventually, through petitions and much struggle the 40 hour workweek was gradually adopted throughout the industrialized world in the 1800's.
If you look deeper into the history books, you’ll see that it was not an easy battle to get the 40 hour work week instated. There were many protests and even violence and death!
Despite this, it would take roughly another 100 years before this was officially recognized in the United States. In 1916 President Wilson granted an 8 hour day for railroad workers as a concession to prevent a strike and shutdown of the country’s railroad system.
The last straw came along when Henry Ford made the 8 hour work day mainstream, ever since then, we’ve accepted this as the norm and have gone on for another 100 years to perpetuate the current system of working 8 hours per day.
But why 8 hours?
The 8 hour workweek’s reasoning was that workers would enjoy an even split of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of Recreation and 8 hours of rest. Sounds like a great plan on paper, as most things are.
In reality, researchers are finding all sorts of problems with this system that actually affects productivity and overall happiness in billions of people.
Let’s be honest, how many hours in a day do you actually feel productive and how many hours are spent trolling through BuzzFeed and reading articles like “10 ways to know your dog is a Gemini” and checking Facebook Updates? I’m going to say that you’re spending at least a cumulative 2 hours a day not doing work!
So if you’re not getting the most out of your work time, how about your precious 8 hours of recreation?
Most of you aren’t spending 8 hours a day enjoying the finer things in life either, unless you consider traffic a source of your bliss.
Take into account commute time to and fro, getting ready in the morning and doing chores at the end of the day. Regardless of what you do in your “8 hours of recreation” I’m sure most of us can agree that we aren’t getting the full value out of the allocated hours.
Finally, 8 hours of rest. Let’s be real, unless you’ve trained yourself with good habits in your younger years, you probably aren’t getting 8 hours of sleep every night. Most of you are running off 6 hours or less! This all feeds back into a vicious cycle of being less productive, not enjoying your recreation and getting less sleep.
I hope you can start to see how this can effect your everyday wellbeing and overall happiness in life!
So now we know that the 8 hour work day isn’t ideal, what are some other interesting revelations about this current structure of work.
The financial fallacy of the 40 hour work week
I started working full-time at an advertising company in 2010, in Melbourne, Australia. This was my first proper exposure to the 40 hour workweek. Fresh out of Uni, I had worked as a freelance graphics and web designer while I wasn’t studying.
We sold advertising panels in the interiors or trains. Most of you might not even realize what i’m talking about. I wouldn’t blame you, most people, given the choice of a pushy ad on the train and the endless loop of entertainment on your smartphone would choose Facebook and Candy Crush over “Eat at your local Indian Restaurant!” plastered all over the walls of a train.
My role was a “Business Development Manager” — which is a gloried title for a Sales Rep. I had to call up hundreds of business a day and sell them advertising packages at $3000 a pop. Not cheap. In return, I received a decent salary of $21 an hour and a 5% commission on all my sales.
It sounded like an amazing opportunity at the time, especially when I had just gotten out of uni studying commercial law.
I needed the money to fund all the parties I would go to, the expensive dinners and games I wanted to play. Life was good initially and the proposition of a monthly income and a nice bonus on commission drew me in.
9–5 didn’t seem too bad!
Ever since I turned 12, my dream was always to create a life of financial independence, to pursue things in life that fulfilled me, to experience life at my own pace and to support my lifestyle, my family and the people I love.
As the weeks turned into months of working at this company, I soon found my interest draining. I wasn’t motivated to get up in the morning to go to work 5 days a week only to enjoy my 2 measly weekend days with my family and friends.
Things turned into a massive grind. I wasn’t fulfilled, it turned into drudge work and I started to get more and more excited about rushing through the week to get to the weekend (not a good way to live). Sure I had just enough money to cover my cost of living, but I wasn’t making progress towards my dream of becoming financially independent, and no, working 40 hours a week is not my definition of any sort of “freedom”.
On top of this, I couldn’t imagine a path where I could reach my goal and increase my salary from $21 an hour to $500 or even $1000 an hour without doubling or tripling my work hours (this is not possible, and should not be attempted) or having to grind out this path for another 20–30 years.
Being an ambitious young man, my dream was to create such financial abundance in my life that I wouldn’t have to work another day in my life, enjoy traveling the world and to experience everything this wonderful world could offer me. Not when I turned 65 and didn’t have the energy to enjoy these pleasures, but when I was young and active.
One thing was clear, this was not the path that would lead me there. My company only wanted me for the man hours I could put in and didn’t care about me becoming the financially independent superstar I had envisioned in my head. I had to think differently. There had to be a better way.
I saw my friends in the same situation, only living month to month, blinded by the short, temporary satisfaction of their weekend or the latest episode of House of Cards. Oblivious to the fact that when they reach the ripe healthy age of retirement, 65, they weren’t going to have enough money to enjoy their lives or even worse, survive with a decent standard of living.
Given that income has barely increased in the middle class since 1960s and the rise of consumerism, people have a lot more things to spend their money on, yet aren’t earning much more than they did 40 years ago.
Worse yet, the lack of any income increase has made it a requirement that both partners in a relationship work fulltime jobs to actually afford their cost of living.
With modern medicine the average lifespan could increase to up to 95–100 in the next 10 years, we’re living longer, earning less and retiring at the same time.
The cherry on the cake is that inflation keeps pushing our cost of living up, before you know it, you’ve hit 65 and you retire, realizing that you don’t have enough money to last you for the next 30 years! To top it off the last thing you want to do after your years of hard work is to go back into the workforce.
So I cut the cord in 2014. I went off on my own with the goal of finding a better path that didn’t require hours of sacrifice and unfulfilled grind.
This drove me to find a way to create massive amounts of wealth to set myself up for the future. To eventually become free from having to work hours and hours without any true security for my retirement, the people I cared about and my overall happiness in life.
I wanted to find something anybody could do to create massive amounts of passive income in their lives.
In this post I’m going to show you the core concepts of what I’ve discovered.
How to cut the cord on 9–5 and stop the grind
Through my research I found very important “tipping points” in my mindset that completely changed the way I looked at creating wealth.
No more was it tied down to the fallacy of income = hours. I had to free myself from this in order to be truly independent.
The main questions was, How can I earn massive amounts of money without tying myself to an hourly rate?
You see, in the typical 40 hour workweek structure, your earning potential is your hourly rate.
Let’s say you make $17 dollars an hour, your effective income is $17 x hours worked per week.
There are only two ways to increase your income. Increase the hourly rate or increase your hours worked.
Given that there are only 24 hours a day and you’re not a robot sent from the future, your effective hours worked cannot be more than 24 hours. In fact, due to you being a human being, your effective hours worked realistically wouldn’t exceed 14–15 hours a day max.
So given those constraints, the main way we can increase your income in order to build financial freedom is to increase your hourly rate.
I found even more pitfalls in this strategy, according to Mercer’s 2015/2016 US Compensation Planning Survey, on average, companies only provide an increase in salary of 2.9% per annum.
Given that the average annual raise is only 1 percentage point or 2 percentage points ahead of inflation for a given year (according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 2016), you’re actually barely staying ahead of the curve.
With the rising population and demand for employment, companies are finding it easier to reject raises in exchange for a less demanding employee who will work for less.
Even if you could raise your effective hourly rate by 20 times, you’d still be working the same 40 hours per week, frankly, you might be working more given the new found responsibility you’ve now been given at this higher wage bracket, you’re still tied down to the 9–5 grind that and not truly free.
So how do you cut the cord and start generating what we call “passive income” that exceeds what you make in your 9–5 job?
Passive Income and New Wealth
New wealth or “New Rich” as Author of 4 Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris popularized, is the concept of a new generation of wealthy individuals who realize that time is the most precious asset you possess and that it should be intelligently utilized to build massive amounts of passive income that isn’t tied to you working hour to hour.
The first step in realizing this potential is to reframe what you believe is the conventional path to financial freedom (9–5), which I’ve demonstrated above.
The second step is understanding that anyone can escape this lifestyle and start building something on your own that will generate income for you while you work, play and sleep.
To separate the two, you need to come to terms with the idea that hours put in is not always directly proportionate to a fixed figure of your value. Like the example above of $17 an hour.
Your hours can vary in value and it all comes down to how you allocate and use those hours to propel yourself to financial freedom.
For example, If you were to create a digital product like a website, software platform, app, ebook, video tutorials or distribution networks, you have an unlimited potential to scale your business and your income.
I’ll be delving deeper into the details of creating each business type in the coming months, if you’d like to stay in touch with me and read these articles as they come out, sign up to my weekly newsletter for insights into escaping the 9–5 grind through wealth building, lifestyle engineering and personal development.
Okay self promo section is over, lets move on.
Let’s break down how this all works.
Say you invested 3 months of your time into creating a software platform that brings massive value to people by providing a solution to a pain point people experience.
3 months at 5 days a week is roughly 600 hours, given you dedicated 10 hours a day to work on this.
You finally launch your product and start seeing a number of people purchase your product at $50 and you get 10 people a week buying from you. Which comes out to $2000 a month.
That’s $500 a week! Great start. For your first month, you have essentially made $10 an hour on the time invested in the production phase. (Feel free to stretch this model to however you see fit, if you are working your 9–5 currently and cannot dedicate 10 hours a day to work on this, maybe this takes you double the time to create. Either way, we’re looking at the effective hours that you put into the project.)
Not much by any standards but we’re getting the ball rolling.
You start doing some promotion and advertising, which costs you time and a little bit of money.
Eventually, through your savvy marketing techniques and dedication to building your business you now see 100 people a month purchasing your product at $50. Great work!
You’re now making a sweet $25 an hour, based on 10 hours a day, 600 hours over 3 months.
You’ve now doubled your effective hourly rate on the time you originally invested months ago while you were creating your product.
Remember, these aren’t man hours. You’re making sales with the system you implement regardless of whether you’re working on this, on the toilet, watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones or even sleeping! Wouldn’t that be sweet!
Now 100 people a month sounds like a lot but if you take the billions of people who are actively purchasing things on the Internet every month, your current market is such a small slice of the overall pie. This is completely achievable.
Here’s the beauty of this system. Let’s say, with the right strategies and systems in place (I’ll be going into these on this blog in the coming months), you are now making 1000 sales a month!
Holy Moley! Mom would be so proud.
1000 sales a month at $50 is $50,000 per month. That’s $600,000 a year! Bring on the Lambos, family getaways and holiday homes.
If we break it down by an hourly rate based on your initial time investment, you are now making $250 an hour!
That’s a 10x increase in your effective hourly rate!
From my knowledge, a 10x increase in your salary is unheard of for the majority of the population under the tried and true 40 hour workweek model. Given that you are leveraging the power of the internet, social media, referrals and the value you provide, you will be achieving these numbers a lot sooner than if you were to take the slow path of the 40 hour workweek model.
I want you to realize the overall potential of this model as opposed to the minutia of the details on how you’re going to get there, that will come in future content.
The main takeaway from this is that it’s completely possible for anyone to do this. You don’t need to be Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg to generate large amounts of wealth.
You just need to know the systems that will get you there. I’ll be showing you exactly what to do and walking you through every phase of this system in the coming months.
The math sounds good, where can I start?
I wanted to publish this post and start this blog because I believe in this system, not only that, it’s how I live my life!
There is a lot more that is involved in this entire process and I’ll be breaking everything related to this system of achieving financial freedom in this blog.
My only disclaimer is that this isn’t always easy. It’s a complicated and challenging road ahead. But I believe in you! With the right systems, guidance and perspectives, I truly believe anyone can follow this model and achieve the level of financial and personal freedom that they’ve only dreamed about.
You’ll learn top level strategies, marketing techniques, idea generation, copywriting, sales funnels, personal development and more! My goal is to break all of this complicated information into simple to follow recipes for your to digest.
I want to provide rich engaging content that you can apply right away and follow along week to week, eventually culminating in your very own passive income monster!
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Till then, I’ll see you in my next post.
Live rich and carry on.