Getting a Good Stable Job is For Losers
When I was working for USA Today I had the pleasure of interviewing a handful of highly successful entrepreneurs. I treated those interviews like the most important conversations of my life. I wanted the secret. What was it that made these people tick?
One person I spoke with was former Hello Toothpaste CEO Craig Dubitsky. Our interview was supposed to be 30 minutes top. We ended up chatting for two hours.
“I’ve never worked a job in my life,” Craig told me. “Never signed a contract. Never had a job orientation — none of that. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life.”
It’s true. As a little kid Craig ran a lemonade stand alongside a hand car wash. He was upselling and cross-selling lemonade and car washes before he even knew what those words meant.
And while studying philosophy at the University of Rochester he created several businesses, including a student trucking company to transport belongings across campus.
“My mother encouraged me that with the notion that it took courage to be creative,” said Dubitsky. “I try to create things that people fall in love with, that will elevate the everyday and fill these gaps in everyday life.”
His ideas were astonishing. They were simple yet effective. It taught me that the only way to avoid a 9 to 5 job was to become a critical thinker; the complete opposite of what four years of college prepared me for.
It keeps you warm at night.
It makes every second Friday worth looking forward to.
And there’s nothing scarier than losing it.
The paycheck is modern slavery.
Strangely enough, the same reward system that works in dogs works on humans too. Take away a dog's food and watch it growl. Keep feeding them and it’ll do anything.
Worst of all is we don’t take pride in the work we do.
Questions like, “Does my job make a real impact” or “what’s the value of our self-worth” are irrelevant. They're irrelevant until we’re in a psychologist's office telling them where it all went wrong.
“It all started when I traded the prime of my life for a desk job and a computer.”
Or worse, we take our frustration out on our partner or our friends. Working just enough not to get fired. That’s slavery. And you pretend to enjoy it because the world conditioned you to do so.
Take Pride in How Good a Slave You Are
Taking pride in our paychecks is a relatively new concept. In fact, 150 years ago Abraham Lincoln pitted people who worked for one. Lincoln described wage labor as an unfortunate necessity only for the “penniless beginner:”
“If any continue through life in the condition of the hired laborer, it is not the fault of the system, but because of either a dependent nature which prefers it, or improvidence, folly, or singular misfortune.”
The ethos of a 9 to 5 job is safety and security. You trade in your ambition and lust for life for a more predictable future. Maybe your boss will give you a 3–5% raise if you’re lucky.
It’s a pat on the head for being a good boy.
“But what if I lose my benefits?” you might ask. “Freelancing or entrepreneurship don’t account for those.” Except, they do.
The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) or investing in a Roth IRA are two safety nets you can start now to easily bypass benefits. Benefits are something the top 1% give you to keep you quiet and happy. Benefits are the opioids of the masses. Do research before you sell your soul to them.
Lincoln had a different vision for the future; one that might deliver on the whole promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“Men, with their families — wives, sons, and daughters — work for themselves, on their farms, in their houses and their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hirelings or slaves on the other.”
Actions to Take Now
If you play someone else’s game you win their game. Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t success, it’s becoming the best slave. Congrats, you win!
Conversely, creating your own rules to win by — i.e. becoming a full-time content creator, launching your own product or book, or pursuing your creative passion — is not an easy road. And contrary to that feeling in your gut, quitting your job and sticking it to the man is not the answer either.
I tried that once. I quit my 9 to 5 without a plan. A few weeks later I felt more lost and confused than ever before. I ended up joining the Army after two weeks of soul searching. This is why you create a plan first before chasing your heart; especially if you're risking your livelihood.
Start investing, moreover, learning about assets and commodities like stocks, crypto, gold and real estate. Set up your own financial safety nets. It’s what the cool kids call “passive income streams.” Every entrepreneur has several of them.
And while you’re working your full-time job continue hustling your creative passion on the side. Put quality hours into what you love. Make a sacrifice now instead of letting regret catch up later.
A few other things to consider
- Hero Vindictaveness: When you look at someone ultra-successful, don’t immediately rationalize the privileges they had that you didn’t. “Oprah Winfrey was born rich. JK Rowling was always a good writer. Navy Seal David Goggins was always a top runner.” In fact, none of those statements are true. So stop making excuses for yourself.
- Consider These Kinds of Jobs: My friend who works as an accountant believed being miserable is how everyone must feel at work. I told him this isn’t the case (it is the case for all accountants however). Most jobs outside the office are much more rewarding for its employees. People who work for DoorDash, the Post Office, firefighting, and personal training, really love their jobs. If I had to take a standard job again it would be one of these; not one that saps my ambition completely.
- The Product That I Sell: No it isn’t a six-figure online course, ClickFunnel, or even my book, believe it or not. It's me. Just me. Maybe it’s trite, but it’s true. If you’re able to express the best side of yourself in your content there is no one who can compete with you. It’s why television and radio get demolished by YouTube. We love personalities, not corporations. There’s one gamble that never fails: Investing in yourself.
Join 1500+ people on my newsletter for a free copy of my eBook “Mind and Muscle.”